CUNY Case Study

The City University of New York is the public university system of New York City, and the largest urban university system in the United States. 



For over 170 years, The City University of New York had been fulfilling its mission to be a vehicle for upward social mobility of the disadvantaged. It has grown into a network of 24 schools across the five boroughs, with surprisingly leafy campuses and visually stunning new buildings. But the University didn’t act, talk or even think of itself “as a whole,” a unified entity that was educating over a half million students every year. And in the process giving hope and opportunity to nearly every family in New York.


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Siegelvision felt it was time that this amazing institution be given credit for all the great work it does. We knew we needed to come up with a positioning for the university that would make all the individual colleges eager to be associated with the CUNY name.  Using the famous I LOVE NY campaign as a guiding inspiration we created a positioning to remind the city and the world of what an important institution that CUNY was.  We captured that in our new line: CUNY –The Greatest Urban University in the World. 

This positioning gave us a platform to brag about our award-winning faculty, our successful alum, and our vision for the future.

We created subway ads, newspaper ads, social media content, a spirit book, and more. We redesigned their logo and gave it a look as big and bold as our tagline.


When we tested the concept with students, parents, politicians and alum we were met with unanimous love.  It was understood, believed and embraced. The individual colleges asked how quickly they could start using the new look and line.

This even though we had been warned they would never accept a CUNY message in their communications. We launched the campaign in a massive subway and bus shelter effort with the hashtag #CUNYPRIDE. The positive tweets started flooding in.

Siegelvision is proud that this one-of- a-kind institution is finally getting the praise and support that it so surely deserves.  And we’re happy to report that CUNY announced a record setting 11% jump in applications from prospective students.

Apparently, New York best kept secret is no longer a secret.

We are enthusiastic about the rollout, to say the least. Thank you again for helping us rebuild a visual framework to tell CUNY’s story in such a compelling new way.
— James Sterngold - Senior Advisor to the CUNY Chancellor for Communications/Interim Director of Communications and Marketing



Brand Strategy
Brand Positioning
Brand Purpose
Brand Voice
Visual Voice
Social Media Strategy
Social Media Content
Brand Spirit Brochure
Website Concept
Media Planning


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