In 2021 Limerick Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Athlone Institute of Technology, formed Ireland’s first cross-regional technological university. We were commissioned with developing a comprehensive brand identity system that would effectively communicate across digital, environmental, and print platforms. In 2022, the TUS brand identity by Piquant was recognized with a Gold Shark award in the Brand Identity category, and shortlisted for an IDI Award in the New Branding Schemes category.
What we did:
- Brand Development
- Graphic Design
- Video and Photography Production
- Motion Design
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT — An institution with such a wide network of stakeholders required in-depth and far-reaching research. This process took place remotely, allowing us to connect with students, staff, and industry leaders across the country. We conducted numerous workshops, branding sessions and open conversations, in order to better understand the values that people place on educational institutions. This work informed our creative process in developing a brand that could effectively operate in the digital age, while retaining enough flexibility to retain relevance across identified key demographics. Read more about our process here.
THE LOGO — Taking from Irish folklore, we focused on the stories borne from the history of the River Shannon, in which the source of the river, Connla’s well, was said to be a well of wisdom which granted special properties to the water of the river. The two core elements of our emblem are the water of the river, signifying knowledge and information, and the bridge, which communicates structure and access provided by the university. These concepts, working in tandem, reflect the ethos of this new university.
GOLD AS PUNCTUATION — Using gold as a primary colour, and as a key asset in the development of brand recognition is an atypical decision. Gold is not a colour, but rather a material, the appearance of which differs from screen to foil to metallic inks. Gold as a primary colour immediately distinguishes this University from the rest of the domestic playing field. Used with consideration, gold is an elegant, timeless colour that is suggestive of excellence. Combined with our vibrant secondary colour palette, the result is a memorable and acerbic colour treatment that avoids typical tropes associated with gold usage.
BRAND GUIDELINES —A comprehensive brand system was developed to include logo variants, typography, colour, patterns, textures, photography, and motion guidelines. To maximise impact and effectiveness in today’s digital world, this brand would need clearly defined usage guides across the spectrum of platforms and application, from social media, environmental design, to print media. The careful juxtaposition of timeless primary elements alongside expressive secondary elements allow for a tonal flexibility in brand communications which can adapt to best engage with the wide ranging target audiences.
BRAND ELEMENTS —Alongside our core brand elements, we developed expressive brand elements, such as animated patterns, and textures which can be applied to a variety of photography and video. The character of these elements are distinctly digital in nature, in order to imply the forward-focused approach of the University. The adaptability of these elements allows for variety and unexpected moments when in application, keeping the university’s communications eye-catching, disruptive and memorable.
VIDEO PRODUCTION — In anticipation of the brand unveiling, we were commissioned to produce a suite of videos demonstrating the brand in action and communicating the core values of the newly established technological university. The defined brand elements naturally adapt to motion design and video application. This results in an effective and recognisable brand presence that can cut through the clutter of social media feeds and connect with young audiences.
PROSPECTUS — A university prospectus is a condensed representation of the brand in printed form. It is a collectors item as students and guidance counsellors snap these up from multiple universities. So the new TUS prospectus had to stand out. We designed the cover of the prospectus using black (who would be so bold as to go with a black prospectus?) and a beautiful gold foil stripe across the front and back. Simple, elegant and striking.
The inner pages, however, was where the real challenge lay. Combining two different prospectuses needed clear organisation and brave decision making from the recruitment teams. We studied the previous prospectuses from AIT and LIT and noted the common headings that linked them and edited the content to create a consistent document that seamlessly and clearly combined the two institutes as a single university. The result was a beautiful, but most importantly clearly structured, prospectus that delivered the TUS story to prospectives students, their parents and career guidance counsellors.
SOCIAL MEDIA — We developed a suite of editable social media templates to be utilised in the delivery of consistent social media communications, across a spectrum of channels. The editable structure of these assets allows for flexibility and adaptability when used by departments across the 6 campuses, while still retaining visual coherence and memorable brand presence.