University of the Arts London Awarding Body – Visual identity development

The story:
UAL Awarding Body is the only specialist art, design and creative industries awarding organisation in England. They design, develop and award qualifications within the national qualifications framework (the QCF). They are owned by, and based within, University of the Arts London.

The brief:
UAL has recently changed its visual identity. To maintain unity with the UAL brand, the Awarding Body asked us to create a new visual identity and help them to better communicate their individual strategy as a distinctive but unified sub-brand of the UAL brand and identity. In order to help them design and manage their own communications, including the creation of course notes, student guides and promotional material. UAL Awarding Body also asked us to create a set of comprehensive guidelines and flexible templates.

Our solution:
We conducted a series of stakeholder interviews with art and design institutions around the country, as well as with UAL staff, in order to formulate a much clearer understanding of the organisation and its audiences. A clear outcome of this research was the need to balance clarity and simplicity with creativity and risk-taking. In order to create a clear sub-brand hierarchy, we developed a system of bold colours and strong geometric shapes. These were used to differentiate between subject types and qualification levels. The resulting guidelines and templates were applied to an extensive range of publications, both printed and online.