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’.
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.
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.
A development from the original design by Franks and Franks, this identity treads the familar path of university logos by a using an inscriptional serif font to boldly declare the location, allied with a plainly drawn illustrative shield.
The sharp serifs on the uppercase text provide some interest in the generous whitespace. Separated from the crest in what seems to be the modern way, by a thin vertical stroke.
The shield itself is a traditional feeling illustration of a swan, alluding, one presumes, to the motto of the university: – “Flying on our own wings”.
The upward pointing chevron suggests a tower, maybe an open book,a roof, as well as the more obvious arrow suggesting the upward progress of the graduate.
It’s both a strength and a weakness of such a simple shape that the associations come thick and fast but lack some specificity.
Solid uppercase serif is more in line with the traditional expectations of a university, whilst the cheltenham and gloucester text seems a bit of an afterthought. Looking like Gill Sans, it’s at least discrete and is colour matched with the chevron.
Ultimately, despite the modern element it ends up being quite a conservative logo by virtue of it’s minimalism.
A two part logo with some neat and clear text on the right, accompanied by an unusual combination on the left. In the text the University location is stressed in a relaxed sans serif, and supplemented by three words which I would assume to a tag line. Unfortunate that the logo doesn’t especially reinforce the tag line. It consists of a shape like a rosette ribbon. Perhaps alluding to a seal or certificate. Like the ribbon one might see attached to an official seal of some kind. Across this is place a squiggly w, reversed out of the white of the ribbon. I find the w a little awkward – it’s neither elegant or sweeping like calligraphy, or rough and vibrant like a textured handwritten w could be.
When one thinks of the classic fun that can be had with one of the alphabets more jagged shapes, the w here adds little.
A green/blue on top a blue background doesn’t provide much contrast the graphic element of this logo, which is 3 mountains represented in a bold style reminiscent of the 70s in it’s simplicity. Why they are cropped at the left and right I’m not sure. Perhaps the use of the mountains is seeking to create a sense of place, implying a rugged, rural setting? The treatment seems more appropriate for a range of hiking gear. Having said that, I think the bold style could perhaps have worked had the typography matched the graphic treatment and been more adventurous.
Instead, a stolid uppercase serif is used, lacking any flourishes or quirks it tends to add the to the impression of a logo caught between two stools. Lacking the hutzpah of a young institution or the gravitas of an older one.
Judging by the tops of the lower case n, m and g looks to be using FF Dax with the modification of the lower case e straightened. A fresh face without too much modulation in the strokes – interest instead coming from the way the aforementioned m’s, n’s and g have arcs that finish abruptly at the junction of a vertical stroke.
The castle is simply drawn with some nice details to show light coming from the right. At the bottom is I presume, a representation of the River Trent. The combination of the two window slits in the tower and the river suggest (to me at least), a slightly whimsical face.
A simple vertical line delineates the text and graphic portions of the logo, with either side anchored around it. A neat little separator for a logo that is a confident use of ‘heritage’ imagery with a contemporary typeface.
The graphic element of the logo is the combination of two letter U’s interlocking on a background of 3 colours. The U’s are from a srif font, with one smaller than the other. The white one bleeds to the edge of the blue box, making the serifs look almost triangular. The light blue U in the foreground is more intact, but has an odd green patch appended on the top. If there’s some significance to the shapes created by the interlocking and negative space I’m afraid it’s lost on me. It seems overly fussy, and a distracting rendering of two letters.
In contrast, the choice of Optima for university font with it’s large x-height and delicate curves makes for a very open and fresh feel. The combination of colour and font weight make for a nice balance; the ‘Ulster’ is bold without becoming overpowering.