The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) engaged Goodchap to create a new logo and visual brand identity.
OBJECTIVE: Create a core brand identity that will visually position AICCU shoulder to shoulder with the top educational entities (CSU’s/UC’s and Community Colleges).
Goodchap Brand Identity Mantra… YOUR BRAND SHOULD BE:
DISTINCT. You are different, your logo and identity should be different. Different gets noticed, and that which gets noticed, is remembered.
INTELLIGENT. Appropriate concepts (no “it just looked cool” elements). Concept is based your salient feature(s). Simple as that. Core message (copy) platforms build off the concept and overall image congruency is achieved. Words and image working together are very powerful.
BE YOU. Your energy, your spirit, your YOU. This is a feeling if you like, reflecting your progressive nature, with a nod to your history perhaps… Or your solid, reliable reputation, slightly conservative maybe but looking like the leader you aim to be… Or personable, fun and reliable. Whatever your personality, correct graphic styling, choice of colors and fonts can bring it out.
PRACTICAL. A production-friendly identity solution which works on all major media, at all sizes in any number of colors. It can’t just look sharp, it has to fly. Economically. Should also be “design versatile” which means parts of the logo and elements of the identity will lend themselves to years of extended creativity for your marketing professionals to leverage. This will make your marketing tools congruent AND visually interesting.
OK, therein endeth the lesson. This is how all that panned out for AICCU:
Distinct: Dozens of educational entities were looked at to get a sense of what’s being done out there and to make sure we did not accidentally step on any existing concept toes as it were. They all looked pretty much the same, using icons that typically represent the segment (books, graduation caps, hands holding hands, and more books). So a concept was sought that would keep us far away from those sleepy old ideas.
Intelligence: A list of AICCU features was developed, discussed and edited to lead the creative stage. Words like partnership, independent, diverse, collective, journey, and going beyond — students sent qualified out into the world, fueling future economies. Creative concepts and designs were developed based on these pre-determined directions. The final brand was eventually presented at board level for approval. When a BOD hears the rational of creative before seeing anything, their comfort levels are high, left and right brain spheres are happy, and approvals are smoothly achieved. Next item…
Being AICCU: Energy, positivity, vibrancy, solidity, credibility, professionalism, progressive. Leaders. Bright optimistic colors, moving parts of the principal graphic, upwards, innovative, making great things happen people. Got it.
Practical: Logo performs in one color, three or four. Configured for print and web applications. Alternative “seal” logo was required and produced for specific official uses. Alternative with and without acronym versions delivered. Logo components can be pulled to extend and promote the brand in multiple locations from web site to office murals (see presentation folder item for a good example).
EXPERIENCE: Great communications, solid team consensus, immediate board approval. “That was the smoothest logo and identity project I’ve ever worked on.” – AICCU Client, Summer 2016.