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Birkbeck gets a fresh, new look

New visual identity combines iconic evening study crest with a colourful and contemporary look and feel.

Birkbeck, University of London, will begin the New Year with a new visual identity which combines its iconic evening study crest with a colourful and contemporary look and feel.

It is the first time Birkbeck has had a bespoke visual identity. The aim is to give the College a coherent and recognisable look that reflects its unique position as the UK’s only evening university, a vibrant and inclusive place where working Londoners of all ages have been coming to study for nearly 200 years.

The visual identity will first be seen in action in a new advertising campaign across the London bus and underground network and online that launches on New Year’s Day, starring some of our own students. 

Visual identity is one of the most valuable ways of telling a story about an organisation. To make sure we got that story right, academics and professional staff from across the university helped develop the identity with leading design consultancy Pentagram. Together they came up with a flexible look that is both beautiful and practical.

The logo itself has barely changed, but the owl featured in the crest, denoting evening study, has been given a new lease of life, and will appear elsewhere, on social media icons, for instance.

Domenic Lippa, partner at Pentagram, said: “We wanted to create a visual identity that used the heritage of the existing logo.  To do this, we anchored all information off of the logo, thus creating a strong hierarchy. Once we established this, the 'heart' of the identity, we started to introduce new typefaces, colours and imagery to support and counter-point that heritage.”

Professor David Latchman, Master of Birkbeck, said: “I am delighted that Birkbeck is getting its first ever visual identity. As we move towards our third century this colourful, modern look helps communicate the vitality, passion and professionalism of our world-class university.”

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