Corporate faces to strike the right Pantone

August 12, 2005

Staff at image-conscious Strathclyde University have been issued with a set of Brand Rules that dictate everything from the look of prospectuses to approved ink colours for the faculties.

The university published the rules on its website this month as part of what it describes as a "brand tweaking" designed to promote a consistent image across the university and on all its publications and merchandise.

For example, they stipulate that if the logo is used by one of the five faculties, the name of that faculty must be in the approved colour: Pantone 368 (green) for science, Pantone 485 (red) for the business school and so on.

The rules specify the design on pens and include diagrams of where to site the logo on university vans and minibuses, while acknowledging: "In most cases, common sense will prevail."

Adam Taylor, Strathclyde's director of marketing and communications who came to the university from industry a year ago, said: "We were perhaps overdosing on creativity. There was a huge range of styles, design and quality of stuff being produced.

"We had the good, the bad and definitely the ugly in terms of some material, which didn't even have the university name on it."

A major marketing review concluded that the plethora of marketing identities could mean the university being seen as lacking direction and professionalism.

The Brand Rules web pages include a series of approved logos and document and PowerPoint templates staff can download.

The logo retains Strathclyde's five-sided shield but jettisons the surrounding markings, rumoured to be based on a former principal's signature. The shield is now accompanied by only "University of Strathclyde" in the approved corporate typefaces Arial or Meta.

"The shield represents our heritage, and the modern typeface represents our innovation and entrepreneurial spirit," Mr Taylor said.

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