The large curves that taper on the serifs make for a nice contrast throughout the letters, providing the gravitas that established universities are often looking for. The flourish on the ‘of’ doesn’t seem incongruous and the overall effect is plain and direct.
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.
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.
Set in what appears to be Trajan Regular for ‘the university of’ and then perhaps a custom variant for the larger Warwick text. The inscriptional font brings to mind all the usual associations of age, experience and tradition. In this case there is a certain liveliness created by the long tail of the R and the very sharp serifs seem to be breaking out at angles.
At smaller sizes some of this liveliness dissipates and one is left with a classical feel and tail of the R underlining the W becomes a more prominent feature.
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.
High level of detail used on the coat of arms – no simplification and a three colour treatment. The most obviously designed part of the logo is the wordmark – the coat of arms looks like it hasn’t been redrawn or simplified at all. The absence of such a process says something in itself – suggesting a desire not to mess with the history and tradition, preferring to leave the modernising to the wordmark. The addition of the full stop transforms the wordmark into a stronger statement which is in turn reinforced by capitalising and giving each word a line of it’s own.
The typeface for the wordmark is called Stephenson which has been chosen and redrawn for the University. There is also a companion font called Blake, primarily used for body text. Stephenson reminded me of Clarendon, but with a lighter touch and some appealing curves, notably the fairly egg shaped ‘e’s, the crook in the ‘f’s and the laid back ‘S’.
To contain the wordmark and the coat of arms they use a simple rectangle, bringing the logo very much to the for when used on this tab device.
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.
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.
Detailed and traditional rendering of the University shield allied to a straightforward classical treatment for the wordmark.
A good explanation of the shield elements can be found on the Heraldic & Genealogical Society’s website.
The shield is competently drawn and the type is sensibly plain. Rather a special case, being such an influential and widely known brand, the shield cannot really add the to the existing reputation of the University, and functions as visual punctuation. The detail of the shield can be lost, leaving the simples shape of a white cross with central square, and one can just make out the gold lions.
A mildly condensed uppercase serif wordmark gets the important information across in a traditional, restrained way. No real surprises with the wordmark, perhaps content instead to state the pertinent facts and let the University’s reputation speak for itself.
Interesting grid ideas
An interesting Horizontal grid system is provided in the guidelines, where there are examples given explaining possible uses. The grid specifies the size of the elements that the page should be divided into. For example, an A3 page would be divided into 30 horizontal panels of 20mm each. The system looks pretty versatile, though it relies pretty heavily on the elements being able to occupy the full width of a page for it to work.
The logo for such a famous and highly ranked University needs to encourage the sense of continuous excellence rather than break any new ground. The extremely understated nature of this logo does this; ironically by being conservative and neutral.
Edinburgh’s coat of arms is a pretty bold graphic device in it’s original form.There’s a saltire, a thistle, a castle and a book. The saltire in the background with a book rendered in the centre of the circle, on an almost square shield reinforces the symmetry and makes it a strong arrangement. Edinburgh have wisely chosen to build on that and used a classical serif font with Perpetua). It has quite pronounced serifs and there’s not too much stroke contrast. An italic ‘of’ provides a bit of a flourish and grammatical emphasis.
The coat of arms works especially well in monochrome, where the horizontal lines in the background add an almost engraved effect, especially at smaller sizes. I prefer it to the colour version where the red ‘pops’ and catches the eye. In some of the examples of design in the styleguide that use the red it works well when there is red used as highlights in the rest of the design. At first glance it seems that the text ‘university of edinburgh’ around the circle might be superfluous, but I think it acts to take the edge of the circle, giving a subtle feathering.
Different and appropriate
Interestingly, there is a separate web version of the logo with it’s own set of guidelines. A sans-serif face is used in place of Perpetua. It looks like Bell Gothic, and enables the text to be smaller and bolder. The detail in the serifs would struggle to be clear at smaller screen resolutions. It’s good to see consideration give to the challenge of maintaining a brand in a different medium.
Another variation centred around the roundel is the guidance on the use of the logo within the university schools. The school name is to be written in uppercase Swiss Bold to the right of the logo. The guidelines give four examples with the various school names spread over multiple lines. The effect is very direct. It declares the subject area very confidently, almost becoming a mini logo in itself.
I like the way that Edinburgh have embraced some of the challenges and different requirements demanded of a logo and sought to create some design directions that can be explored, whilst maintianing a thread back to the original source. There are the usual restrictions on what’s not allowed with the logo but it’s nice to see as many creative suggestions for the logo.