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Wilfrid Laurier University

Visual Identity Review Presentation Notes

Scott Thornley + Company

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Wilfrid Laurier University Visual Identity Review It makes me happy knowing that my school – the place where I have spent four years of my life and put in all this time, effort and love – is trying to finally prove that it’s a heavyweight, and will prove it. Matt Crombeen, 4th year Kinesiology student Listening with interest to the faculty, staff, administration, students and alumni during 16 interviews in Brantford, Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo – and reviewing the feedback provided online via the visual identity review website and Facebook – it’s crystal clear that Matt isn’t alone in his passion for Laurier. It transcends all of the human and physical elements of place, and lives on in the lives of most of the people we interviewed. It could be said that everything that follows Matt’s time at Laurier – and that of most Laurier students – will be powerfully shaped by the time spent here. And, if this is so, Laurier will have a subtle impact on everyone that Matt encounters. Multiply that experience by the number of students who have attended Laurier over a century and it’s easy to suggest that Canada has been profoundly impacted by a university in southwestern Ontario that most Canadians have never heard of. The ownership our stakeholders have for the Laurier brand is inspiring; so it’s not surprising that “inspiration” features so prominently in the language of the University. Nor is it surprising that there were such strongly held opinions about specific aspects of the branding (the colour red, the water droplet “Molson’s Canadian” leaf, for example). It would be worse, far worse, if there was apathy about it. Where the Laurier logos are concerned, the only expression of real passion was for the Golden Hawk. The typeface of the “Laurier” wordmark failed to inspire the same fiery commentary. There’s nothing unusual about that; most people wouldn’t know the difference between Palatino and Times Roman. Whereas the Hawk is a predator rendered in confident strokes that demands to be respected by friends and feared by rivals. This presentation will reveal STC’s deep respect for tradition at the University while boldly focusing on the future. Laurier deserves no less.

W I L F R I D L A U R I E R U N I V E R S I T Y / V I S U A L I D E N T I T Y R E V I E W / S C O T T T H O R N L E Y + C O M PA N Y I N C .

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Current Laurier Brand There hasn’t been an institutional ethos about being good, about being excellent... I think we do really good things and we don’t talk about them. Deborah MacLatchy, Ph.D. Dr. MacLatchy’s observations refer to the academic reputation of Laurier historically, or perhaps more specifically, to the university’s habit of being low-key about its successes. Academic excellence is regularly one of the top 5 reasons students choose Laurier, but Laurier has not had a tradition of being vocal or clear about what it stands for, and what it does exceptionally well. If anyone were to wonder what impact that has on the manifestation of the brand, look no further than the opposite page Confident brands are authentic reflections of organizations, and they are immune to the plethora of branding sins Laurier has committed over time. Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Oxford and Cambridge maintain authority over the deployment of their brands because, in part, they couldn’t imagine not doing so. But at Laurier, Branding Guidelines were published for the University Seal only, there were no guidelines for the wordmark. The irony is that the universal affection members of the Laurier community feel for place has inadvertently led to the brand being interpreted at will – encroached upon and presented without consideration for the primacy of the brand itself! It is a sure, albeit unintentional manifestation of the lack of confidence that permeated the history of the school. In this Visual Identity Review, STC has worked hard to establish the graphic authority and rightful place of the Laurier brand going forward. Branding is strategy. Strategy is branding.* It’s not a matter of creating guidelines that are inflexible, it’s about protecting the vision and mission and values of the institution the brand represents.

*Roger Martin, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Tradition and Prestige Throughout the interviews, many people expressed pride in the Laurier Seal; and yet, like the wordmark, its application appears to lack consistency. It is critical that the Seal complement the newly refined Laurier brand, even if they are never seen side-by-side. And, as the Seal will often stand alone, it will require some refinement to graphically enhance its strength, particularly at small sizes. In a nutshell, the brand is the strategy; and if our strategy going forward is to be known for excellence, the brand must be the first and consistent signal of that commitment.

Assessment of the current Seal graphic:

Eternal flame could look more like a flame, particularly in smaller versions.

Subtle refinement to the book will make the rules work better in small rendering.

Purple/gold scroll could be extended to ensure striping has symmetry.

Shield top could use shoulders so smaller renderings have strength.

The scroll could be more open and flowing.

The heart and cross could be larger in the flower to read in small usage.

Scroll typography – white on yellow – can be challenging to read in a small rendering. By not taking the scroll wider, there is a large negative space of blue ring.

The white ring around the outside is too wide and separates the banding.

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W I L F R I D L A U R I E R U N I V E R S I T Y / V I S U A L I D E N T I T Y R E V I E W / S C O T T T H O R N L E Y + C O M PA N Y I N C .

The three leaves in the inner shield could be larger so they are not as overwhelmed by the red field. Wilfrid Laurier University font on ring has serifs that are thick and thin, which makes it difficult to read well in small settings.

