Durham University tries to stand out with True North identity

The University of Durham is renaming itself as Durham University and rolling out a redesigned visual identity by True North.

As part of a strategy of modernisation, the ‘red-brick’ establishment last week revealed publicly the results of the consultancy’s five-month rebranding exercise.

‘The brief was to produce a sympathetic modernisation of what is a very established and very traditional university in many ways. It was becoming acutely aware not to be seen as too traditional,’ says True North director Martin Carr.

The Manchester group was appointed in November 2004 and created the identity with Liesl Elder, director of development and communications at Durham University.

The logo’s existing heraldry, incorporating elements of Durham City’s crest, has been reworked and True North is in discussions to update the crests of the university’s 15 colleges.

The branding strategy was undertaken after research by the university. ‘It’s extremely hard to differentiate yourself now, outside the broad categories such as a red-brick or new university’ adds Carr.

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