OCAD University unveils its new visual identity

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 4:00am

(Toronto — May 6, 2011) At last night’s opening celebration of OCAD University’s 96th Annual Graduate Exhibition, the university unveiled its new visual identity to students, faculty, staff and guests. The university’s new logo was developed in collaboration with the internationally respected firm Bruce Mau Design (BMD).

“This dynamic new identity asserts OCAD U’s catalytic role within the creative sectors, the research community and industry,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University President.

BMD worked with the OCAD U community to design an innovative and collaborative process that included participation from students, faculty, staff, community members and alumni from across Canada and around the world. The design process included a series of workshops last fall, where participants were invited to share their stories, experiences and ideas about OCAD U and what they envision for the university in the future.

“We are honoured to have had the opportunity to develop a new brand identity system that builds on the rich legacy of the school and projects the image of a dynamic and multivalent future for the institution,” said Hunter Tura, President and CEO, Bruce Mau Design. “What’s even more exciting is the partnership we have established with OCAD U, the epicenter of creative thought leadership in Canada.”

Inspired by OCAD U’s iconic and transformational Alsop-designed Sharp Centre for Design, BMD created a base of black and white pixel ‘windows’ — modular frames to hold actual student art and design work. Through these ‘windows’ the core of OCAD U is presented —conceptually strong, relevant, diverse, and compelling. “As we push the boundaries of art and design practice, education and research, so too does our new identity, giving the world a window into what we do here,” said Dr. Diamond.

The identity is dynamic and modular in design. Every year, graduating student medal winners will be invited to design a logo within the basic window framework, providing the university with a set of logos for that year. As OCAD U grows and matures, a living library of identities will emerge, recording the ideas and aesthetics that have shaped our culture over time.

Last night’s unveiled logo ‘window’ featured works by 2010 medal winners Adrian Forrow and James Gauvreau. This year’s medal winners were announced earlier this week as part of the lead up to this weekend’s Graduate Exhibition, which continues until Sunday at 6 p.m. Each medal winner will be invited to participate in the program to feature their work in the new identity going forward.

The unveiling kicks off a summer-long implementation process for the new identity. “We plan to welcome our next cohort of new students this September with our new look fully realized across campus,” said Dr. Diamond.

For more information and images:

About Bruce Mau Design
Bruce Mau Design (BMD; www.brucemaudesign.com) is an innovation and design studio centred on purpose and optimism. Since 1985, BMD has evolved from a graphic design studio to a leader in breakthrough design thinking, applying design methodologies to a wide range of business and cultural organizations with challenges in need of creative solutions. Creators of Massive Change®, the internationally acclaimed travelling exhibition, book, website and interview series, BMD is an interdisciplinary studio made up of artists, architects, graphic designers, filmmakers, brand strategists, biologists, publishers, curators and technologists. Some of the firm’s clients include: MTV, AGO, Coca-Cola, Arizona State University, MoMA and the feature length documentary The 11th Hour. BMD is a member of the MDC Partners network.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)