Refinement of the Seal

ID LAU R F

ER RI

VE RITAS

Refined

NCIT

V E RSIT

L A D U I R F

ER RI

VERITAS

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OM NIA

VER

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I C T N I

T I S

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WIL

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OM IA N

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Original

W I L F R I D L A U R I E R U N I V E R S I T Y / V I S U A L I D E N T I T Y R E V I E W / S C O T T T H O R N L E Y + C O M PA N Y I N C .

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Taglines Successful taglines are always simple in form, but seldom in meaning. They are informed by the organization’s vision and mission and, in that respect, are the child of both. The brand’s essence, tone, and attributes also inform the tagline. One of the other distinctions of a great tagline is its relationship to the poetic form. It is often necessary to abandon grammatical rules (like e.e. cummings) in favour of texture or a deeper meaning. And it is usually best to use words as frugally as possible. Another way to consider a tagline: imagine it as the shortest and most memorable way to declare an organization’s vision.

NIKE. Just do it. Apple. Think Different. Sony. Like.no.other. Salk Institute. Where cures begin. Christopher Reeve Foundation. Go Forward. The Royal Conservatory. The finest instrument is the mind. Rotman Institute of Philosophy. Engaging Science. Columbia Motor Neuron Center. Moving lives.

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Brandon University Be You.  Brock University For both sides of the brain.  University of Calgary Invest in you.  Carleton University Canada’s Capital University  Dalhousie University Inspiring Minds.  University of Guelph Changing Lives Improving Life.  Lakehead University I think for myself.  Laurentian University Learning. It’s in our Nature.  University of Manitoba Get More. Do More. Be More.  McMaster University Inspiring Innovation and Discovery.  University of Northern British Columbia Canada’s Green University  University of Ontario Institute of Technology Challenge Innovate Connect.  University of Ottawa Canada’s University  University of Regina Realize. It starts with you.  St. Francis Xavier University Canada’s Premier Undergraduate Experience.  Saint Mary’s University One University. One World. Yours.  University of Saskatchewan Do you think outside the classroom? We do.  Université de Sherbrooke Welcoming the World.  University of Toronto Canada’s answers to the world’s questions.  Trent University Live Your Education.  University of Waterloo Everything you discover at Waterloo belongs to you.  University of Western Ontario Make a difference.  University of Windsor Thinking Forward.  Simon Fraser University Thinking of the World.  University of Winnipeg YOU of W, where YOU matter most.  York University Redefine the Possible.  University of Toronto Scarborough Tomorrow is created here. 8

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Laurier’s institutional proposition, Inspiring Lives of Leadership and Purpose, while not understood to be a tagline, is considered by some familiar with it as if it were. At six words (11 syllables) it would be pushing the limits of tagline recall. In a search of 13 interview transcripts, the line came up only three times (excluding the Agency’s reference to it in the introduction). And when they did mention it, people usually stumbled on the order of the words. STC has approached the task with the view that Inspiring Lives of Leadership and Purpose is the succinct form of the university’s vision statement and a briefing for a possible tagline. In other words, we envision taking the spirit of that statement and crafting something shorter and more impactful.

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Brand Evolution

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No journey is a straight line; the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary became Waterloo Lutheran University that became Wilfrid Laurier University – weaving their way through a century. What is consistent, and what was echoed over and over in the interviews, is the ethos – the spirit – of Laurier. Yes, there were issues around the “Molson’s Canadian” leaf, the colour red that appeared to be crowding out the official second colour of gold. But there is loyalty and a commitment to the University that runs deeper than affection – people have committed their lives to Laurier’s past, present and future. With Laurier entering its second century, STC is aware of this respect for the past, and in this presentation will offer a clear option for a branding solution that will see Laurier into the future. The birth of a new brand, without the alignment of stakeholders, achieves little more than confusion. Therefore, STC has spent considerable time reviewing the apparent competing interests of campuses, departments, and brand users throughout the University whose alignment will determine the success of this endeavour. We have attempted to simplify usage while at the same time protect the brand. Again, the strategy is the brand, the brand is the strategy – the University as a whole must be paramount in all considerations. Every execution must respect that, wherever you find yourself – in Waterloo, Brantford, Kitchener, Toronto or at another potential future location such as Milton; or, in the School of Business and Economics, Music, Kinesiology, Communications Studies, Social Work, or Science – you are at Laurier. Indeed, you are Laurier! The Leaf. While the interviews were split on whether to have it or not, most people complained about the leaf’s similarity to a beer label. However, a complicating factor is that the current red leaf was meant only to be a graphic element for use on select online and print materials and was never intended to be an official element of the visual identity. It was therefore never introduced formally to the university community; instead it simply started to appear. A powerful case for a Maple Leaf can, however, be made: Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 7th Prime Minister of Canada, gives Laurier a unique claim on our national symbol. And, for a school with ambitions to be known nationally and internationally, but that is currently known primarily in South Western Ontario, the leaf adds a gravitas to your name. And so, I now present to you, an evolved identity for Wilfrid Laurier University

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Logo

LAURIER

Inspiring Lives.

LAURIER

Inspiring Lives.

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LAURIER

Inspiring Lives.

LAURIER

Inspiring Lives.

LAURIER

Inspiring Lives.

