Very simple and clear. Perhaps that’s why there is a reasonably comprehensive ‘Graphic Identity Toolkit’ explaining the correct and incorrect uses of this plain wordmark. In fact the rationale is explained in the toolkit. In answer to the question ‘Isn’t the logo a bit boring?
The logo is part of our graphic identity system, and is intended as a ‘stamp’ of identity. A simple design was chosen to maximise legibility and recognition across all applications. The burden is placed on other elements (content, tone of voice, photography, etc.) to convey our personality.
Also interesting is that having London as an integral part of the wordmark draws on the huge brand recognition of London, making it less important to create one’s own identity. The college being in London is a huge part if it’s identity.
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.
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.