Re-branding 150 years of heritage

The University of Adelaide was founded, almost 150 years ago, with a noble goal: to prepare young leaders shaped by education rather than birth or wealth, in a settlement free of old-world social and religious inequalities. And ever since, it has strived to push boundaries. Rodeo was engaged to create a new brand positioning and visual identity for the university that would give expression to this ambition as a core value and quality, and to communicate, nationally and internationally, what the university stands for today and into the future.

Rodeo’s approach to developing brand strategy is hands-on, in-depth and always focused on outcomes. For the University of Adelaide rebranding process, creative services supported the strategic and conceptual direction and consulted with a wide range of stakeholders both inside and outside the institution – university management, staff, students, alumni, local employers, colleges and schools in the region, and overseas partners and agents in priority markets – via interviews, workshops and discussions.

Rodeo devised the new identity to provide accessibility, achieve visual cut-through and strong engagement, and add a sense of story. It preserves the heritage of the brand while creating a new framework, and a dynamic and flexible visual language, that can be deployed across all media. Key elements include guidelines for the specific application of colour across communications, with a new usage hierarchy, and new messaging that provides unique expression for both existing and emerging markets.

Imagery plays a critical role in creating compelling and authentic communications. We specified a look and feel for University of Adelaide photography that provides point of difference, identification, story and emotion; that represents the complexity of social interactions, showcases successful project outcomes and intrinsically connects the brand with people. Imagery is supported by the typeface which is both idiosyncratic and individual. With several unusual details including very short descenders and considerable variation in stroke width, creating an eccentric, dynamic impression that provides personality and character to brand communications.

Rodeo designed the University of Adelaide identity system to effectively and dynamically achieve exactly what's required in any given application, allowing the university to hone specific communications by manipulating these core components of the brand, imagery, messaging and typography. This highly strategic approach reflects our ability not only to generate ideas, but to synthesise seemingly disparate marketing requirements into a cohesive and integrated framework for brand communications.

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