Many organisations opt for commissioning a new logo or a brand refresh to celebrate a momentous event, a milestone or an occasion.
Done well, this can help define an organisations values and vision, to engage with new audiences, revitalising connections with current clients and stakeholders. However, a mis-judged revamp may overshadow the celebration itself or even worse, completely throw a brand to the wolves, generating more long term reputational damage that can take years to salvage.
The education sector has not been exempt from this; Universities are looking more closely at their brand identities in the wake of increased competition in the sector as they vie to attract students and funding.
For Swansea University, therefore the opportunity to recognise its centenary on July 19th 2020 not only presented a brilliant opportunity to celebrate the University’s achievements and journey over the past 100 years but also shine a spotlight on the bright future that lay ahead.
To mark this momentous occasion Icon was tasked to develop a Centenary Logo. As an agency we had previously undertaken brand research and consultations to create a successful logo refresh in 2017 for Swansea University, in which the graphic icons in the existing logo were modernised and aligned making the Swansea University brand more distinctive and salient in digital and print materials.
Mindful of the history and heritage the logo represented and what that meant to those associated with the university, it was imperative that the anniversary design embodied the purpose and values of Swansea, underlining the auspice occasion whilst resonating with current students, staff, alumni and stakeholders at the establishment.
Number of students enrolled in 1920
Coat of arms granted by the College of Heralds
Number of students enrolled in 2019
Maintaining the Crest Design
Love them or loathe them, crests and shields have fallen in and out of vogue of University branding, with extra scrutiny in particular post 1992 when the 'traditional' universities were joined by shiny 'new' universities under the post polytechnic era.
For Swansea University however, the shield played an integral part of the centenary logo design. The design is unique to the university and underlines the prestige and reputation of the institution.
Swansea’s industrial and maritime heritage is depicted on the shield by the hammer, pickaxe, and anchor whilst the open book represents academia, indicating that knowledge is freely shared with anyone visiting or studying at the University. The dragon symbolises Wales and the pride of being a Welsh university.