Unit 10 – Brief 2: Authentic Visual Identity – Research: UAL & Sub Colleges, Universities & Analysis

The Problem

To start this section it is probably best to start with my issue with the UAL identity redesign as well as issues surrounding it.

1. How can this be a possible representation of a creative institute! ITS U A L – THE A STANDS FOR ARTS

1.1 Due to the face UAL is a creative institute, this logo is extremely awkward, it doesn’t fit or match the content – or the subjects studied

2. What a complete and utter waste of an opportunity. This is a university group with thousands upon thousands of students and they did not think to see what we could produce?! This is worrying. It shows that there is a lack of trust and expectation of the students, as well as what they are being taught.

The new black and white typographic identity uses lower-case Helvetica and a large colon to seperate the UAL acronym from the indivudual UAL college name. The individual university brands under the UAL umbrella will remain the same.

 Design Week

Another point that I feel is necessary to raise is that,

Below is the previous UAL logo, this and the identity was created by two students. I personal prefer the previous identity as it made clear that there are 6 colleges that make up UAL, and even though they are part of UAL, they are all different.

But in emphasising its own utilitarian character, doesn’t the identity run the risk of being too devoid of personality? Lippa says that it is the work produced within the six colleges that will provide the colour and flair in any communications.

“For me the identity should be a platform for the work of the students and tutors,” he says. “They’re the heroes, their work is promoted in the shows, and that’s how the reputation is built. Other colleges the identity tries too hard to be creative, it’s fighting with the student work. Some of the other routes [we took] had more personality in them, but I was conscious that this had to be something that all the colleges needed to embrace – it’s not a dictatorial design for all to use – the colleges will have their own designers working on it.”

Design Week

Okay. So apparently the reasoning for a plain logo is so that it doesn’t fight the students work when applied. THIS IS RUBBISH! Total utter rubbish. You cannot create a logo or identity by hoping that the items it will be applied to have enough personality to carry the logo off!



Six distinctive and distinguished Colleges make up University of the Arts London:

  • Camberwell College of Arts
  • Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design
  • Chelsea College of Art and Design
  • London College of Communication
  • London College of Fashion
  • Wimbledon College of Art.

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Located within London, the Colleges are at the heart of their respective communities. Their close-knit and welcoming environments are a launch pad for your studies, which will also be supported by all the resources of the larger University and the wider London arts community.

This year 18,678 students, from 114 countries made us Europe’s largest specialist arts and design university. Our 1,111 academics, research and technical staff are supported by 2,074 associate lecturers. Together they deliver a diverse range of courses at all levels from foundation and undergraduate to postgraduate and research. We are proud to have teaching staff who are themselves

active professional artists, practitioners, designers, critics and theorists engaged in cutting-edge research. Sharing this diversity, knowledge and expertise with our students, we provide a unique learning experience to the creative leaders of tomorrow.

UAL Strategy

From Nigel Carrington, Rector:

Building on the strengths that have already made us a world-leading university

for arts, design and communication, our strategy for 2010-2015 is ambitious. It is designed to build a university which has increased the range and depth of its postgraduate community, sustaining world-class research that supports the development of the creative and cultural economies. It foresees a university with a curriculum which is culturally diverse, enriched by strong and focused partnerships with peer institutions across the world.

The success of the strategy depends on our becoming fully engaged with the creative and cultural sectors, embedding both staff and students in networks and alliances which expand our academic horizons. But, above all, it requires us to put the quality of our students’ experience at the top of our agenda and to support ambitious staff who are focused on producing graduates who have the skills to play influential roles in the creative and cultural sectors and the self-awareness and independence of mind to become responsible global citizens.


Statements from each university;


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Camberwell College of Arts is one of the world’s foremost art and design institutions and we’ve welcomed students to South London for over a century, many of whom have stayed on in the area making it the place for artists to live and work.

In that time we’ve carved out a name for high quality teaching by leading practitioners – teaching that has put artists and designers on the road to international prominence and many others on the path to fulfilment in their chosen practice.

Visit Camberwell College and you’ll notice that we have a strong set of values – of equality and fairness, of respect and tolerance, a strong sense of place and connectedness with the world around us and a lively sense of enquiry and curiosity. We will open up new possibilities for you so that you can explore ground breaking and adventurous ideas.

Coming to art college is an important step to take – it should be an adventure that enriches you for the rest of you life. We aim to make that happen! You will find it challenging at Camberwell, but never daunting.

