© 2009 -2020  Dave Holston   The Strategic Designer

When I arrived at UT Austin there were no brand standards or even an official wordmark. After 10 years I not only developed brand standards, but also redesigning the website, rebranded the university and build a world class design team. As they say in Texas, it ain't braggin' if it's true.

Below are some examples of the work done by myself and the members of my creative team.

THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

1999 -2001 Creative Manager, Office of Development

2001 - 2011Director of Strategic Design Management, Office of Public Affairs

GONE TO TEXAS

When I arrived at UT Austin there were no brand standards or even an official wordmark. After 10 years I not only developed brand standards, but also redesigned the website, rebranded the university and build a world class design team. As they say in Texas, it ain't braggin' if it's true.

Below are some examples of the work done by myself and the members of my creative team.

Building a World Class Creative Team

I built the UT Austin Creative team from scratch. I hired the most talented people I could find, created an environment where they could excel and changed the way they worked with campus. Once thought of as a "service provider," I turned them into a strategic communication partner. The team won so many awards we stopped counting. 24 national design awards total. OK I counted them.

Below is some of the work that as done by myself as well as the team.

Creating a Digital Presence 

One of my first initiatives was to redesign The University of Texas's website. The site had a deep and well developed infrastructure, with lots of good information. Unfortunately the site had a challenging user experience and all the visual appeal of a stone wall*. Partnering with the Office of Information Technology I worked with constituents across campus to develop a new design that was easy to navigate, and consistent across top level web presence.

* The actual image on the home page was indeed a stone wall. I kid you not.

Building a Lasting Brand

As a kid growing up in New Jersey, I knew the Hookem' Horns hand sign. And like most folks around the country, that's all I knew about one of the nations largest research universities. 

 

The University had an accidental brand that focused on football and good times. Most people didn't know about the amazing academic programs and world changing research that went on under those terra cotta roofs  

To change this perception I called on faculty and graduate students to help build a meaningful brand that would proclaim UT Austin's value and impact.

After 11 years "What Starts Here Changes the World" become more that a slogan, but a motto that speaks to the soul of the University.