University of Canterbury
What if a university was relevant?

You didn't need a degree to realise the challenges facing the University of Canterbury late last year. The roll was down by 19% and falling. Parents, particularly international ones, were nervous about sending their offspring to Christchurch, and much of the historic old CBD – with its flats, cafes and student-friendly venues – was out of bounds.

Earthquakes aside, the University's brand image had been languishing and needed a shake-up. It didn't stand out from the pack or reflect the position of an exciting world-class academic institution where people are asking bold questions, exploring different ways of thinking and forging new connections that reach across disciplines and around the world.

It didn't reflect a city with a strong spirit of regeneration.

Canterbury claims connection to world-leading teachers and researchers. We had to make that visible and push the boundaries of brand and identity in the same way that people inside the university are pushing the boundaries of research. The brand positioning is 'People prepared to change the world'.

The question ‘What if' was our way in. We interviewed star teachers and pupils from each of the six main colleges. From those findings we designed a brand to bring provocative issues and research to the fore, and move away from the lifestyle positioning almost all tertiary providers have fallen into – so no happy student lifestyle shots.

Simple ingredients – elegant serif type, use of Canterbury red and black with provocative real world imagery, creates a brand in stark contrast to its competitors that supports the promise of a bold, world-changing future.

Want to know more? Experience their website here.