Camberwell College of Arts is one of six colleges that form the University of the Arts London (UAL). Camberwell College works closely as part of a three-college partnership with Chelsea College of Art & Design and Wimbledon College of Art to form CCW within the University of the Arts London. Together we are developing a world-leading art and design educational programme that is second to none.

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Central Saint Martins 

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An art college and cultural centre in one, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design is internationally renowned for the creative energy of its students, staff and graduates.

We have an outstanding reputation for educating short course, foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. Fundamental to study at the College are experimentation, innovation, risk-taking, questioning and discovery, within a highly supportive learning environment, no matter which discipline you choose to study.

We have wide-ranging links to the creative industries, and our permanent teaching staff, all experts in their subject specialisms, are supported by associate and visiting lecturers who are active practitioners in their chosen fields.

Generations of internationally renowned artists, designers and performers – individuals whose work has defined or transformed our times – began their creative journeys at Central Saint Martins: meet our alumni.

Our shows, exhibitions, events, publications and research outputs make us a major force in one of the world’s cultural capitals, a resource offering unlimited opportunities for collaboration not only for students and staff but also with the wider arts and design community.

By bringing all our disciplines together on one purpose-built site at King’s Cross, our new campus opens up exciting possibilities for creative collaboration as well as promising an outstanding social scene for our students at the heart of London’s newest cultural quarter.

“It is one of London’s, indeed Britain’s, most revered art institutions”The Independent Education Supplement

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Chelsea College of Art and Design will allow you to discover an extraordinary network of human, technical and scholarly resources. Situated in an inspiring location alongside Tate Britain, you will also be studying at the centre of one of the world’s great cultural capitals.

You will find our emphasis on internationalism reflected in a student community that is a richly diverse multicultural mix of students from all around the world. This makes for an exciting and challenging global dialogue amongst our faculty of practitioners who are cutting edge artists and designers.

You will also discover, through Chelsea’s workshop and library facilities, an environment that supports high levels of experimentation and multi-visual research. Chelsea’s unique combination of resources, are designed to prepare you for a world in which artists and designers increasingly work across all media. These resources are connected to each course so as to maximize opportunities for collaboration and exchange across all disciplines and boundaries.

Chelsea is part of a three-college partnership with Camberwell College of Arts and Wimbledon College of Art within the University of the Arts London. Together we are developing a world-leading art and design educational programme that is second to none.

Take a look at our website, read about our courses and check out the News and Events section and Chelsea blog to see what we do here at the College. We hope you will be inspired to come and join us.

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London College of Communication is a world leader in media and design courses that prepare students for successful careers in the creative industries.

The College specialises in graphic design and advertising, photography, film and animation, journalism, publishing and public relations, sound arts and design and interactive and spatial design. LCC’s current range of courses includes access, foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Multimedia convergence now informs the delivery of all courses.

LCC has a single site at Elephant & Castle in south east London and is well placed to provide student internships, work experience and vocational inspiration for both the public and private sectors. The College is also within easy reach of major arts venues such as the Tate Modern, the Design Museum and the Southbank Centre.

LCC has extensive exhibition space, photographic and television studios, darkrooms, interactive media and animation suites, broadcast and print newsrooms as well as specialist printing, printmaking, bookbinding and letterpress workshops.

The College is also home to the famous Stanley Kubrick Archive and the much acclaimed Laptop Orchestra.

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London College of Fashion

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London College of Fashion’s rich heritage and responsiveness to changes in design practice have positioned it as a leading global provider of fashion education, research and consultancy.

The College’s work is centred on the development of ideas: its staff and students use fashion alongside historical and cultural practice to challenge social, political and ethical agendas. This, combined with its forward-thinking business and management portfolio and its relationship with the global fashion and lifestyle industries, is the underpinning of its mission to “Fashion the Future”.

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Wimbledon College of Art has a long history as a leading specialist art college in London and we are now established within the University of the Arts London, one of the largest and most comprehensive art and design universities in Europe.

We offer both Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses related to our subject specialisms of Fine Art and Theatre & Screen.

Our Specialist Undergraduate Pathways

We are a subject specific College: this means that our two main course areas – Fine Art and Theatre & Screen – are broken down into subject specific pathways. These pathways are smaller scaled communities of learning and support that will enable you to build and refine your skills as well as your confidence and enthusiasm for your subject area.

