Northland

 

is a community & technical college located in northwest Minnesota. We designed and launched their new visual identity system.

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ASSIGNMENT

Northland contacted us to refresh their visual brand presence for both the academics and athletics programs. Our approach was to identify current challenges and clearly define areas of opportunity to either evolve the brand or completely redesign it. The Northland marketing team had clearly defined areas of concern with the brand – lack of consistency and a lack of guidance with the absence of a style guide. To view the work we created for their athletic's program, check out the Pioneer's project page.

OUR APPROACH

We conducted surveys, focus groups and held several discovery sessions with: students, faculty, community members and alumni. The discovery sessions were informative to what the current sentiment of the brand was. Overwhelmingly, what we heard was that people wanted change. There was little affiliation with the existing logo & wordmark and there was an appetite for something innovative and expressive. Our challenge was to reimagine the brand with a new logo and holistic design language.

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PAST MATERIALS

The old brand (FIG. 5.0 see below) had issues with consistency partly due to the fact that there was no existing brand guidelines to help advise agencies, vendor partners and marketing team members. Various typefaces and colors were used and there wasn't a design system to connect the pieces. Our goal was to create a robust set of guidelines and create templates to increase uniformity without sacrificing flexibility.

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GRAPHIC MOTIF

We used a simple triangle based off the letter "N" from the wordmark as the graphic motif for the brand. The triangle is a nod to the logo and also represents looking upward to the north. The triangle is used in various ways – a pattern on photography, a mask for imagery and expressive color usage.

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  • Brand Strategy
  • Discovery & Research
  • Identity System Design
  • Brand Guidelines
  • Product Design
  • UI/UX Design
  • Iconography & Illustration
  • Brand Launch & Rollout
Team
  • Garrick Willhite
  • Bryn Bundlie
  • Anders Holine (Motion Graphics)
Client
  • Northland Community & Technical College
Project
  • Rebrand & Visual Identity System
Featured
  • Underconsideration: Brand New, The Minneapolis Egotist, AdFed Show
Year
  • 2019