The identity is based around a logo featuring the acronym UCA in stencil lettering alongside the university’s full name in Lineto typeface, Circular. Letters can be stacked or arranged horizontally on posters, stationery and are used alongside the names of each UCA campus.
“When universities come into existence, they often want to establish themselves as singular entities, but we’re much more relaxed about what we are now. There’s 120 miles between UCA Farnham and UCA Canterbury, and each of those campuses has a different history and portfolio of courses. There are lots of different sub-brands too, such as Farnham Film School, and we wanted a system where all of those could exist within a whole, but it wouldn’t wipe all of that difference out,” UCA vice chancellor Simon Ofield-Kerr.
As well as consulting with staff, students and alumni, Tony Brook from Spin says he looked to UCA’s architecture and campuses for inspiration when constructing the identity, drawing on the mid-century aesthetic of some of its purpose-built buildings. The identity also aims to reflect the university’s new positioning, which places equal emphasis on creativity, freedom, criticism and rigour, while the stencil lettering alludes to the idea of craft and making, says Brook.
Spin has already applied the identity to posters and prospectuses and Brook says the studio will be creating a range of applications over the next few months, from 3D graphics for buildings to interior installations and exhibition stands. With the university keen to make the most of limited resources, it has also produced a series of stickers which will be used to update recent publications that are still relevant but feature the old branding.
“UCA has to be creative – it’s in its name – so the plan is that every year, the colours can change and the visual language can develop. As long as you have the core of it, the stencil aspect, you can switch and play with the rest. I’m hoping animation students will be given a brief to experiment with it, and that all of the courses can make things out of it and stretch it. We’re making some posters now, for example, which photography students are taking the pictures for,” he adds.