Creative agency rbl has rebranded the University of Greenwich, unveiling a new version of its compass logo.
With its campus situated at the Royal Naval College on the banks of the Thames in South London, the university was originally founded as Woolwich Polytechnic in 1890; it later became Thames Polytechnic in 1970, before being rebranded as Greenwich University in 1992.
rbl was appointed in May 2016 to conduct a strategic brand review. The agency says it held confidential conversations with nearly 90 students, staff, partners and employers. The University knew it needed to re-engage with students, staff and partners to better explain how it added value, beyond being centred on the celebrated heritage site in Greenwich. What was the golden thread that connected the past, present and future of the University and its students?
Higher Education has experienced dramatic changes in recent years, with fees now typically costing £9,000 per annum and set to increase further. Government policy is determined to introduce further structural change, while the impact of BREXIT and the forces of global competition are dramatically reshaping a sector that was, until recently, comfortable with the long-established status quo.
“We took the approach of turning the analogue into digital, using many of the University’s historic assets to create a contemporary and dynamic visual language,” explain the designers. “Starting with a refresh of the existing logo mark, we simplified this to ensure it performed much better in both offline and online applications.”
The identity system also incorporates so-called ‘change lines’, a series of vertical stripe elements that the designers say “reinforce ideas and messages” by holding and framing key images and text.
The revitalised brand is being rolled out internally, first to all academic and professional staff through a series of interactive workshops, and then to students as the new academic year unfolds.
With a more powerful, emotive story that explains how the university transforms lives through inspired teaching and research, rbl then looked at bringing the identity up to date.
The new identity is a flexible system that reflects the University’s inclusive, creative and ambitious values. Designers can bring their own interpretation to the brand using the powerful ‘change lines’ to reinforce ideas and messages across both traditional and digital media. Everything we have done meets the University’s clear commitment to accessibility.