Western unveils new branding


Much like when Facebook changes, people can’t stop talking about Western’s new branding, which launched yesterday morning.

The $200,000 initiative has been in the works for over a year, according to Keith Marnoch, director of media relations for Western, and is an attempt at “making a simpler way for us to let [national and international audiences] know we’re a national university.”

Western first incorporated its tower logo 10 years ago, but found it was hard to both invert and shrink in size, especially when it came to merchandise. Additionally, Marnoch pointed to the fact University College tower was locally, not internationally, known.

“If you look at the logo, it could be a church or something else,” Marnoch observed. “We needed to be a little bit more distinct that we are a university—a top tier university in Canada.”

But the changes are not limited to a shift from a tower to a coat of arms. They also include a slight shift in the shade of purple, a new font—specially created for Western and named “Hellmuth” after the founding bishop—and a switch from the name “University of Western Ontario” to “Western University.”

“‘The University of Western Ontario’ is very regional sounding to some people,” Marnoch explained.

Feedback on Twitter was divided yesterday, with some students embracing the change, and other students nostalgic for what is now being dubbed “vintage Western.”

“Modernizing the crest with a stylized sun, an 'active' stag + a new maple leaf defeats the purpose of a crest,” @phoenikia tweeted.

@brianbelman said, “I've always called our school 'Western.' The biggest change is the logo, the name still represents the school we love.”

Marnoch acknowledged that change can be tough for people, especially at Western, but noted public reaction, for the most part, was positive—more positive than he had expected.

“The Western experience is something that we value and treasure here, and [if] somebody thinks about it in their heart or head a different way, we’re not going to begrudge that.”


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