In 2018, a University of Guelph brand refresh required all departments to have a consistent logo that incorporates the cornerstone (see above). The challenge here was to develop a distinct sub-brand for Research Innovation that adheres to the U of G’s brand guidelines.
The U of G’s cornerstone logo was used as the basis for a distinctive graphic element of the sub-brand, creating stylized ripples to show the expanding impact of U of G research. This frame is used for RIO’s slogan and to maintain legibility and adhere to AODA guidelines when text appears on images.
I created icons based on the classic light bulb to define what RIO can do for researchers. While the light bulb is a cliché (and because it is a cliché), it is a universally recognized symbol for ideas — and is used here to impart additional ideas. A clean-line style was used, as if the icons were mathematical symbols, to represent the scientific rigour of research — and how RIO can help give researchers clarity in the often-complex world of commercialization.
How information is presented helps define an organization’s identity, just as the position of the features of your face define how people perceive you.
A grid defined by the University of Guelph’s cornerstone helps determine the position of everything else. As per brand guidelines, the University of Guelph’s cornerstone appears at the edge of the page or screen — as does the main headline — building on the brand and subliminally emphasizing that RIO works outside the box.
Negative space is also used as a design element to enhance the positive message, creating “air” within which the message can breathe.
I storyboarded this ad for the University of Guelph’s on-campus screens. It was executed by fellow Designers of Guelph member Aaron Awad of Blind Pig Design.
The 2017–18 annual report was the first to incorporate the Research Innovation Office’s new identity.
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