What is “Create You?”

What’s behind CSU’s new brand and its advertisement across campus and the city of Columbus?


Photo courtesy of Columbus State University.

  CSU  unveiled a new brand at the start of this fall semester, entitled “Create You.” Billboards and posters advertise this new brand, but what does it all mean, and where did it come from?

    CSU hoped to get the conversation started about just what the new brand meant. The brand was rolled out internally and in detail with faculty and staff, but was intentionally revealed to students to plant a seed of curiosity on what it means to “Create You.” 

    Greg Hudgison, director of university relations, explained that CSU hoped to send a message to prospective students about the creative minds of currently enrolled students. The main goal is to drive up the university’s enrollment by telling the story of its students. That story is defined by the brand’s four pillars: cultivating creativity, inspiring collaboration, reimagining education, and expanding worlds.

    Hudgison says that the brand’s first pillar poses the question to prospective students: “How do we help create the environment and provide the resources for you to create who you want to be, not who the system is dictating you to be?” “Create You” should set the tone to encourage individuality as the main element of CSU.

    CSU’s University Relations held focus groups made up of students, potential students, parents, and shareholders to find out what makes CSU special. They found that CSU stands out from other universities based on the community support that surrounds the university with the city of Columbus, which holds expansive potential for employment of students after graduation. 

    This focus group allowed University Relations to see that they needed to challenge students to be great problem solvers and mold students to hold the traits employers or graduate schools wanted to see. Hudgison said that this realization brought with it the development of “Create You,” and its slogan, “Creative to the Core,” which became the defining characteristic of the brand’s second pillar, inspiring collaboration. 

    The brand’s third pillar, reimagining education, simply enacts the second pillar through CSU’s educators, who are preparing students for their future collaborations among the community. The brand is meant to highlight the ability of CSU’s professors to help students connect, inspire, and share their knowledge and expand their horizons through experiences at the university to prepare them for life after college. 

    “We want to attract students who want to go out and change the world,” said Hudgison.The brands fourth pillar, expanding worlds, imagines students taking on life headfirst and headstrong. CSU’s “Create You” brand will illuminate the path for those students who want to be that change in the world, and tells prospective students that CSU provides its students with the resources needed to explore their creative potential. 

    The brand also aims to relay its message aesthetically with a redesign of the website, recruitment material, commercials, etc. Even the Cougar Kick-Off shirts were redesigned to be representative of the  “Create You” brand. The brand aesthetics incorporate a “Create You Circle,” which represents you as the individual at CSU. While the new brand implements additional coloring to its design, the core colors of CSU remain the same: red, white, and blue. The new coloring allows for differentiation and accenting of creativity throughout campus and various departments. 

    With the branding rollout complete, and the mystery revealed, CSU’s University Relations  intends to get the students aware and on board. The “Create You” mosaic making was held in the Davidson Student Center to get students involved and encourage them to share on social media with the hashtag: #CSUCreateYou. The event was intended to show where students fit into the puzzle of life at CSU. The mosaic will be permanently posted on campus in the near future.

    University Relations is also holding a contest where students can share a video of what “Create You” means to them, allowing the students to define it for themselves in a fun and interactive way. The videos will be shared to the university’s website, and voting will be open to students, faculty, and staff. The winner will receive a $200 gift card prize for the CSU Bookstore, and two runner-ups will receive a $50 gift card prize for the CSU Bookstore. Voting closes on Oct. 17. Show your Cougar creativity in any way you desire; from a skit to a quick tidbit about yourself, all forms are welcome. 

    Hudgison encourages students to get involved through these events as well as sending some of their creative Cougar work his way. Whatever work you may be doing, if you have something you find to be creative to your core, post it to your social media platform with the hashtag #CSUCreateYou or send it over to University Relations at ur@ColumbusState.edu. “Create You” was created to exhibit the creativity of CSU’s students, and the students’ participation is key to accomplishing this goal. 

    Let the Saber know what you think about the new branding by leaving a comment here, or at any of the Saber social media platforms; FaceBook: The Saber at Columbus State University, Instagram: @sabercsu, Twitter: @TheCSUSaber.