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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
December 3, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Visual Identity Review

Visual Identity Review Community Input - Visual Identity

Feb 9/11

Visual Identity

  1. Does Laurier currently have a clear identity? How would you describe it?
  2. What are the biggest opportunities or issues facing Laurier from an identity perspective? What are your expectations of Laurier’s visual identity?
  3. Which are you most comfortable with: Wilfrid Laurier University, Laurier, WLU? Which do you think the school should be known by?
  4. What are the symbolic visual cues that spring to mind when you think of Laurier?
  5. Visual exercise: Out of the various logos/identities that are currently being used (i.e. the seal, various wordmarks, Laurier with the maple leaf), which ones resonate with you?
  6. logos_web.jpg

Please note: Laurier values free speech and freedom of expression and does not prescreen comments. However, we do not permit content that is hostile, threatening, abusive, contains commercial solicitations, is erroneous/libelous, sexist, racist, homophobic or is for any reason deemed to be inappropriate. We reserve the right to remove comments at any time without prior notice.

John Laband wrote:
Posted 2011/02/24
at 11:46am
I do not believe that tampering with Laurier's visual identity would make any difference to the university's appeal. That stands or falls on our academic reputation as an institution of higher learning. Nevertheless, since a change of visual identity is being contemplated, I would strogly urge that we retain the very distinctive and applealing Laurier seal. To my knowledge, no other Canadian university has anything similar and it has proved very effective in "branding" us.
External Laurier Community Member wrote:
Posted 2011/02/22
at 11:46pm
I agree with most of the comments above. I do not believe that Laurier should make radical changes to its identification over time. I remember when I first entered Laurier in 2004, the university tended to use the Laurier crest with the circle, then within the short years, it changed to the big LAURIER words.

I believe that an identity should stand the test of time. It is what represents us. I do like the crest and the crest with the circle. I believe we should focus on those.

While I do like the big LAURIER words, a problem with that is, it doesn't identify Laurier as a university. If that is used, it should have the words "Wilfrid" on top and "University" on the bottom, or a "Wilfirid Laurier Univeristy" on the bottom or top. As a small university, people don't always identify LAURIER as a university. For example, the Toronto office, people walking by often mistaken LAURIER as a financial institution instead of a university. Even well-established universities have their name on their logo.

Also, people outside the university often refer to us as “Wilfrid Laurier” or “WLU” whereas internally, we are referred to by “Laurier”. Keeping in line with what the community expects can help us generate our reputation easier.

I do not believe Laurier should keep changing its logo. Keeping its tradition has its benefits and identifying the full name "Wilfrid Laurier Unviersity" is beneficial and professional.

Edward Choi, (BBA Co-op, WLU, 2008)
External Laurier Community Member wrote:
Posted 2011/02/17
at 4:28pm
Should you update the visual identity? No.

The identity has been among the strongest and most compelling programs in higher ed for a long time. The university's growth maps exactly to when the identity was launched.

