Campus Crusade for Christ

By Mash Bonigala

Some people are really into the Campus Crusade for Christ, while others seem to never have heard of it. There are surprisingly few people who lie in the middle ground, who are aware of this organization yet have no opinion about it.

The old brand and logo design were effective and represented the organization well. When Campus Crusade for Christ first began at UCLA in 1951, it used a shield design with a cross intersecting the shape along with a book and a torch, both of which are relevant to Christianity. The new christian logo is in a calming, trustworthy blue and uses the same general shield, but modified to have a hand-drawn feeling that is youthful and unconventional. The name of the organization is written in rounded letters with serifs in the same blue along with a calming gray. The logo overall feels good, but it has one key flaw: it uses the word ‘crusade’.

Unfortunately, this word has very unpleasant connotations. Most people associate crusades with religious wars and intolerance for other viewpoints—hardly the impression that this organization wants to make. With a presence in more than 1000 US colleges and universities, a lot of individual ministries are dependent on public perception. Changing the name is an obvious step. Therefore, the Campus Crusade for Christ will soon be known simply as Cru.

This new, fresh, youthful name needs a fresh and youthful logo design to match. The new Cru logo design just might meet this demand. The name of the organization is written in lower case, rounded lettering that is friendly and informal—exactly what many college students want from their religion. A cross is formed by intersecting lines that are bright and appealing. The lettering may feel a little generic to people in the logo design industry, but it works well with the image and will be effective among its target market.

The name may be related to the unpleasant word ‘crusade’, but it is only loosely so. It is also a common nickname for the ministry, which will help the brand keep brand equity with college students who have already bought into the brand. However, it is a response to a recent study finding that twenty percent of college students are turned off completely by the name. Further, because the program is no longer limited to college campuses, this new name opens new horizons for Cru and allows them to continue expansion without becoming something of an oxymoron.

Another benefit to the new logo is that it is short and sweet. The old name was long and unwieldy and may have difficulty being placed on a christian website. Because the image from the logo was not self-explanatory enough to be used alone, the result was a rather clunky logo and identity. This identity is young, fresh, and thanks to the cross image, still relevant to Christianity. It maintains its core identity while presenting an image that will appeal to many people outside the fold. And, after all, isn’t that the point of a rebrand in the first place?