The new black and white typographic identity uses lower-case Helvetica and a large colon to seperate the UAL acronym from the indivudual UAL college name. The individual university brands under the UAL umbrella will remain the same.
The new identity replaces the current mark, which was created in 2004 by a team of students working with Lloyd Northover. UAL chairman Sir John Tusa told Design Week this identity was ‘rubbish, as it was done by committee’.
Pentagram was appointed to to the project following initial strategy work by Moving Brands, which had been tasked with defining an identity for the institute.
Lippa says, ‘The brief was not to create an identity that would dictatorially implemented and that all colleges would have to toe the line. They share services, of course, but they also compete with each other so it needed an identity that would impose itself on all the colleges but still give them a degree of autonomy.
‘It had to have a degree of neutrality for consistency but the materials coming out of each university would still have their own look and feel.’
Lippa adds, ‘It became clear that the issues [UAL] was facing with the existing identity was that it was very weak – in a comparative study with the other universities it disappears and on the whole was felt to be not liked.
‘University of the Arts London is a mouthful at the best of times, so all agreed that abbreviating it to UAL was a strong identity.
‘When I met [UAL] I was talking about the stars as the students and teachers and the people that work there. We didn’t wasn’t to create an identity that competes with that.
‘It needed something that was simple, bold and effective and that would have longevity. We explored the colours for the logo but kept going back to black and white – we had to give the university a colour that worked.’
You can see more images of the new UAL branding over at Creative Review.