LAURIER

Inspiring Lives.

LAURIER

Inspiring Lives.

LAURIER

Inspiring Lives.

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Stationery

LAURIER

Inspiring Lives.

BRANTFORD | Waterloo | Kitchener | Toronto

Dear John Sample, Matrimonii imputat Medusa. Quadrupei corrumperet saetosus concubine, utcunque catelli miscere cathedras, quamquam quadrupei insectat fragilis umbraculi, semper Aquae Sulis conubium santet ossifragi. Vix pretosius cathedras iocari concubine. Apparatus bellis agnascor lascivius rures. Oratori iocari parsimonia suis, quamquam fragilis cathedras imputat catelli. Chirographi celeriter deciperet oratori. Suis insectat rures. Pessimus adlaudabilis quadrupei amputat Caesar. Medusa fortiter circumgrediet pretosius rures. Vix adfabilis umbraculi miscere quadrupei, utcunque pessimus parsimonia catelli praemuniet lascivius concubine. Parsimonia matrimonii circumgrediet rures, quod lascivius apparatus bellis senesceret catelli. Concubine vocificat cathedras, etiam catelli praemuniet satis saetosus matrimonii, ut umbraculi miscere concubine. Pompeii imputat zothecas. Rures corrumperet aegre parsimonia umbraculi. Pessimus utilitas chirographi suffragarit concubine, utcunque Octavius verecunde fermentet pretosius syrtes, quod suis iocari plane utilitas fiducias. Gulosus oratori insectat parsimonia matrimonii, etiam umbraculi circumgrediet pessimus tremulus chirographi, quod optimus utilitas matrimonii neglegenter insectat aegre adlaudabilis quadrupei, semper Pompeii incredibiliter celeriter suffragarit saburre. Umbraculi pessimus infeliciter corrumperet oratori. Adfabilis quadrupei praemuniet aegre perspicax catelli. Concubine suffragarit bellus rures. Adlaudabilis quadrupei spinosus deciperet fiducias. Incredibiliter fragilis apparatus bellis pessimus neglegenter circumgrediet vix quinquennalis umbraculi, quod concubine vocificat fiducias. Chirographi imputat umbraculi, iam pessimus pretosius concubine lucide circumgrediet fiducias, et Aquae Sulis insectat suis, ut cathedras imputat perspicax rures, iam tremulus quadrupei vocificat plane utilitas suis, et fiducias amputat saburre, etiam agricolae neglegenter senesceret parsimonia apparatus bellis. Agricolae deciperet umbraculi, iam saetosus matrimonii circumgrediet tremulus umbraculi, etiam incredibiliter pretosius concubine optimus lucide suffragarit saburre. Regards,

Kevin Klein

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73 George Street, Brantford, Ontario, Canada N3T 2Y3 T 519.756.8228 x0000 F 519.759.2127 wlu.ca

Sample Brantford Letterhead

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W I L F R I D L A U R I E R U N I V E R S I T Y / V I S U A L I D E N T I T Y R E V I E W / S C O T T T H O R N L E Y + C O M PA N Y I N C .

WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY

BRANTFORD | Waterloo | Kitchener | Toronto

LAURIER

Inspiring Lives.

KEVIN KLEIN External Relations Coordinator kklein@wlu.ca T 519.756.8228 x5753 F 519.759.7207

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Sample Business Card – Front

wlu.ca WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY 73 George Street, Brantford, Ontario, Canada N3T 2Y3

Sample Brantford Business Card – Back

WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY

LAURIER

Inspiring Lives.

73 George Street, Brantford, Ontario, Canada N3T 2Y3

Sample Brantford Envelope

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Applications

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An identity is never seen in isolation, always in context, whether as a business card or a poster, personalized and branded emails, or a website. STC has applied the logo to a variety of collateral that will demonstrate its readability, graphic integrity, and impact. Rigorous testing at this stage also reveals more of the identity’s personality – is it lively, adaptable, intelligent and energetic? Does the mark embody Laurier’s vision and mission when applied to a variety of graphic and electronic collateral? Will it reflect and represent the institutional proposition, Inspiring Lives of Leadership and Purpose? We believe it will. This first application is a concept for a full-page ad that would run as an introduction to the new identity.

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Full-Page Newspaper Ads

Inspiring Lives.

WHAT’S IN A LEAF? At the heart of it this national symbol honours our namesake, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, seventh Prime Minister of Canada. That alone is a unique claim among Canadian universities. But look closely. LAURIER’S Maple Leaf is a microcosm of connectivity and support—every vein contributing to the health of the whole. The beauty and simplicity of the Maple Leaf can only be realized through this common purpose of nature. And so it is at LAURIER —faculty, staff, students and alumni committed to a common vision: To Inspire Lives of Leadership and Purpose. WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY

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Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto

LAURIER

W I L F R I D L A U R I E R U N I V E R S I T Y / V I S U A L I D E N T I T Y R E V I E W / S C O T T T H O R N L E Y + C O M PA N Y I N C .

Inspiring Lives.


Laurier Visual Identity Presentation Book