A unified brand
The University of Cambridge commissioned Onespacemedia to design avatars and backgrounds to use on their new media portals. The project focused specifically on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, and video sharing sites YouTube and Vimeo but the design concepts needed to be flexible enough to roll out to other portals in the future. The University enjoys thousands of daily visits to its new media platforms so it was crucial that we got the look right first time.
While brainstorming a design theme we knew had to operate within certain constraints: we had to stick to the University's colour palette, we had to use the University's branding, and it had to look modern. We eventually decided on a theme – "history meets the digital age" – which we set about implementing. The resulting designs feature a translucent and enlarged version of the University shield brand marque that represent the history of the University. We overlaid this marque on an electric blue gradient and added plasma–style lighting effects to represent the digital essence of the project. We then modified the background files for specific platforms – for example, YouTube channel partners can add custom HTML to the top area of their pages so we added a navigation menu that allows user to jump to featured content on the University's main website.
We had to create an avatar marque that would work at small sizes down to 25 by 25 pixels. The University's logo includes a graphically complex shield which doesn't render well at small sizes. Modify the shield marque wasn't an option so we proposed to extend the brand by having a unique marque for the University's digital channels. Taking the "history meets the digital age" theme forward we deconstructed the shield marque and isolated one of its most striking features – the lion. Using a blue from the University's colour palette we created a modern-looking gradient background and placed the lion element at the centre hey presto, the "disco lion" was born
Traditional, digital, beautiful
The University understand the importance of a maintaining a consistent brand image and, like any large organisation, have guidelines to ensure that this happens. However as new media is a modern internet phenomenon, the guidelines had to be extended to allow for the evolution of the University brand. During our research we found inspiring examples of brands that achieve the visual unification of their digital channels (Coca Cola's approach being our favourite) but we needed to find a direction that would both represent the brand, gravitas and history of the University whilst ensuring the approach was fresh and modern.
New media expertise
At Onespacemedia, we understand and promote the importance of managing a brand and reputation consistently across all channels. We are working on some exciting multi-faceted social media projects that are helping organisations build and extend their online visibility. Onespacemedia can provide expertise in all areas of new and social media, so if you need results in this space, get in touch.
- Launch date
- University of Cambridge