“We bleed green not turquoise”: students criticise University’s rebranding plans
It has recently been announced that the university are planning on rebranding. Rebranding concepts were emailed to Exeter students as well as concepts of new university logos being displayed in the forum.
Students have shared their attitudes with Exeposé, many of which have expressed negative views towards the university’s aims to rebrand. The four new concepts for university branding were created by design firm Mammoth Creative, who one student commented were “robbing the university blind” with their brand concepts.
Students have suggested that they “like the logo as it is”, that they are “not overly impressed” and that “there is no point”. One student stated that these branding changes do not make sense and “the branding currently is professional and shows the uni in a respectable light, but the suggestions make us look like a second-rate uni”. Additionally, another student commented that “the new brand looks simplistic and does not well represent the university”. There have also been many students wanting to keep the current logo of the university, suggesting that “we should keep the crest, which had meaning to many”. The crest has represented the university since its official opening in 1955, therefore students from past and present are saddened that the university want to change it. The book on the current crest symbolises learning, containing a Latin inscription reading “Lucem sequimur” which translates as “We follow the light”.
When asked whether students like the concepts for rebranding that were on display in the forum, most suggested that they were not keen on the new concepts.
When asked whether students like the concepts for rebranding that were on display in the forum, most suggested that they were not keen on the new concepts. One student commented that they “don’t like any of them particularly, although option 1 was the best of a bad bunch”. Another student followed the same line of argument, saying that they “didn’t feel any were perfect”.
There is also some concern from students who are involved in societies, especially those involved in the AU. This is due to the logo being on stash belonging to multiple societies at the university. A student expressed their annoyance about having to change their society’s stash, stating “it would make us look like a silicone valley tech start-up”. Moreover, the possible changes for some societies’ stash made the majority of students who spoke to us feel as though they are no longer representing the university. One student who is a member of an AU society at the university highlighted that the “AU bleeds green, not turquoise – so we will not be changing and we will protest if we have to change”.
We also questioned students about whether they think the branding change will aid the university in making it more modern. Many students agreed that the university should be investing more in their technology and their website to aid them with modernisation, rather than having an entire branding change. Therefore, overall, most students are calling for the university to keep the university’s branding the same and that changing it would lose the university’s traditional and historical values.
Causes for concern have also been raised by students regarding the costs of these branding changes. Students believe that there are other issues that the university should be spending their funds on such as “mental health provisions, facilities and reducing tuition”. Moreover, students have stated that the university’s money “would be much better spent ending casualisation, closing the gender and BAME pay gaps and actually contributing a fair amount staff pensions”. Commenting on the plans for rebranding, Guild President Lily Margaroli stated that the Guild “are excited about a University rebrand as we hope this will provide a modern and cohesive new look which will better represent the University”. Margaroli also underlined that the Guild were made aware of the rebrand prior to it starting but had not “had any input into the concepts or designs themselves”.
Speaking in regard to the concerns surrounding societies’ stash, Margaroli suggested that the rebrand will not affect “the stash of Guild-run societies as many societies have their own existing logos”. Furthermore, she underlined that, as a result of the rebranding being rolled out over three years, societies would have a “considerable period of time to decide how (and if) they would like to change their logos”.
Margaroli suggested that the rebrand will not affect “the stash of Guild-run societies”
A university spokesperson stated that the rebranding was an “exciting opportunity to create a brand that represents our values, allows us to grow as an institution and reach new audiences worldwide, and align to our Strategy 2030”. Commenting on the consultation process, the university underlined that the consultation process had “involved students, staff and alumni, as well as representatives from the wider community, to ensure everyone’s perspective, thoughts and views are included”. The university highlighted that they ran “an online survey, which was also available at the brand gallery events” allowing “participants to offer their feedback and express their preferences”. The university further stated that “the new brand is due to launch in September 2022”.
Article from print issue 733
Pointless waste of money. No wonder real staff (faculty) are striking against the administrators.
jack wilkin says
I completely agree. The new logo is simply hideous and just another example of corporate logo simplification that is dumbing down our society. I have and will continue to refuse the new logo in posters and presentations because unlike the people that designed it I have some standards.