Laurier’s leafy logo look

Wilfrid Laurier University in Watelroo, Ontario, which is a great school (Campus Club of the Year: ACCESS U) has announced a new visual identity. They are updating their logo and materials to include 3 new colours and leaves.

Why a leaf? Laurier’s communications department explains that “at the heart of it this national symbol honours our namesake, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, seventh Prime Minister of Canada. That alone is a unique claim among Canadian universities.” This makes sense, but is extremely generic – clearly, other schools in Canada could simply include a leaf.

However, Laurier tells you to “Look closely” because “LAURIER’S Maple Leaf is a microcosm of connectivity and support”. Not horrible, but not too convincing or indicative of Laurier’s unique culture specifically.

Laurier's Logos: Before (Top) and After (Bottom)

Some of the materials, based on the design concepts posted on their website, do have an appealing look. WIth updated sans-serif typography they are very clean and bright. For example, this full-page newspaper ad.

Comparing it to the existing logo is not very amazing, however the clean look of the new typeface is refreshing, despite it being a “traditional” school rooted in a long history.

To clarify, the circular logo is still remaining – there were some subtle refinements. This is a new Laurier mark, which “combines an updated LAURIER wordmark, a maple leaf in three different color options, and the tagline ‘Inspiring Lives’,” according to the communications department.

It is too subtle of a change, in my opinion. Is it worth it to undergo an entire rebranding process and re-printing of all materials for this?

The new logo should look more like this.

The “Laurier 100” branding is more effective, engaging and I would definitely say more unique. That logo will no longer be featured after the 100-year anniversary ends this year, of course.

A video has been created to explain the new leafy look. It may not get you very excited about it, though.

The refreshed identity will begin being implemented in January 2012. Although it is definitely not a “controversial” or drastic identity change (as other schools have gone through), I wonder if there will be any criticism or comments that change it before January. There were already a couple of negative comments on the Laurier Facebook page.