Monday, October 3, 2011

Week 6 Homework.

For the purpose of this task I have chosen to analysis the 2011 UNSW branding requirements. Created by Saatchi and Saatchi, this comprehensive, 65 page brand guide is an excellent tool for maintaing control and consistency.

The updated UNSW brand is made up of a 5 elements;

1. the logo
2. the new tag line "never stand still"
3. the band system
4. the grid
5. the typographic requirements

The use of these 5 elements are described in precise detail, ensuring that the end result is exactly inline with the guidelines.


The UNSW logo comes in two variations, portrait and (if necessary) landscape. These two logos are limited by four main elements to prevent the logo being reproduced in an illegible manner:

1. colour restrictions

Seen here are the positive and negative versions of these logos. The logo can also appear on white, and there is a greyscale version of the logo.

2. space around the logo

The space around the unsw logo is defined by x - which is different for the portrait and landscape version.

portrait: x=width of letter U

landscape:x = 1/2 width of shield

3. size of logo for different mediums (print, web etc)
colour restrictions

4. backgrounds which create low contrast of the logo, or distract from the logo.

This explains the two above points. The good thing about this visual language is that it clearly demonstrates what designers should never do.

These logo restrictions are really important in maintaining the brand as the logo is the most recognisable part of the UNSW brand. I believe these guidelines are an excellent tool for maintaining consistency with the brands most valuable element, and cover almost all grey areas where designers could faultier.


The "never stand still" tagline is a new edition to a long, unchanged UNSW brand and is intended to add a fresh message. I personally don't love the tagline, but unfortunately it ties into the more important guidelines for the band system and overall grid.
The band system, like the logo, is also restricted by size/proportion, colour and surrounding space.

The band always features the UNSW logo, the header/body typography and a band of arrows which change colour depending on whether it is for the master brand or for a specific faculty. For example:

I think my biggest issue with this is that the COFA faculty is a very depressing, boring and monotonous grey - which is disappointing and quite contradictory. Whats even worse, is that COFA doesn't get any mention other than this band throughout the entire style guide - which I feel makes the separation between the two universities even wider.

However, from a designers point of view the system for creating this band and the integration of the grid is rather impressive.

Firstly, it explains in laments terms how to create the band.

But then , in precise detail - refers to the grid for the correct placement of the band and proportions of the elements contained within it.

The page margin is equal to 1:18th of the page, and then the page is divided by 8 columns and 10 rows, the gutter of which is equal to 1:4 of the gutter. This creates perfect proportioned grid every time.

The band system fits onto this grid at a height of 2 rows, and can move up and down the grid within the margins.

here, the band is then also divided into 6 horizontal lines, which the logo scales and fits into perfectly.
The logo and text takes up three lines, with 1 line of safe area whilst the arrow band takes up 1 line.

The final element of the brand guideline is the consideration for typography. The brand uses two typefaces - Sommet (for headers and sub headers) and arial light ( for body copy)

They then explain how to use the typefaces in a multitude of ways using a pre-defined baseline grid.

All in all, I believe this branding guide line strongly guides designers in a clear (though perhaps too comprehensive) manner - maintaining a strong identity. The evidence is clear throughout campus. The only negative thing I can think of (which I suppose depends on the way you look at it) is the limitation on creativity for UNSW branded design, which would potentially lead to boring posters that become lost within each other, and offer little distinction between each other.

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