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
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.
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.
Reminds me of an American college with it’s confident and bold lettering, and the choice to eschew the traditional shields and crests in favour of strong graphic device. An intriguing contrast between the very direct ‘B’ and the more involved and maze-like pattern. A pattern that made the Moscow Olympic logo spring to mind up as an association.
The decision to keep it simply a typographic solution then lends itself (maybe even requires) a variety of ideas and approaches. Some examples are given by the agency that worked on the brand – Radley Yeldar
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 square with a curve and triangle that suggests a compass or sundial. It almost doesn’t matter what the mark is meant to signify, in practice it functions as an abstract postage stamp device that type elements are able to hang off.
The logo includes the abbreviation of the quite lengthy title of the University, and unsurprisingly, the university stresses their Bristol location with it written large across the bottom and specified as an integral part of the logo. The inclusion of so much text in the logo makes it quite unwieldy and unusually, there’s no obvious provision for a portrait version of the logo. There are however, lots of other suggestions for visual devices in the comprehensive online guidance produced by UWE.
It really benefits from the colour part, the monochrome versions look strangely flat, lacking the punch of the red, which gives an order of reading. The colour version demands that one notices the red square and then the type.
Simple sans-serif throughout, with different weights of Frutiger. Not part of the logo but VAG Rounded is used extensively in the wider branding, which consists of a set of suggested styles and treatments that form a kind of ongoing meta campaign for the university. The different elements are explained in a variety of pdfs helpfully produced by the marketing department.
The more interesting branding work at UWE is provided by the wider messages and supporting designs that have been produced in the last few years, whilst the logo has been saddled with the mundane task of indicating a location and abbreviation. It does this competently but without the energy of the rest of the brand.
From the online guidelines
The graphic block is derived from the University coat of arms, with icons representing the University’s founders and benefactors – sun for Wills, dolphin for Colston, horse for Fry. The ship and the castle are based on the medieval city seal of Bristol. The open book of learning completes the graphic block. The logotype is Bembo, a serene and versatile typeface cut in 1929 and with Renaissance origins
Strong colour and strong illustrative shapes. Like a comic panel, and with a similar dynamism. Each panel is occupied with an energetic depiction – a leaping fish, a prancing horse, a ship with fluttering sails and a radiating sun, looking almost like an explosion. The effect of the four panels creates a window effect which slightly undermines the book motif, but neither is too distracting.
Bembo described as serene – I wouldn’t have picked that word in the context of this logo. In this case the Bembo serves to provide gravitas and refinement with it’s delicate serifs. The uppercase Bristol, as large as it is, is just on the right side of shouting the location but I wonder if it might have tied the elements together a little better by aligning with the middle of the four quarters.
The direct and energetic image portion of the logo overpowers the wordmark detracting from an enjoyably graphic reference to a coat of arms.
A stern and distinctive face looks out of a circle, with a strong and bold serif font with the large word ‘bath’ underlined, leaving you in no doubt about the name of the university.
Steady and solid serif face for the University portion of the logotype, with a different font (or treatment) for the word ‘Bath’. From the slightly italicized serifs on the T to the protruding bowl of the B the wordmark’s slightly rougher, perhaps antique character integrates well with the textures in the gorgon’s head. Not sure that the underline on the word really adds very much apart from marking the boundary of the wordmark.
Taken from the university’s guidelines
The Gorgon’s Head used in the University of Bath logo is taken from the University’s full Coat of Arms. The head can be traced back to Bath’s Roman past, with the amalgamation of Sul, Goddess of Hot Springs and Minerva, Goddess of Learning, leading to the creation of Sulis-Minerva, the Goddess associated with Bath. The “male face” shown is a local or Celtic variation of the more conventional mythological gorgon Medusa, which can be found on the shield of Minerva, as featured in the Coat of Arms.
So, probably the oldest lineage of a logo that we’ve seen so far and a nice job of the rendering of the head manages to create a stone like texture which is really well suited to such a distinctive image and contrasts with boldness of the text.
Also worth mentioning the recently undertaken redesign of the Bath website where the logo is tinted and provides a clear indication of the institution, but the remains in the background, thus not crowding for the users’ attention.
Not a heraldic shield this time
A modern and simplified interpretation of a shield with waves intersecting and reversing out. I presume that the waves refer to the hot water spa that Bath is famous for. The blue and grey (or silver, as it’s referred to in the guidelines) makes for a very light logo. One that reminds me of beauty or health products; the washed out feel is avoided in the black and white version which is altogether stronger.
The wordmark of the logo uses DIN to continue the almost antiseptically clean feel to this logo. The location of Bath isn’t stressed as much as say, the University of Bath, but perhaps that is a reflection of the newness of the organisation – granted university status in 2005 – in this context the word ‘University’ acts as a reminder of the hard won status. The choice of such an open typeface redolent as it is, of signage is to speak in an accessible, approachable and technological voice.
Variations on a theme
When used on the website, the shield is accompanied by text rendered in Arial, making a bolder and dare I say a more confident mark.
On the cover of the prospectus the shield is used without the close proximity of the text and it gains some stature by being a little enigmatic.
Without the obvious visual shorthand of heraldry to draw upon, Bath Spa have gone for a modern almost pictographic device, which draws upon a different tradition of flat colours and graphic shapes used by newer institutions. I think more versatile and successful in monochrome.