Quartomillennium ’19

Ideas for the visual identity guidelines

October 9th, 2013  |  Published in all news, graphic design, History, other projects, publications, Quartomillennium '19

If you’re working on the branding effort (see the previous post on the topic), I would recommend a visit to the archives to see some things:

  • The green ribbon and its story. The college is represented by a single color.
  • Typical accent colors are black, lavender, and white. White is used frequently in athletics. No big green-and-gold tradition seems to exist.
  • The seal and its history. More effort could be devoted to reserving the seal for official uses only.
  • The midcentury shield now in use, and the recent proposal for an heraldic coat of arms.
  • The Bicentennial medal designed by Rudolph Ruzicka.
  • Anything designed by John Scotford.
  • Anything produced by the Stinehour Press (photo of exhibit, Valley News story) or Ray Nash, of the Graphic Arts Workshop (Rauner bio); also books published by the Dartmouth College Press.
  • Copies of the ORC from various periods.
  • Copies of The Dartmouth from various periods, especially before WWII.
  • Carnival posters, especially those produced before 1959.
  • Things made of leather and wood: Daniel Webster’s water bucket and old ski boots, senior canes and snowshoes.

version of proposed coat arms

Around campus, you might take note of the white color of Dartmouth Hall and the finely-speckled gray/white of the granite used in the foundations of many buildings. (That granite is not likely to be local; for a local granite, see the pinkish stone of Rollins Chapel, a stone that has not been used very widely on campus.) The brick walls with their varied colors, from black to brown to red, are characteristic of the campus, although the style of brickwork was originally called “Harvard brick.” There are many useful greens, including the patina of the copper roofs, the paint used on building shutters, the color of the shaggy pines along the riverbank, and the sometimes-black color of the river itself. An example of lavender appears in the glass of the Baker Tower clock.

medal reverse   medal obverse

A list of style guides from Logo Design Love has some nice examples. Duke’s guide announces that the word “University” in the Duke wordmark is set in Interstate, the typeface developed for road signs by the Department of Transportation. Yale’s identity site is prepared by the Office of the University Printer rather than the PR office. Princeton’s guide (pdf) on page 21 explains the difference between the seal and the shield, and it goes so far as to deface the seal with the word “SAMPLE” since, as the text explains, the seal is not for the public — not even by way of example! (Unlike B.U.) Oxford’s logo page has great visual appeal and actually is fairly flexible in its rules. University College Oxford has a guide by Franks and Franks (portfolio example) that looks nice and builds a traditionalist logotype around an abbreviation and nickname (“Univ.”).


February 6th, 2012  |  Published in all news, coat of arms, History, publications, Quartomillennium '19

The website for the current strategic planning process uses the 2019 Quartomillenium as an endpoint, with its motto “Imagine the Next 250.”

The Bicentennial year of 1969-1970 gives an example of what the Quartomillenium could be. There were three big events according to Charles Widmeyer in John Sloan Dickey: A Chronicle of His Presidency of Dartmouth College (1991), 250, 271. Those events were:

  1. The Bicentennial Commencement in the summer of 1969.
  2. Dartmouth Day (i.e. Charter Day), December 13, 1969. This was the focal point of the year, and it involved a fireworks display, a parade around the Green, and a proclamation by the Governor in front of the Hop (the Bicentennial plaque is in the Zahm Garden).
  3. The Third Century Convocation in the Fall of 1970.

The notable commemorative objects produced for the Bicentennial included:

  1. A USPS stamp designed by John Scotford, technically in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Dartmouth College Case, since USPS does not recognize individual schools or their anniversaries.
  2. A new college flag with its stylized pine symbol designed by Scotford.
  3. A medal designed by Rudolph Ruzicka and struck by the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia, requiring an act of Congress:

dartmouth medal

dartmouth medal

The Quartomillenium could include these events:

  1. A commemoration of the Bicentennial of the Dartmouth College Case.
  2. A visit by the 10th Earl of Dartmouth.
  3. The receipt from the College of Arms of letters patent granting to Dartmouth an honorary coat of arms along these lines:

proposed arms

Brand identity topics

November 15th, 2011  |  Published in all news, coat of arms, graphic design, History, June 2011 photos, Med. School, publications, Quartomillennium '19, Thayer School, Tuck School

I. The Dartmouth Company

Curiously, there is a Boston-based real estate company called The Dartmouth Company. It makes good use of serifs and a dark green color on its website and seems to operate in New Hampshire. See also the more obvious reference to the college at the Dartmouth Education Foundation.

II. The Arms of Dartmouth’s Schools

The Dartmouth College website seems to be doing something new when it describes the institution as a collection of five apparently equal schools:

shields from webpage

Excerpt from college website.

The harmonization and use of the schools’ shields is commendable.

