Our goal is to create a visual identity that supports the perception of BU as a welcoming and innovative academic institution.
Our preliminary survey results expressed the desire to be perceived as credible, this will be accomplished through a unified, consistent visual identity.
To accomplish our goal, we're going to evolve and unify the Brandon University visual identity – not re-invent it from the ground up.
We'll be reviewing the following
- The Logo
- Complimentary Graphics
- Colour Palette
01. The Logo
As discussed, a complete overhaul of the logo isn't the most responsible use of our time and efforts. At the same time, the existing logo includes several features that are dated, irrelevant and misrepresent the university.
A. The crest
B. The horizontal divider lines
C. The typeface
D. Founded 1899
Let's review the crest used in the BU logo.
It's based on the historic university crest.
It displays nicely at larger sizes.
However, logos are almost always displayed very small and the crest is only part of the logo.
Many of the features of the crest are lost and unrecognizable when the crest is used as a logo in practical applications.
While the sheaf displays properly at larger sizes, it's always displayed very small.
The detail within the upper part of the sheaf wheat is visually complicated and often rendered as a muddy green, making it blurry and unrecognizable as wheat.
The sheaf wheat and the lantern are illustrated in slightly different styles. The lantern is a single coloured, flat, and iconic. The sheaf is illustrated, using three colours and outlined, giving it visual contrast from the background.
As our screens attempt to display the thinnest blue lines they blend the BU blue with white to approximate the colour.
Also, all the thin white lines within the book are no longer visible.
By creating a version of the crest for the logo for practical applications, we can maintain the original university crest and preserve its historical equity.
The historical university crest, used on diplomas, formal invitations, alumni merchandise, etc.
The crest for the logo, used on practical applications such as letterhead, website, etc.
Many academic institutions, use this approach to preserve their history and maintain relevance.
The new crest preserves the essence of the existing crest, and retains it's details at smaller sizes.
The existing crest in the logo loses detail when displayed in most applications
Alternative versions of the new crest
Let's review the wordmark
The horizontal dividers create visual clutter, especially when the logo is displayed at smaller sizes.
The slab-serif typeface creates a sense of sturdiness and rigidity, fails create a sense of 'welcoming' or 'innovation', and looks dated.
The history of the University is a point of pride but not relevant in all applications and shouldn't appear in the logo.
A clean, modern sans-serif typeface with rounded features supports our desired perceptions of innovative and welcoming.
New wordmark + new crest
Other typeface options for the wordmark
The geometric shapes are great but the style of R and A give the letters an art-deco feel.
A serif typeface conveys the idea of tradition and prestige.
This is my runner-up in terms of typefaces. The subtle rounded features of the Brandon typeface were the deciding factor.
A slab-serif creates a feeling of sturdiness (good) but also rigidity (bad).
02. Complimentary Graphics
Drawing inspiration from the crest, the rising chevron is a great metaphor for striving, achieving and succeeding.
The chevron metaphor can be re-imagined and expressed in a graphic we can use on all BU materials.
It's shape symbolizes victory and upward motion which come with learning and achieving.
The chevron can be displayed as ribbon.
Let's see it in action
The chevron can be displayed at different sizes and in slightly different locations based on the material.
The angles and shape of the chevron can used to make supplementary graphics
The BU blue and gold are great primary colours. They've been established over the years, work well together, and each relates to one of our desired perceptions. The yellow supports the ideas of warmth, approachability, and welcoming. The blue is synonymous with credibility, technology, and innovation.
The majority of Brandon University materials should be mostly white with accents of blue and gold to allow the content of the material to be the hero.
If each colour had a dark/light combo, we could add some subtle depth to our graphics so they don't appear flat.
A secondary colour palette would be beneficial but we can address that after.
The font is named 'Brandon', but that's not why it was chosen. Promise.
Using geometric shapes and clean lines, it's a very modern sans-serif typeface.
To add a friendly feeling it features rounded terminals and arms (the ends of the letters).
Using everyday language, lowercase letters, and a warm colour, we can create a sense of approachability.
Using uppercase letters with lots of tracking (space between the letters) creates a sense of prestige.
Brandon could be the primary typeface to headlines, titles, and short messages like those on marketing materials. For body copy and long lengths of text, the typeface Merriweather would be used.
That's all for now.