Ontario Tech University recently introduced their updated branding and logo. Established in 2002, Ontario Tech University has over 10,000 students, with a thriving sports program that features 17 nationally ranked men’s and women’s athletic teams. Ontario Tech University’s goal is to empower their students to take on the problems of tomorrow using new technology.
Although Ontario Tech University established itself as an up-and-coming publicly funded university, it has always struggled with defining its identity.
With four different brandings over 12 years, the university needed something concrete to stick with. The main challenges for the university was the long and confusing name (University of Ontario Institute of Technology), challenging acronym (UoOIoT?), bland colours, multiple ‘tagline’ messages, and inconsistent branding standards. After researching, Ontario Tech University discovered that 40% of Canadians didn’t even know that they existed. The updated branding sought to adopt a more modern name and logo, as well as raise publicity about the university.
The old logo showed a blue shield logo with a white “O” cut out of it. The text was much lengthier: University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The new logo has the shortened name of “Ontario Tech University.” The shield icon is still there, but is outlined in darker blue. The “O” is still in the shield, but moved to the lower left-hand corner and cropped out of frame. The top right-hand side of the shield is orange and separated from the rest, creating a cropped “T”, and the shield outline itself a “U”, so that the institute’s new primary initials (OTU) are present in the icon.
Ontario Tech University collected feedback from 9,000 contacts from different stakeholder groups. Whether through messages sent directly to the Branding Update website, attending presentations on campus, direct email or feedback from social media, everyone related to the university had a chance to be heard. Alongside that feedback, the university also hired an external marketing firm, Academia Research. Feedback centered on three main areas: brand name, logo design and implementation.
The four main goals of the university in recreating the brand was to be identifiable, technology-focused, modern and flexible. The previous brandings were too wordy, or didn’t stand out from other university logos. It was also important that the logo be flexible enough to maintain integrity in all uses, like sports logos, business cards and other graphics. By achieving those goals, the university hopes to create a clear, definitive brand. The university’s official name is still University of Ontario Institute of Technology, but will be referred to as Ontario Tech University.