Past Branding Language and Its Future Use

The Mason IDEA

The Mason IDEA remains as valid as ever. Its four descriptors—innovative, diverse, entrepreneurial, and accessible—are the first four major messages on which this communications program is built. These qualities still define Mason, and they should still shape our messaging.

However, as we move forward, the phrase itself—“the Mason IDEA”—will play a smaller part in our public outreach. It will function more as a way that those of us within the Mason community think about our university and less as a headline for the public.

The reason is that “the Mason IDEA” is complex. It’s actually four ideas, hidden under an acronym and it requires a good deal of explanation and unpacking before it becomes meaningful to a newcomer. In its place, we will use the themelines, university positioning statement, and headlines outlined in this guide.

A University for the World

“A University for the World” is an expressive and useful phrase that will continue to be part of our communications, in contexts where it can be explained.

This means that “A University for the World” will not stand alone as a headline or tagline. It can be used when introduced in this way: “At George Mason, we seek to be not the best university in the world, but the best university for the world. That means…”

We can then go on to explain that at Mason we focus on service to the community and society, that we work to solve pressing problems and deliver an education of relevance, and that our outlook and programs are global in scope.

The reason we do not use “A University for the World” alone is that, without context, too many people think the phrase means just one thing: “global.” Also, without an explanation of our mission of service, some find the line boastful.

Where Innovation is Tradition

The tagline “Where Innovation Is Tradition” is officially retired. It will no longer be part of Mason’s communications and should be removed from pieces as they are updated. If you are looking for a phrase to amplify the name of the university, use one of the themelines.