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Other University Identities 

Ravensbourne – Jonathan Banks

Our task, with both words and pictures, was to find a way to reposition the institution externally whilst bringing the internal community on board. At the same time we were pitching their positioning into the future and reflecting all of this with an identity change.

After six months in discussion and research, we had agreed the words they wanted to use to describe themselves, and we could begin the design process. For a while we tried to ignore what was in front of our noses. But fairly soon that seemed a little pointless. Following the tessellating patterns of Roger Penrose, the visual statement of the tiles was too powerful to ignore. The fact that, from just three shapes, so many permutations were possible, seemed to nicely echo the education process.

Goldsmiths University  

Prompted by a change of name and the desire to maintain a competitive edge, Goldsmiths appointed NB to design a new visual identity. The new logotype represents Goldsmiths’ radical, creative spirit, whilst remaining authoritative, befitting the college’s reputation for academic excellence. Supported by a family of complimentary typefaces and a refreshed approach to imagery, the new logotype leads a flexible and cost effective identity system, providing a framework within which creativity can breathe.

Collaborators: Freda Sack and Simon Weller.

Royal College of Art

Brody and his consultancy Research Studios have created a new lock-up for the RCA logo, which retains the royal crest and the Calvert font, which has been the RCA’s house font since the 1990s.

Brody also worked with Calvert designer Margaret Calvert and Henrik Kubel of A2-Type to develop the new Calvert Brody headline typeface for the RCA.

Brody describes the new typeface as ‘an expanded spectrum between classic proportions and characteristics and an industrial stencil structure, allowing for application on paper, on screen and in physical environments.’

Previous ^

Current ^

You can see from other universities that there has been a shift to a more corporate approach. Maybe the increase in fews means that these institutes are more of a business rather than a learning environment… However I do believe that Jonathan Banks did well with the Ravensbourne identity as they took inspiration from the building, this means that this cannot be a generic identity as no one else uses this building or has similar.


Types of Universities 

A Great and informative blog post written by Paul Rennie – See full article here

Russell Group
The Russell Group are mostly the longest established institutions and, co-incidentally, they have the most research funding. They are committed to preserving their status and express their case through the language of international competitiveness. They consider themselves research, rather than teaching, institutions. Undergraduates are probably seen, within these institutions, as an inconvenience.

1994 Group
These are the next group of research active institutions. These are the plate-glass Universities that were established in the expansion of the 1960s.

University Alliance
These are former polytechnics that became Universities in the 1990s.

Million Plus


Key Words from statements

welcoming environments
largest specialist arts and design university
unique learning experience
culturally diverse

creative energy

South London
high quality teaching
sense of place
lively sense of enquiry
ground breaking

Fine Art
Theatre & Screen

rich heritage
“Fashion the Future”.

south east London
graphic design
public relations
sound arts
spatial design

cutting edge
all media


Questions / Answers 

Why are am I doing a rebrand?
Because the current identity is failing.

What problem are am I attempting to solve?
The problem is that the current identity has lost the aspect that UAL is made of up 6 different colleges that specialise in separate areas.

Does the brand tell the wrong (or outdated) story?
Currently yes, it tells the story that we are an anonymous mass, no personality or creativity.

What do I want to convey? To whom?
I want to convey the creativity and excitement of the colleges and their subjects. There is a lot of talent within each of these colleges and it needs to be shown. It will be conveyed to other institutes as well as prospective students, basically everyone, current students also.

Is the goal of this rebrand a stepping stone (evolutionary) or a milestone (revolutionary) ?
It should be a mile stone, it is not working on the current indentity, its creating a new one.

Will this solution work in 5, 10 and 15 years from now based on what we can anticipate?
If it is done right then yes.

– Probably weren’t the best set of questions I found due to the fact it keeps mentioning branding, when I am aware what the brand is… mostly I just need to reinvent it visually.



Using the process that I found before…

Gather :    Creative brief, research (Monday)
Analyse :  Mind mapping and validation of information (Monday)
Visualise : Sketching, roughs and preliminary concepts (Monday)
Gather :    Conversation and feedback on preliminary concepts (Tuesday)
Analyse :  Validation of feedback/information (Tuesday)
Visualise : Refined concept (1) (Tuesday)
Gather :    Conversation and feedback on refined concept (1) (Thursday)
Analyse :  Validation of feedback/information (Thursday)
Visualise : Refined concept (2) (Thursday)
Gather :    Conversation and feedback on refined concept (2) (Friday)

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