11 Mar 2015
A new visual identity for Loughborough University
Plans are underway to replace the University’s visual identity with a new, exciting, dynamic and flexible visual interface that will ensure Loughborough stands out in a highly competitive environment. This project is more than just “a logo”; it’s a wholesale updating of our imagery and narrative, marketing materials, online and digital presence – the entirety of how we present Loughborough to the outside world.
Why are we changing our visual identity?
The current visual identity was developed in 1996, before the digital era. It doesn’t work well in an online environment or provide us with the flexibility to reflect the diversity, breadth and dynamism of our different schools and activities.
We are operating in an ‘online first’ environment, with visually sophisticated markets and audiences, and our lack of digital responsiveness is working against us. By 2017, over 70% of consumer-based internet traffic will be video/image-based and it’s imperative that we are capable of reflecting this shift.
The start of the new student recruitment cycle has provided us with the opportunity to consider the University’s visual identity. The new identity has been developed alongside the production of the new undergraduate prospectus, which marks a shift in style, tone, imagery and visual feel in line with the proposed direction of travel.
The launch in 2015 of Loughborough University in London is also an opportunity to make a statement on a truly international scale with a much more dynamic identity. The identity is designed to be flexible in a range of contexts and for a range of different stakeholder groups, not simply undergraduates.
What benefits are there to the new identity?
It’s a visually agile, dynamic image that will allow us to take advantage of advances in technology. It’s the first digital logo device for the HE sector, which will integrate both our on and offline communication, and allow us to adapt, evolve and refresh our identity as the environment changes.
We will be able to maximise our web presence, develop our social media and digital channels to appeal to a wider community of stakeholders nationally and internationally, reduce our print and improve our sustainability, create materials that make a real difference to our marketing impact, and broaden our reputation and profile.
It also gives us the flexibility to reflect the University’s diversity and its many specialist areas. We can tailor the identity to target different audiences and stakeholders, while at the same time reinforcing our profile.
As part of the change we will also be making more strategic use of the University’s ceremonial crest which dates from the foundation of the institution.
When can we see it?
There will be a presentation for staff on the new visual identity on Monday 16 March, 2-3pm. Details of the venue and how to register for the presentation will be made available shortly. The presentation will also be available to view after the event via the internal online news site.
The new visual identity has already been presented to ALT (Academic Leadership Team), Professional Services Management Team and the Students’ Union. Meetings are being held with all the Deans.
We’ve opted not to undertake a wide-ranging consultation to reduce the number of iterations and minimise the potential cost of developing and implementing the changes. Timing is also essential in order to maximise opportunities linked to the recruitment cycle. The presentation will cover the rationale and drivers and we hope this will allow colleagues to understand the potential linked to this development.
When will the new identity be in place?
After the meeting of Council this month we will begin to phase its implementation, replacing, restocking or refurbishing as part of the usual updating cycles, to minimise cost and reduce waste.
New visual identity guidelines are currently being produced and staff in Marketing and Advancement will provide guidance and support to roll-out the new brand.
How much will the change cost?
It is anticipated that materials will be refreshed as stocks run out. Actual costs are therefore minimal. The design of the new device was developed as part of a scheduled refresh of the undergraduate prospectus. There is therefore no separate design cost for the logo.
Do logos matter?
Yes and no. It is clear that institutional success is driven by the core quality of the research, teaching and wider support endeavour. As an institution we’re about substance, not style. The reality, however, is that identity and reputation are important to success in an increasingly competitive environment and we believe the changes proposed will deliver not only an HE first but will introduce greater flexibility for Schools and services and provide a range of benefits.
For further information, please email Emma Leech, Director of Marketing and Advancement