Over six decades Trinity Wester University (TWU) has evolved from a small Christian college into a internationally respected liberal arts university. As with any brand, academic institutions like TWU need to update their identities to better reflect the beliefs, values, and personalities in order to resonate with students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as clearly position school in minds of the public and academic community. Over the years we’ve been honoured to provide brand strategy and identity design for two departments at TWU, the Spartans Athletic Department and TWU Alumni Association.
With top-ranked teams throughout the collegiate system, TWU wanted to update their athletic department logo to more accurately reflect that of a “passionate, active and distinct athletic experience”. The new brand had to resonate with students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as competing teams from other universities.
In both cases, we explored numerous ways to modernize the visual language and messaging for each department, but worked hard to respect the history and traditions of each and create brands that echo their past. With the Spartans, we wanted to capture the “passionate, active and distinct athletic experience” of being a member a TWU sports team by creating distinct and original visual language to symbolize modern day warriors. After much exploration, a completely customized typeface was developed for the wordmark and a fresh, dynamic and modern logomark emerged as the final artwork.
“This new identity is a bit of a watershed moment, a defining moment. It clearly articulates who we are in light of the ancient Spartan values we aspire to while building on our history. ” — TWU Athletics Director Murray Hall
With the alumni association, we emphasized the connection to the university by utilizing elements of the university’s primary logo to create a strong connection to their TWU roots, while providing the alumni community with a distinctive identity of its own. Paired with the tagline “Connect and Thrive”, the multi-shaded flame is symbolic of the Trinity Western University torch, and reflects the diversity and potential of our global alumni community. Can you see the secondary hidden image of a bird taking flight? It’s subtle, but it’s intentional.
“While the TWU Alumni Association represents alumni of all ages, paths and affinities, the relationship between the flames speaks to the one thing that remains constant among us: our connection as alumni and our desire to see our community and the University thrive. ” — TWU Alumni Association Director Scott Campbell
Designers and marketers at TWU have been successfully applying these identities to a myriad of items, from websites and ads, to athletic uniforms, buildings, and even playing fields to great fanfare. Both brand identities have garnered much praise and becoming an important and memorable part of Trinity Western University’s modern and lasting identity as an academic and athletic school of choice, as well as a thriving community of alumni.
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