I think the shape itself is a pretty appealing, with now jarring sharp angles or edges. It’s a prototypical unthreatening shape. Vaguely dynamic in a clincal way. The typography contained within is a nice contrast. Very specifically, Helvetica Neue LT Pro is the typeface – adding to the medical feel.
The most interesting information gleaned from the guidelines is the system of specific graphic devices designed to use the logo in an illustrative capacity.
Called the ‘river lockup’ the plectrum is combined with a representation of the River Thames made up of multiple coloured circles. Apparently reprsenting a journey of transformation, there are detailed explanations and variations for many different combinations.
I think the idea of a system of graphic devices to support the brand is an innovative one. In addition to the River device, there is the stream and the orbs, which combine with the logo to give designers tasked with creating interesting brand compliant work a solid set of tools. How they put these elements together is the challenge.
Awarded University status in 1992, the University has used the trusty combination of a modern sans-serif combined with a nicely simplified crest. The typeface looks like a Univers – Futura combination, all kicked off with a very pointed ‘A’.
A softly spoken voice for a new university that doesn’t seek allude to any bogus trappings of tradition, instead preferring to use a more abstract ‘modern’ device. The problem is that curved shapes chosen aren’t very interesting or intriguing. The curves seem to echo the shapes present in the text, but never really rise above decoration. The typeface is pleasantly open and clean, looking like Optima, but in the arrangement and the rather insipid colours mean that overall the logo is crying out for a bit more.
The font seems to be Standard CT Extra Bold. It’s a chunky Helvetica lookalike, that is pretty compressed and solid.
The overall effect is a very confident,perhaps strident exclamation of the University, it’s location and it’s name. Such a dense block of type is offset a little by the stylised heraldic lion, taken from the coat of arms of Simon de Montfont. The choice of an all uppercase treatment also neatly sidesteps any confusion about the proper capitalisation of de Montfort.
Ultimately, the overall effect is of a no-nonsense and confident approach, eschewing more restrained and traditional approaches.
The leaves and bud (or is it an acorn?) – I’m no expert on trees – in two tones of green are arranged to slightly suggest of a letter Y, but not too obviously so. Combined with the thin and even sans serif the overall feel is perhaps a little generic medical. The letter ‘r’s have some pretty distinctive shoulders (I think that’s what they are called) and no dots over the ‘i’s is unusual.
The combination of the differing word order systems of English and Welsh is used to create a word-mark with top – bottom symmetry. Both languages are rendered in a typeface that seems to be a combination inscriptional/sans-serif, that also manages to suggest calligraphy. The subtle curves on the strokes and the different sizes of the letters create a craft-like effect that seems to be a nod to the celtic roots of Wales, similar in feel to that used on the Wales Millenium Centre The simple placement of rectangles above each other, in effect combines two logos, and they are brought together by the muted red.
Not entirely sure which is the definitive logo, since I’ve seen a a few variations in colour in print and on the web.In a similar fashion to the university of Nottingham, an iconic building associated with the locality has been chosen and drawn in a simple style. It provides a solid counterpoint to the very traditional, almost formulaic uppercase serif chosen here.
Abbreviated to UWS, it is a simple little mark with a pleasantly oversized S. The inscriptional uppercase treatment of the full institution name adds a little touch of sharpness to contrast with the nice curves of the S, and also includes an echo with the italicised ‘of’ having the ‘f’ drop down nicely.
The name UCLAN seems at little cumbersome, but since UCL is taken I guess it makes sense.
A pretty figurative approach is taken on the rendering of the roses, instead of a the more abstract approach often taken by the newer universities. It’s difficult to see past the red rose as a symbol to use when talking about Lancashire since it is so strongly associated with the county. Unsure why there are two. Whilst they sit tidily enough, the placement of the roses and foliage doesn’t seem to add any great sense of tension or balance in the logo. A little bit of Pareidolia has the user vaguley aware of pair of eyes looking out. In fact the pair of red eyes put me in mind of an L S Lowry painting – The Man with the Red Eyes. I think this might be a bit of a reach , but an interesting association nevertheless.
The font looks similar to Frutiger. A legible choice, though used very plainly all in lowercase, giving it a strange, passive voice.
Vaguely reminiscent of a bio hazard sign, this logo is described in the identity toolkit as a link symbol, it is explained thus –
bq. The Link is made up of three connected Cs, which stand for Canterbury Christ Church. It also signifies the three core activities of the University: teaching, research, and administration.
Again, the detailed toolkit tells us that the Typeface is Humanist 777 by Adiran Frutiger.
The combination of these two things make this logo fairly typical of a new university style. The slightly generic symbol and sans-serif combination makes for a mildly antiseptic logo, though it needs to said the long name makes it a challenge to be compact. Trading personality in this way makes it difficult to imagine any real affection for the logo, instead pursuing a low risk strategy.