It's evolved since its inception - cautiously and judiciously. It's worrisome that campus leaders feel the need to change the identity at all. By hiring a design firm to spearhead the "review", it appears that the decision to change has already been made. I do hope there is serious consideration begin given to leaving the visual identity exactly as it is.
jane wagner wrote:
Posted 2011/02/16
at 4:15pm
Why does the University continue to bother with redesigning visual impacts? We appear to be a party school; with low entry requirements, lots of clubs and large classes with few assignments. My senior level classes assign up to 20% simply for showing up to class; no participation required. A quality school with attract quality students. A fancy logo? Really? Move along.
Philippa Gates wrote:
Posted 2011/02/16
at 1:58pm
We built a reputation as a 'small' university with small classes and good community spirit. In the past decade we have grown, and grown. We are now officially a medium-sized university with large classes. We need to rethink what 'Laurier' means today when people hear the name. It is likely not the same as 10 years ago and we need to adjust how we sell the university accordingly. These days we have great researchers, award-winning teachers, but maybe no longer that small university feel. I am not sure if we need to change the logo but we need to think about how people perceive Laurier - out there. Perhaps we need to think about -- as Morgan suggests above -- branding individual programs.
samantha james wrote:
Posted 2011/02/15
at 8:41pm
What I want to know is WHY you feel the logo should be changed? What's wrong with it? It's plastered on the side of the building for crying out loud! It is official, it is traditional and there are good things that come from that. If you want to be a well respected school and want to be around for a long time, maintain your emblem and people will remember you. Are alumni going to give you money when they get a letter from an institution they don't recognise: no.
Don't get me wrong, I love Laurier and I love the smallness of the campus and the beautiful seal. But corporate management needs to get their act together, stop trying to compete with schools that aren't in the same dimension, and stop wasting money on things that don't matter. Do you want students to be attracted to a school because you've got a spiffy new logo but they don't actually care about the programs or end up leaving because the program they wanted closed due to 'funding' or because they weren't really interested in the school itself? Wouldn't you rather that the students came to the school because of the programs offered, the class sizes, the accessible campus and succeed at their degrees? Please, 'updating the visual image' of Wilfrid Laurier University will not solve the problems I've listed above, so stop wasting money and get back to running the school. Thank you.
Cindy Ward wrote:
Posted 2011/02/15
at 10:45am
Visually, I like the Purple circle logo - it speaks to tradition (the latin etc.)- which is also important - and although it speaks to tradition, it is much more modern than the crest with the horses.

I also like using the LAURIER (with subscript underneath for each dept.) - however, I like the look of the LA@RIER with the shield as the 'U" - using that with each dept. as subscript underneath would be cool.

I hear all too often (City govt, businesses, and universities) thinking that they need to 'MODERNIZE' and I while I agree on some levels, I also think it needs to be taken with a grain of salt - one thing MODERNIZATION does, if fully implemented, is strip away 'history' - and I don't think that's the intention here. History includes the formidable 'reputation' of the university - which should never be lost from the universitiy's identity.

I think that a modern'ish' logo (like the circle one - it's clean and bold, not flowery - no unneccessary embellishments etc.) with it's history still intact, is the best route to take.

Also - the LA@RIER with the shield as the 'U" nicely marries 'modern' with 'history (i.e., reputation)'.
Morgan Holmes wrote:
Posted 2011/02/15
at 10:24am
At present, we sell ourselves to parents with a focus on residence life and campus activities (charities, and groups that amount to 'spirit raisers). We focus on avoiding the Hawk in what is a major emergency egress route. In short, we come off like a summer camp that has some classes happening *somewhere*. WLU has top researchers in all of its departments and faculties; we should be promoting the *learning* that happens on campus, instead of showing "happy campers" frolicking in staircases, social spaces and sporting events. How about emphasizing people *studying*, *teaching* and producing things like *post sessions*, campus-based conferences, etc? In 11 years, campus recruiting has never contacted our department to ask how to promote the academic rigour of our accomplishments either as faculty or students. How about a photo of the tower of books produced by faculty over the last 10 years? How about photos of the allbums and compositions from music? More images from inside labs, and more visual diversity in the way that departments show our own strengths on our web-pages. Right now, one department appears just the same as all the rest. *Visually* one cannot tell if one is on the Women's Studies page, or in Kinesiology.
john kim wrote:
Posted 2011/02/12
at 3:01pm
Our school needs to grow. And by that I mean, bringing in quality staff in all areas. Currently, University of Waterloo is making us look like the little guys because they are growing. Our reputation is very important, therefore in order to do that, we must be well known as an overall community-based school. We have a strong business school, but that can be improved by preparing more jobs and collaborate more with other businesses. In the science sector, we need to put a lot of emphasis on growing the curriculum and adding more medical/engineering courses. If you look at some of the top schools as of today, they are very strong in sciences. Science makes the world grow. Incorporate a new and improved Science and Business double major program that includes co-op. The co-op program needs to be more flexible and add more jobs. Allow more students be able to find some co-op opportunity. Why does it have to be difficult for students to find placement? These experiences are important for students to be successful.

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