The Block M and Branding
A very observant MGoUser (I can’t remember who it was though) mentioned in a thread about the Sugar Bowl Jerseys that ALL of Michigan’s athletics jerseys now sport a Block M, across all sports. This wasn’t always the case. The Block M just found its way onto the “normal” home and away football jerseys this year (on the neck)
Not just with Football Jerseys, we’ve seen Block Ms appearing all over campus like never before. No longer is the “split M”
Acceptable, at this point, it’s Block M or Bust.
Old Scoreboard front:
Old Yost Scoreboard:
Now this isn’t a rant, and I’m not trying to criticize Michigan for the proliferation of the Block M. In fact, Michigan is just following current marketing and branding trends. All over the corporate world the trend is towards the simple. Get rid of words, use symbols, and use them everywhere. Simplicity is king.
A few examples of the corporate world:
Michigan is just following industry trends at this point with the Block M. One simple symbol. Everywhere. Get used to seeing this, it’s not going anywhere.
I think it's a cleaner look.
The split M doesn't seem nearly as cool (then again, maybe I am susceptible to Brandon's marketing magic)
I thought we already knew DB has said the split M is done and everything going forward is to Block M only, with the current renovations of all the sports complexes it fits that they would replace all of the old logo's with the new improved version.
I'm just pointing out that it's happening, and that it's pretty common industry wide. I also think it's a cleaner look, and don't think it's a bad thing.
Of the logo's use than before. All the business school clubs were forced to redesign their club logos due to their unofficial use of the block M this past year
...this terrific find.
Just reading it you can tell that the people who wrote and approved that policy "get" the management of the Michigan brand in a big time way. This is the kind of outlook that gets us ranked among the top 20 universities in the world and that will keep us there.
Mgoshoe, I had seen the item you found about protection of the block M previoulsy when looking at some of Michigan's IP. I was thinking along the lines of the straight block M making for stronger identification from an intellectual property perspective, which might have, at least in part, driven the decision.
Here is another link from Mgoshoe's find concerning the IP aspects of the way the block M is now being used:
are visible from low-earth orbit.
Yeah, those are huge. Is there a bigger vertical M anywhere else in the world? I'd be interested to know.
It's approximately 2400 point font.
ps: I may have made that up.
North scoreboard from the US23-M14 interchange, over 3 1/2 miles north of the stadium.
That observant MGoUser was me, for the record. It was in the comments section of Brian's post about the Sugar Bowl jerseys, as I recall.
Good for you?
may the force be with you.
for Jim Brandstatter.
It reminds me a bit of those hanging signs they used to have in medieval cities. One example would be a pair of scissors for a barber. Since people couldn't read, pictures were used to convey the meaning of the service that was offered. Nowadays it sounds like corporations are realizing that in an age where everyone's logo can dance or burst into flames a simpler message might help sell more product.
Bigger is better and I love the new scoreboards as much as anybody. Still, I will miss those old Split M logos, since they were there all 4 years I was at Michigan. I like how the very last thing they used the non-HD scoreboards for was the Big Chill.
You could make a good medical practice for yourself in Columbus if you promised to eschew words in favor of pictures.
And equipped all rooms in my practice with genuine rabbit-ears on the TVs. And give them a long stick to adjust the ears and set with from across the room.
I'm old school and hated the "Split M" so much that I refused to purchase anything with that logo. Happy Holidays everyone. . . .GO BLUE!
this "block M" as something new. I see it as a restoration of order after the unwelcome "Split M (r)" ran its marketing-motivated course and happily went away.
I still prefer boobs over simplicity, starbucks.
Wisconsin's "doble ve" corporate branding ended in 1991 with the fruition of WordArt.
1975-1977 1978-1987 1991-present
all of those are better than these things...
they were uniquely ugly.
75/77 Wisco Helmet screams BYU to me; but in a good way.
love it. glad they went this way. i think it's simple, bold and imposing.
I love it! Give us more M's everywhere...Livin here in fartytown, I see S's in my sleep...yech! Reminds me, to whomever is in charge of marketing allocation at UM, or at the M Alumni assn...MORE "M" BILLBOARDS PLEASE...MORE "M" FULL PAGE ADS PROCLAIMING ENTRANTS INTO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HOF PLEASE... Farty has a lot less to proclaim, but they are kicking our a** in the marketing of it>Truth....Get it? Their marketing is greater then the truth of their accomplishments... PLEASE WAKE UP!!!!!!!! Hollis wants Detroit! Hollis wants IT ALL! And HE IS VERY GOOD.
