Western University is a complex organization that (before our rebranding) had multiple identities and symbols, which was hindering our ability to communicate the impact of the university as a whole. A more unified visual identity for Western was needed to strengthen our ability to gain greater recognition for our world-class research and teaching at home and abroad.
From June to December 2011, we involved faculty, staff, students and alumni in a discussion about Western’s visual identity – the logos and words we use to describe the University. We conducted online and in-person surveys, workshops and individual interviews with close to 5,000 alumni, donors and friends, more than 3,700 students and approximately 2,000 faculty and staff members.
As the creative lead on this large project I worked with Kerr Smith Design, a Toronto-based graphic design firm that has developed award-winning identity systems for organizations such as The Museum of Modern Art, The Art Gallery of Ontario, and Harvard University. The Kerr Smith team and my team at Western partnered to create a dynamic and simplified brand for the University.
The rebranding project won gold from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education for Best University Rebranding as well as multiple awards from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).