Torrens University re-brand
University brands are large and maintain constant communication with current students, prospective students, past students, lecturers, academics, staff, industry and suppliers. With this in mind, a brand so vast must be recognisable, succinct, beautiful and most of all functional.
The Good: Fresh faces
Torrens University, Australia, is a newborn baby when compared to others: the first new university to be introduced in 20 years in the country. This means they can deliver an innovative environment for learning that is culturally diverse and career-oriented, with a global perspective. An environment that is also geared to modern day learning techniques and technology.
Torrens is also a part of Laureate International Universities, a leading international network of over 80 innovative higher education institutions – teaching almost 1 million students in 29 countries and online.
The Bad: Are we dressed for the occasion?
Torrens launched in January 2014, providing scholarships to students in masters and undergraduate programs. The launch was completed quickly, utilizing resources from a global team based in the US. As such, the old branding for Torrens is not designed for the Australian market. It would be fair to say that Torrens is virtually an unknown brand in the national higher education market.
The Solution: How we made things interesting
Develop a strong, vibrant, and consistent identity for Torrens that achieves cut-through in a crowded market.
But we first needed to clarify what Torrens purpose was. And in what part of the market it had a unique advantage.
To do this we developed a story. Torrens shares its story with not only students, but also its staff and academics. With the help of storytelling, this relationship became a channel for unobtrusive communications between prospective students and staff. And so we said...
"Imagine a world where discovery and exploration wasn’t the stuff of legend. Where communication to the far reaches of the globe was instantaneous. Where just about anything could be learnt from just about anywhere..."
We had hope and we had clarity of purpose, so next we worked on how an identity could be created to amplify the brand purpose.
We created a flexible brand to align with the innovative core of the University, ensuring longer brand life. Also important was a brand identity that is intellectually interesting - something that isn't thought of as just the thing at the bottom of a page.
Initially the client didn't want to change the logo. Although not asked for, we saw the need for an update to the logo to make it more bold and modern. The logo previously felt unbalanced and the logo mark (T) seemed more like a bullet point than a brand identifier.
The look and feel was developed around "Lines". The lines are inspired by the experiences and journeys of students, as well as the literal symbolism that surround fundamental education. Be it lines on a notepad, ruler, compass, exam paper, textbook etc.
Through a process of trial and error we made specific design decisions that fundamentally grew the brand's identity. A new graphic device philosophy, as well as an updated colour palette, gives Torrens a more edgy, modern look, with a rare timeless quality. The design is focused on function and has been tested to bend, morph and adapt to all communications - be it internal, external and online.