The University of Calgary will update its logo in the upcoming year by refining the current coat of arms and changing the typeface. According to U of C associate vice-president of marketing Kim Lawrence, the school’s brand will not be changed. Instead, the update will provide a consistent design scheme that can be used by different departments and on a variety of displays.
“This isn’t a re-brand, and I think a lot of people get nervous when they hear that changes are being made,” Lawrence said. “It’s about refining the existing identity so that it works well, particularly in digital space, which we had a challenge with using the old coat of arms.”
After three logo changes through the U of C’s history, administration began using the coat of arms as the school’s logo in 1998. Lawrence said that while many like the coat of arms, different groups on campus have had trouble trying to use the design in different settings.
“The coat of arms was given to us as a university in 1966. And in 1966, those kind of heraldry were often hand-drawn,” Lawrence said. “They were photocopied and traced multiple times, they had a lot of fine lines and of course, they were developed at a time when there was no digital space to consider.”
In addition to making the coat of arms simpler, the new design aims to match the brand ideas that the administration is trying to market.
“It was more of a moving away from the very conservative and traditional typeface to something that’s younger, youthful and more bold,” Lawrence said. “That’s always a bit of a balance because when you’re dealing with an academic institution, there is that desire to have a sense of old, ivy-covered tradition. But that’s not who we are as a university, so it’s time that we actually project the kind of personality that we are.”
The U of C board of governors approved the logo change on June 26 during their second meeting of the summer. Campus groups like the Students’ Union and the Graduate Students’ Association were consulted about the changes before the final approval.
Similar logo changes have taken place at other Canadian universities in the past decade, including McGill, the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia.
The design and implementation of the change was all done in house by the U of C’s marketing office. It will roll out between now and 2016.