Covered in great detail (and with lots of comments) on the Under Consideration website. Where a link can be found to the interesting rationale behind the logo revamp. Some information about the new brand
Our logo is clean, simple and bold. It has been designed using our bespoke font, which gives our brand a unique and distinctive character. Our logo must always be reproduced from master artwork and never from a second copy. It should never be recreated.
I think I agree with the commenters that say it’s more of a campaign than an Identity – though I do like the variety that stems from this approach.
The bespoke font used is based on Neuzeit Grotesk
Interesting diversion about stars on Wikipedia, but that doesn’t tell us anything about the star and it’s particlular relevance to Brighton.
Taking the logo at face value it is a simple very bold statement of the University in Neue Helvetica, and the star has alternating black and white panels that give a little light and shade. Aligned directly over the ‘U’ of University it reminds me of the spice star anise, though I’d guess that’s not what would have been the selling point when the logo was pitched. Perhaps more something along the lines of a shining star, obliquely suggesting achievement and even more tenuous would a reference to the star of Bethlehem by the way it hovers as a marker.
The sparse nature of this one has unsure whether it is bold simplicity is a result of lots of confidence in the organisation or a lack of flair in spelling out a vision.
A custom drawn wordmark based on something similar to Univers 65. It uses very small leading making the bolder ‘Coventry’ and light ‘University’ very snug. The dot off the lower letter i’s are missing and the descender off the y intrudes into the lower y.
According to the wikipedia entry on the University, the phoenix was Chosen to represent the rising of the city after the heavy bombing it suffered during World War II.
The way the Phoenix has been drawn initially reminded me of the banking industry, but the combination of that with modern feel of the sans serif typeface diminishes that association. The detailed and modulated calligraphy obviously loses some of it’s effect when used at smaller sizes, but is so successful larger that crops of it are suggested as design elements in the corporate guidelines.
The variation of weights in both the type and the design make for a pleasing balance to this logo, managing to reconcile the ornate and the functional.
Lovely page of typography in the corporate guidelines explaining the usage and providence of the logo. Originally designed by pentagram and more recently updated by Dalton Maag the Mark is a refined treatment that lets the long established name shine through.
The K dominates and one can admire the understated elegance of the strokes because of they have been unafraid to leave space around the large letter. The rest of the wordmark is tighter with the italic ‘college’ providing some useful contrast.
A typographic only logo from Abertay University, that uses a slab serif face, Serifa to state the basic information simply, with the kind of modern voice that paradoxically, a 1960s can provide. The modern serif is direct, strong and clear. A clear break with the name and crest based logo the university had previously.
There was a quirky characteristic that I noticed – that on some documents the dots over the i’s are absent yet on the website they are present. Which is the definitive logo is unclear. It seems rather an odd thing to do.
A representation of the landmark Parkinson building establishing a sense of place. By directly referring to an iconic building Leeds are making a strong connection, and sets up a nice experience for any visitors where they can follow that visual from the logo to a real place.
Nicely balanced in the square and drawn with enough detail, it draws on a tradition of civic pride as well as suggesting the tradition and experience that one would expect from an established university. I couldn’t see any examples of the logo in a portrait format, which may be the it’s only limitation
The typeface for the text looks similar to Gill Sans, all in uppercase, and complimenting the period of the building. The are angular slashes from the top the T, F and the Es, perhaps echoing an inscriptional face.
Overall, an innovative way for a large established university to convey solidity and ambition with particular reference to the city.
Particularly interesting references in the guidelines about how the previous logo was compared to other similar universities, and found to be out of step. Which has led to the creation of a typographic logotype that speaks clearly and in a refined way, in line with where the university sees itself and it’s competitors.
With such a long word setting it all in uppercase may have led to it being to shouty, so only the smaller portion of the wordmark is done this way. Using the Freight family ,the main word is mildly compressed and the sharp serifs throughout the wordmark give a relaxed but distinguished feel.
