Eduvation Blog

Brand Chemistry: New Universities

Canada’s most trusted higher ed monitor and futurist, Ken Steele, reviews examples of name changes and visual identity redesigns at colleges and universities because of name changes. Sometimes any name change is an improvement, such as the renaming of Beaver College or Kinki University. in Canada, most name changes reflect a government change in mandate, such as SIAST becoming Saskatchewan Polytechnic. In 2008, BC’s premier Gordon Campbell surprised five institutions with new university status, resulting in the renaming of UCFV as University of the Fraser Valley, Malaspina University College as Vancouver Island University, Kwantlen University College as Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Likewise OCAD became OCAD University with a unique visual identity designed by Bruce Mau in 2011. Calgary’s Mount Royal College gained university status in 2010, becoming Mount Royal University, and president David Marshall made light of the transition in a YouTube video. Edmonton’s Grant MacEwan Community College gradually stripped down its name to simply “MacEwan” in preparation for university status in 2010, and launched its new visual identity and colours in 2013.

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