Logospotter Review

Posted Mon 4th Oct 2010 Updated Mon 13th Aug 2015 approx. 2 min read

Keele University

Updated

A dramatic change for Keele, from the abstract and slightly confusing to the literal and bold.

Unusually, for most branding sites, Keele go in for explaining the symbolism within their logo and what each bit of it means. This reductive approach can be handy to get people on board and stands in stark contrast to some of the more conceptual logos out there. Happily for Keele they seem to have a set of handy symbols culled from their crest.

Our ‘logo’ draws heavily on our armorial bearings and uses the rich golds and reds of the original arms and crest. The use of the colour green remains as part of a weave pattern on the shield. We use green to reflect not only our immediate environment and campus, but also our commitment to sustainability. The weave produced by the ribbons of gold, red and green represent our distinctive interdisciplinary curriculum. The five original heraldic devices are also clearly visible on a more contemporary shield.

Rendered like it is, the shield is pretty badge-like. Accompanied by Foral Pro, described as a ‘Fancy’ font in the branding guide, the slab serif fits pretty well with the boldness of the shield. It seems to suggest ‘technical’ more than the intended tradition and heritage, but it is overall a stronger, more coherent logo than before.

Strangely disparate logo. The illustrative part seems to function independently of the typography.

On first glance the illustration is suggestive of the famous double helix of DNA , but this is refuted here. Instead it is more mundanely signifying the coming together and intertwining of the UNiversity’s aims and outlooks. As such it’s less specific and also less interesting.

The typography looks like a combination of Kabel and Gill Sans. The ends of the diagonals on the K and V are finished square, like Kabel, whilst the letter U has no spur in common with Gill Sans. It is very widely spaced, giving an almost art deco air. It reminded me of a less successful version of the Leeds University logo.

The simplicity of the typography perhaps needs a correspondingly strong pictorial element, which the ribbons don’t quite provide.

Tagged : English , Serif , Brand Guidelines , West Midlands , Shield , Green , Red , Yellow , Crest

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