Old LiU seal part of new graphic identity
Last week the university’s new graphic identity was launched – to both positive and negative reactions. I have received a number of questions about the process as well as the contents of the new graphic identity, which I will try to answer here.
About two years ago I initiated a project to investigate the university’s brand, with the aim of creating a more uniform, distinct image of the university. A well considered graphic identity is one tool for this, and a well functioning website is another.
We have many internal brands – at faculties, centres, programmes, campuses etc – and sometimes it is difficult for outsiders to see that they all belong to the same university. For instance I have been asked if LiU collaborates with Hälsouniversitetet, roughly translated as ”the Health University”, which is not good. (Hälsouniversitetet now has the English name Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.)
We are a successful, full-range university with strong programmes and strong research settings. Our successes should benefit the educational programme or research programme in question, but also the entire university. This builds our strength.
The brand project went to Futurniture, a communications agency in Stockholm. They started with an ambitious survey, including individual interviews and focus groups. Respondents were external actors from the higher education sector, the community in general and people from LiU. Questions included: What characterises Linköping University? What do you associate with Linköping University? How do you perceive Linköping University’s brand?
The results of the analysis was presented to the University Leadership and the Council of Heads of Department, a forum consisting of deans, heads of department and student representatives.
External and internal voices were in complete agreement on one point: Linköping University is associated with development and the ability and desire to innovate. This emerged so clearly that it resulted in the description ”Innovation is our only tradition”, which served as a guide for us as work proceeded.
The old logo, with its three parts symbolising the three faculties, was well known within the university, but not outside it. And today it is not correct – we now have four faculties.
Further, there was an analysis of the structure of the graphic identity of other universities. Several have a more everyday graphic identity as well as a more formal image, in the form of a seal, for use in more ceremonial contexts that are strongly linked to the university. Against this background a decision was made to retain the ”old” logo – as a seal – on degree certificates and in other contexts of historical symbolic value. This is something I understand is appreciated by many students and staff members.
In the next step Futurniture was commissioned to create a new graphic image including the letters LiU (often used within the university) and Linköping University, which is used by external actors. A number of versions were produced and presented to the University Leadership and the council of heads of department, and finally to the University Board in April. The board was positive and the decision on the new graphic identity was taken by me, as vice-chancellor. So the work this spring has led to a joint strategy and a graphic identity for us. Last week it was presented in various digital channels, in the form of new templates and signage, business cards etc.
I am overwhelmed, happy and proud of the engagement created by the new graphic identity. It proves that many of us are very proud of and care greatly about LiU.
People have different tastes and preferences, but I am convinced that with the new graphic identity we will become an even clearer, and consequently stronger, LiU.
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Last updated: 2015-05-29