But this arrangement seems to contradict the rule that Dartmouth is the college. The “Associated Schools” — Tuck, Thayer, Medical, and lately the graduate programs — are associated with the college but are not coequals beneath a central university administration. Because “Dartmouth” is the undergraduate college, there is no need to put the letters “CA&S” before one’s class year, for example.

Tom Owen writes in The Dartmouth today:

In the discussion following Kim’s address, Provost Carol Folt said there is a “complicated set of reasons” for the gap between Dartmouth’s national and international rankings. Two of the major contributing factors are Dartmouth’s lack of a “university” title and Dartmouth’s focus on undergraduates, both of which have hurt Dartmouth’s international reputation.


Although large-scale changes may be necessary in the next decade, alumni must see new developments as part of an institutional history of adaptation rather than as a threat to tradition, Kim said.

The school’s Quartomillennium celebration in 2019 would be a good time to launch something new.

[01.25.2012 update: Education Foundation link added.]

Hanover’s 250th anniversary

May 15th, 2011  |  Published in all news, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, publications, Quartomillennium '19

The Valley News has set up a site dedicated to Hanover’s 250th anniversary this July 4th. The site announces that Jay Barrett is giving several talks, gives a schedule of town events, and links to the town’s Flickr account where historical photos are kept.

The Dartmouth Arms

November 30th, 2010  |  Published in all news, coat of arms, graphic design, History, publications, Quartomillennium '19, site updates

Jonathan Good wrote a proposal for a heraldic coat of arms for Dartmouth College in 1995. This website has linked to Good’s pamphlet at several locations over the years and is happy to host it once again.

As the proposal explains, the new symbol would be an adjunct to the existing coat of arms rather than a replacement for it.

The celebration of Dartmouth’s 250th anniversary in 2019 would be a fine time to adopt the coat of arms. At the last big college celebration of this kind, the 1969 bicentennial, the school adopted the lone pine device that has since become widespread.

The school might even petition the College of Arms for a grant of honorary arms, as has been done by George Washington University and Hampden-Sydney College.

A few of Scott Meacham’s own cut-and-paste efforts to render the proposed arms:

Proposed arms for Dartmouth as designed by Good and depicted by Meacham

Proposed arms for Dartmouth as designed by Good and depicted by Meacham

Proposed arms for Dartmouth as designed by Good and depicted by Meacham

[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to HSC page fixed.]
[Update 11.30.2010: GWU link corrected.]

Recent Dartmouth-related notes not involving construction

October 24th, 2010  |  Published in all news, graphic design, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, publications, Quartomillennium '19, the Green

Various tidbits not related to construction:

  • Google has supplemented its car-based Street View coverage of Hanover and Lebanon by sending in a tricycle-mounted camera (The Dartmouth). New images will be up next year. Meanwhile some places, such as the University of Texas, are getting 45-degree aerial views, presumably taken from an airplane.
  • Professor Schweitzer’s Occom Circle Project involves digitizing and posting Samson Occom’s writings (The Dartmouth, Dartmouth Now). The project doesn’t seem to have a page yet.
  • Rauner’s blog has a copy of an early-1900s broadside advertising a ban on nude swimming near Ledyard Bridge, and a bit on the legendary Doc Benton.
  • As everybody knows, BlitzMail is going away. An oblitzuary.
  • Ask Dartmouth writes about the Old Pine Lectern.
  • Ken Burns wrote in American Heritage that his favorite baseball photograph is an 1882 image showing a Dartmouth-Harvard game on the northwest corner of the Green. Photographer Joseph Mehling has paired that photo with shots from a recent softball game on the northeast corner, with President Kim pitching.
  • This excellent fantastical map of the campus by Matthieu and Zachary Pierce is called “Dartmouth Dreaming.”
  • Administrative reports and presidential announcements, such as the Reaccreditation Self-Study, now regularly mention the planning for the 2019 Quartomillennium.
  • The Dartmouth Sports site has been redesigned and is now a little less busy.

[Update 12.02.2012: Broken link to Google post at the blog of The Dartmouth removed; broken link to 1992 American Heritage article removed.]

Planning Dartmouth’s 250th

January 17th, 2010  |  Published in all news, Charter, History, Quartomillennium '19

Governor Wentworth signed Dartmouth’s charter — really more like its letters patent — on December 13, 1769. President Kim has made the 250th anniversary of this event in 2019 a sort of goal or endpoint for a ten-year budget process, such as in his October 26 faculty address (Vox), his presentation to the board at its fall meeting (The Dartmouth), and his December 1 financial presentation (pdf).

Although it is early to plan for the actual event, Professor Fischel’s letter to the editor of The Dartmouth suggests a new term: “quartomillennial” instead of “semiquincentennial.”