Go back to mlive please. Or better yet, learn to write like a grownup.
What did I just read
...but I do remember that an unnamed poster here once got a 1,000,000 point mod negbomb for a Sparty name that wasn't anywhere as stupid or classless as the one our new poster just used. And the guy who got the big bomb could actually write.
I have a feeling that it isn't going to end well for the new guy. Actually, if his writing style is any indication of his intellect, I have a feeling life isn't going to be too kind to him, either.
Negged for "fartytown"...I didn't read anything after that....
The University of Missouri has a Block M. And it's "yellow," no less. (I don't think they call it yellow. Gold and Black, I believe.) My first fall after moving to Kansas City (in '04), I briefly thought there was a healthy contingent of Michigan supporters here. Wrong.
I've been trying to find this out ever since:
Which school promulgated the Block M first: Michigan or Missouri?
The first Block M on the football team's uniform appears to be this one, back in 1891:
Before that there's kind of a script-ish "U of M" and an "M" without serifs. I was able to find a black and white photo from 1914 of a Ferry Field crowd putting up cards to form a Block M:
The earliest Mizzou Block M reference I can find goes back to 1927, but I'm not sure where to look for more.
I appreciate your digging into this.
I'm looking forward to playing Mizzou one of these years. That would get all the historians on the case, particularly if it was a bowl game (with a month+ to sniff around for stories).
W 1955, L 1959, L 1969, W 1975.
So yeah, after a 36+ year hiatus it wouldn't hurt to schedule another game or two.
I was never a fan of the split M and I am glad the plain block M is here to stay.
Now if they can get all the apparel to finally go to the block M. I absolutely hated the split M. Go Blue!
It's about time for the football jerseys. When a kid walks around the mall in his Michigan jersey, he wants everyone to know what team it is.
You did not know the old jerseys were Michigan unless you were freaks like all of us on this site and could tell it was Michigan by the tint of the yellow. The rest of the world did not know if it was Michigan or the local high school. The block M finally clears that up.
It's funny how that one little character, that yellow M, somehow causes the clothing it adorns to float to the top of my dresser. Must have some kind of anti-gravity properties.
If you ever get a chance to go to Ralph Engelstad Arena where the North Dakota Fighting Sioux plays hockey you'll see over 2500 indian head logos. Including a huge marble one once you come through the front door.
This is actually one of the biggest reason they fought so hard not to have to change their nickname. If they were force to remove all those logos that would probably cost more then trying to build a new arena.
There are 3 just on the envelope of my admissions letter
i never liked the split M, its very 80's. We've been moving towards the block M for 15 years, and I much prefer it.
piece of Michigan apparel is a 30 year old blue sweatshirt with the old circular maize crest consisting of the lamp logo surrounded by the Latin university motto. I LOVE that sweatshirt and it's falling apart. Guess I'm never going to find another one huh? Bummer. I'm cool with the block M branding but that old-school lamp crest is just awesome.
JeepinBen is right, this follows a larger overall trend in marketing, and I believe it's smart. The more shorthand you can get on your brand, the stronger it is. That one letter in blue in a serifed font denotes Michigan is pretty sweet. Plus, the split-M looks super 90s.
Slightly off-topic: I reported a school (Massachusetts Maritime Academy) to the University for brazenly stealing the split-M. (See here.) It was amazing how quick Michigan was on top of it, within weeks the Maritime Academy's website was without their split-M knock-off. I for one am glad we take our brand so seriously.
I know this isnt about the actual post but im a new user so im not allowed to create my own posts so i thought i might as well comment here.
did anyone else here about the prospect of the michigan vs. notre dame series ending?
a guy posted on another michigan website saying:
" Eyes/ears open on the 28th. One decision will be undone while another will be unveiled. It's not bad news. In fact, I think it will bring about some things Michigan fans have waited a long time for. Unfortunately, the change won't come quickly. Not apparel related."
and i thought that that applied to the prospect of the mich nd series ending in exchange for a more national high profile match up
michigan vs. notre dame undone
michigan vs. florida/usc unveiled (schedule changes dont come quickly)
it isnt bad news because it will help national recruiting, we will need to nationally recruit with urban meyer at osu now.
let me know if you have heard anything about this, and if you would be in favor of something like this happening.
Unfortunately Jerel Worthy got a little excited and thought we switched our helmets to the Block M look too. Messed that helmet up and made it into a Missouri one. haha