WMH creates franchise-ready branding for learning initiative

Williams Murray Hamm has rebranded Tower Hamlets Summer University, which was attended by pop star Dizzee Rascal. The organisation will now be called Futureversity.

THSU was set up in 1995 as a crime-prevention initiative, providing free courses to young people over the summer holidays. It now caters to more than 2000 young people, and offers more than 120 courses on subjects as diverse as ‘How to DJ’ and ‘Thai cooking’. Rascal, who is now a patron of THSU, attended a music production course there when he was 14 years old.

In April 2006 the project was rolled out to all London boroughs, and this year a pilot scheme was run in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

WMH was appointed to rebrand the organisation in June after presenting credentials, according to THSU executive director Sarah Davies. She says the organisation also had meetings with Why Not Associates, Small Design and Hudson Powell.

WMH was asked to create a new brand identity for the organisation – which could be trademarked – and devised the name Futureversity. It also developed the strapline ‘Where things can happen’.

Wybe Magermans, account director at WMH, says, ‘The organisation needed a new identity. At the moment it is a particularly London brand – it needed a franchise model that could be used anywhere in the UK and a name that could be registered and used as a brand.’

Davies says, ‘We had so many issues with the name – we don’t just operate in Tower Hamlets, we don’t just run projects in the summer, and we’re not a university. People often thought we had something to do with the local authority as well.’ She adds that Tower Hamlets Summer Education will remain as the organisation’s trading name.

Davies says the message she wanted to get across with the new branding was ‘putting children in charge of the world’.

She adds that WMH also came up with three brand concepts for the organisation: ‘a journey of discovery for young people’, ‘a course developed by young people and checked by young people’, and ‘unconventional, unacademic, unlike anywhere they’ve ever been before. Innovative learning for extraordinary people’.

A statement from WMH says the name Futureversity moves away from the ‘more generic’ Summer University and that the new identity is derived from the idea of fly-posting.

As well as the brand identity (pictured), WMH has created guidelines, a poster campaign which includes applications for street lights and litter bins, and a launch animation starring THSU youth ambassador Shaju Miah and featuring music by student Reyon Karrington.

The new branding will launch in April.

Tower Hamlets Summer University

  • Established by 1995 by Lord Young of Dartington, with funding of just £5300
  • Now runs more than 120 courses for more than 2000 students. Alumni include Dizzee Rascal
  • From April it will go under the name Futureversity

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  • David Levantis November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    great news. no more confusion with the council!

    i particularly like the strap line

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