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.
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.
University of Birmingham tread the familiar uppercase classical serif path chosen by other august institutions, but adds a little flair with a script-like device on the ‘y’.
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.
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.
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.
Standard university crest, drawn in a very pale way that makes it look almost like clip art. Accompanied by some puzzling graphics device, that come with an pretty literal explanation.
The geometric foundation of the design is based upon a circular form, which makes reference to the Institution’s global perspective and international reputation in teaching and research. The typographic elements demonstrate a hierarchy which promotes the importance of the location within the nomenclature. The group of circles represents the incremental growth of knowledge and experience and the progressive development of the University as an educational leader. This thematic device continues through to the linear band on the right of the Coat of Arms and describes the cyclical movement of time, indicating progression and new directions.
Interestingly, the logo as presented is claimed to
achieve an aesthetic balance and unity of form which offers versatility across the Corporate Identity Scheme.
Which I’m not entirely sure about. At present it seems there are some intriguing ideas but the elements feel disconnected. The pale treatment of the circles and linear band prevents them from tightening the rest of the logo. Unfortunately the elements seem to float around the strong traditional core of the logo without adding too much.
On the university website, a different and much tighter logo is used that eschews the graphic signifiers and is content to present a shield and the location.
Sometimes the well worn path might be better.
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.