unilogos Review

Posted Sun 18th Apr 2010 approx. 2 min read

Aston University

aston logo

Starkly geometric logo with the main feature a solid triangle arranged at an angle. At first I assumed, unfairly, that the triangle was an arbitrary and uninspired attempt to inject some dynamism, but on reading the University’s style guide I learnt that it refers to the well known Aston Triangle. Nice to find that nugget, but I guess that most people don’t have access to the styleguide and will just take it at face value.(The link I found the styleguide at appears not to be working now 2010-04-18).


The wordmark of the logo looks similar to Gill Sans, but with added angular flourishes, echoing the triangle. Maybe a triangle too far at larger sizes, but the spurs echo the larger triangle well.


A range of colours are specified in the styleguide comprising six sets of 2 colour combinations, called couplets. Grey is offered as one to provide a counterpoint to whatever colour is chosen. RGB(Red,Green,Blue) values are specified as well as Pantone, and I’ve collected some examples from the website.

Unique Triangular Grid

The gem I discovered when reading through the guidelines, was the triangular grid specified and explained. Looking pretty confusing at first, some examples show some interesting effects being achieved with the angular possibilities. As the guide itself says

The Aston graphic system can be used used in an almost-infinite number of variations which gives great flexibility and longevity to the system.

Perhaps the only danger might be a temptation to over-use the triangle throughout and start to resemble some crazy origami experiment. I guess time and practice will see if this transpires.

Pictorial Treatments

In an interesting break with usual corporate identity practice that sanctifies and protects the logo, Aston actively encourage imagery that incorporates the triangle and suggest ideas. I’m not sure how wise this is, and don’t envy them quality controlling what is done.


At first glance this appears to be a simple logo, but the intent seems to be to create a graphic device on which to hang a variety of treatments, and provide graphic unity. I guess the success of failure of the experiment will depend on how well the University can explore and use the system that’s been created. They seem to have given themselves plenty of options.

Tagged : English , West Midlands , M5 Universities , Abstract , Plateglass University , The Northern Consortium (NCUK) , Brand Guidelines , Orange

Read the Wikipedia entry Visit website Read the brand guidelines