Interbrand renames North Devon College as Petroc

Interbrand has created a new name and identity for North Devon College, which will now be known as Petroc.

The new name, inspired by Saint Petroc, follows the merger last year between North Devon College, based in Barnstaple, and East Devon College, based 30 miles away in Tiverton.

Interbrand was appointed in September 2008 after winning a pitch for the work in the summer, according to Andy York, director of verbal identity at the consultancy.

York said it was key that the new name didn’t have the words Devon or college in it, because the institute wanted a national reputation, not just to be identified with the region, and also because it might turn into a university in the future.

He says the name Petroc, which he ‘absolutely loves’ was chosen using a system of workshops with college stakeholders. York says, ‘We didn’t feel it was appropriate for us to turn up as a London consultancy and say, “This is the name you should have.” We developed a series of workshops so that they could tell us what name they wanted. Petroc came up in nearly all the workshops.’

Saint Petroc was a Christian saint who ministered to communities in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. York says, ‘The name has credibility across all three counties.’

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  • Tanya Campbell November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Its a really stupid name to have for a college its and embaressment ! What a waste of money … We are in the middle of the recession and they decide to spend all that money on a name that sounds stupid anyway, they could of spent the money on more resourceful things !

  • da bishop November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    what on earth, it sounds like a petrochemical company!

    north devon college, yeah, it sounds poky and small time. Petroc on the other hand sounds really, really upsettingly corporate, even if it is the name of some ancient saint.

  • Jonathan Baldwin November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I was an external examiner at North Devon – excellent art and design work coming out of there, worth a look.

    Not sure about the name – although not wanting to appear regional is understandable, if you can’t “place” it geographically are you really going to consider studying there? – but like most things it will grow on me. (I also keep thinking of the Radio 3 presenter)

  • jimbo November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Will there be cute Pet Rocks on sale in the Student Union?

  • Dan November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    the first thing anyone will say is what? wheres that? and you will have to say ‘Devon, its the name of a saint I think, bit wierd but good college’. A lot longer than Devon Uni etc? not a nice word- typographically or phonetically. but easier to complain than applaud- good luck Petroc!

  • JB November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    This is genuinely exciting stuff and a really brave move for a college in sleepy Devonshire. The graphics are a real departure for the sector – a million miles away from the cliche-ridden dirge that passes for prospectuses at most institutions. And the name is a really impressive balance of old and new.
    I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot more from Petroc in future.

  • Nick November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Where I did my foundation in 1986 – Pedroc on Sticklepath Hill, love it!

  • Izzy November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    What the actual hell? It sounds like ‘Pet Rock’! That’ll look great on our CVs. This is so hilarious yet so stupid. LOL

  • Nick November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Unfortunately, it hasn’t gone done well with the locals! If Interbrand had done their research properly, they would have discovered that north Devonians are very proud of their roots. So to come up with a name of a Cornish saint, is a red rag to a bull! I think it was brave, but foolish.

  • Ian November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Petroc?….sorry, but my socks could have thought of a better name. …and what was the COST of this exercise I wonder?? Hmmmm…some departments at the college can’t get funding for vital equipment, yet the Government is willing to throw large amounts of cash to a large company’s so that they can ask us what we want to be called…Wrong, immoral and unethical are a few words that spring to mind.
    Interbrand 1 – Students 0

  • Richard Halliday November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I see the logic ( once explained) but most won’t get it. The cost of the exercise given other priorities and current timing won’t go down well.
    Whats wrong with shouting more overtly about a great geographical area? Too late to go back now? Remember Insignia!!…

  • Ian November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Well I have just got home after a very interesting day at ‘Petroc’.

    Quite a few students were talking about this and the general consensus of opinion was that the money could have been better spent.

    The local papers web site is awash with comments, both from members of staff and students, here is the link for those interested in what is being said:

    I think the following text is a pretty average response:

    ” This new name Petroc is such a waste of money. Its criminal that senior management can restructure and re brand the college, making important staff redundant and increasing senior management pay, how convenient. NDC is not a nice place to work, the ever growing dark cloud suppresses staff, creating bad vibes and a bad superficial environment for the learners. Its all about making money. Its not about education. Changing a name makes me think they are trying to cover up one massive mistake, David Dodd and his unless money grabbing SMT.

    just goes to show how happy staff are as someone has created a facebook so ironically titled ‘ i work at north devon college and am slowly loosing the will to live’ says it all.

    NDJ maybe dig a little and you will find the truth behind the re brand! £330K is a massive waist of money as I think 99% of people on here agree!

    Nice one David Dodd!! pppfft!

    ndc staff member, n devon ”

  • Andy November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Fatuous,vacuous, pointless, meaningless – this is total nonsense. State funded FE College with virtual monoply on local post 16 students being rebranded like low fat spread at eye watering cost when the place is crumbling, staff morale is rock bottom, IT and other equipment worn out AND the principal has just awarded himself a 21% pay rise. Local paper’s website had HUGE number of comments from students, staff & other locals within 24 hours, virtually all negative.
    Spectacular shooting in foot. Why not Consignia?

  • Jos November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    They also claimed they have consulted with both students and staff and they all liked Petroc – apparently! As part of the executive comittee for the student union I would quite like to see who they talked to. Please post a comment if you were actually contacted about the new name. Many thanks

  • Ian November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am



    Gi’s a Job Mr. Hales…

    Ian – Student, East Devon College.

  • lewis richards November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    i dont believe it. A cornish Saint! doesnt make sense. i dont see why they spent 330,000 on rebranding the college when they could have let the students come up with the design, instead of giving the task to some company up in london who obviously have no idea about the college and its roots. one big BOOOOOO!

  • Tim Gay November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    There was a clear need for a new identity but the furious local reaction (see the North Devon Journal site) indicates that this is all it is so far. There is no sense of the brand values that should precede the adoption of a new identity however imaginative or even off the wall.

  • Debbie Robinson November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Hmm the back cover design seems very much like our (University of Exeter) 2009 undergraduate prospectus, produced in 2008, which was also based on the Devon landscape. They’ve even gone as far as to use the same colours and also use the strip on the website splash page which we still use on all of our undergraduate marketing material. I know that us designers use the wealth of material out there as inspiration but this is ridiculous!

  • Julian November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Petroc!!! Awful name. Why is the principle so ashamed of using a name with a local identity.
    Interbrand, is that the best you can do.Not done your own brand any favours, just look at the comments in the press etc.

  • Jake November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Yes, I saw this landscape design in an Exeter Uni Undergraduate focus group a couple of years ago – same colours too. I think they’ve just won a Heist award for their Postgraduate version. Ripoff.

  • peter parkingwikletontonshirewangle November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    this name is turd

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