A simple and restrained execution of a logo as part of wider considerations about brand positioning.
Multiple elements taken from the university crest designed by Sir Algernon Tudor-Craig in 1928. The symbols are the torch for learning, the rose for Yorkshire, the ducal coronet from the arms of the City of Hull, the fleur-de-lys for Lincolnshire and the dove, symbolising peace, from the arms of Thomas Ferens. Such a range of elements signifying such specific things provides a challenge when seeking to refer to a coat of arms, since each must presumably be given equal weight. Hull have tackled this problem by rendering them in a flat style that reminds me of a dingbat font.
The older version of Hull’s logo shown here uses an egyptian style panel where the elements look like heiroglyphics.
The strong modern serif of Meta gives some balance between modernity and tradition that suits an established red brick university. A mix of upper and lowercase, prevents the logo becoming too strident, and the serifs are important to distinguish those double l’s.
Most unusual aspect of this logo is the specific requirement for it to be orientated on it’s side in most cases. The website is considered an exception to this rule, and I’ve shown that version here. It shows an odd attachment to the print media to choose this layout – indeed the examples from the draft corporate guidelines I’ve linked to insist on a whole bar device.
Nice to see that Hull have eschewed the shield when referencing their coat of arms, but I think the type and the graphic elements don’t compliment each other as well as they could.
h3. Retro future treatment
The Cranfield logo is a typographic treatment, that seeks to occupy a different space than the previously reviewed Brunel logo. Primarily a Science, Management and Technology institution with an interesting Military and Aeronautical history, Cranfield offers postgraduate qualifications and as such appeals to a slightly different audience from the usual fresh faced udergraduate.
The graphic ideas in the brand guidelines develop this theme with an overtly technical feel, created through angular layouts, modular blocks, patterns, a minimal palette and a very distinctive typeface. The overall feel is of a retro-futurism from the viewpoint of the 1970s – a style I happen to like very much.
A rooted wordmark
Ironically, the Cranfield wordmark contains no reference to this. The only obvious connection to the futuristic feel is in the grey, which is used extensively. Instead it is a delicate lowercase serif split with a ligature that has an extended stem that anchors the uppercase of ‘university’.
It’s a very controlled feel, no doubt aiming for a confident, relaxed and a perhaps a little aloof tone of voice. Difficut to talk about the wordmark without reference to the guidelines where a font called Defused is used. It looks very similar to ITC Bauhaus and nice to see such a bold contrast with the wordmark.
Part of a system
On the face of it a uninspired logo, but when taken as part of the wider system it creates a distinctive look. However, I don’t know whether to be impressed or scared by the idea ‘Brand guardians’ in the corporate brand guidelines!
A bold and confident treatment of the University’s crest. Simplified to just the one colour, and as the very extensive and thorough guidelines remark, Oxford is probably unique to have a colour named after it. The importance of the using Oxford Blue across media is stressed throughout the guidelines, though Pantone 282, doesn’t quite have the same romance.
The encircling belt is a device designed in 1993 to encircle the coat of arms of the University. It appears that a buckle is used in scottish heraldry to signify allegiance to a particular clan, but I cannot find if that is the case here! It’s a distinctive unusual device and stands out very well when compared with the usual generic heraldic devices.
Fancy name for a square?
The logo is refered to as the quadrangle in the guidelines, but name aside, it works well as a unified device. The sans serif family Foundry Sterling is used for ‘the university’ providing a useful contrast with the Bolder and classical ‘Oxford’ which is a custom drawn rendering. The attention on the terminals and serif brings what could be a staid and mundane classical serif gently into a more modern setting.
The use of the belt device in the top right corner, balances well with the wordmark below, particularly well connected by the bottom of the belt aligning with the ‘of’. It makes the quadrangle feel like a stamp, and that is the way it is used across the university’s publications.
There is a wide version for when space is limited , but it does not have the same internal tension, and balance.