Capilano University

  • Branding
  • Campaigns
  • Video
Capilano University had a challenge with its existing brand. Previously a community college, it became a university in 2008. But people still thought of it as a college. How could we capture the essence and aspirations of a unique, young university?

Founded in 1968 as a community college, Capilano University was created to serve the surrounding community with post-secondary education. It grew to serve the entire community, including the local Aboriginal groups and developed a reputation for innovative programs with a strength in creative arts such as film and design. Leading up to its 50th Anniversary, Capilano University needed to reinforce its position as an experiential university developing creative leaders.

Capilano University was created to serve the surrounding community with post-secondary education. It grew to serve the entire community, including the local Aboriginal groups and developed a reputation for innovative programs with a strength in creative arts such as film and design. Leading up to its 50th Anniversary, CapU needed to reinforce its position as an experiential university developing creative leaders. Ion conducted 5 brand definition workshops with over 200 faculty, staff and students. We walked participants through a series of exercises to help them define the way they saw the university growing and changing to meet the challenges of the next 50 years. We solicited over 300 responses online to similar questions.

Brand Story

Capilano University inspires students in a creative and supportive place. We are British Columbia’s leading experiential university.

Research

Ion conducted five brand definition workshops with over 200 faculty, staff and students. We walked participants through a series of exercises to help them define the way they saw the university growing and changing to meet the challenges of the next 50 years. We looked at the University’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. We asked people to tell us what Capilano University would be in the future. We solicited over 300 responses from similar questions online.

Strategy

What we heard from hundreds of people shaped the Brand Goal and Objectives, Key Messages and Brand Essence — Confident. Unified. Creative. Enduring. Luminous.

Through a collaborative process with the Capilano University team as well as First Nations students and Elders, we worked through dozens of iterations to craft a logo that speaks to the University’s unique status and offerings, its stunning campus and history.

The emblem, using multiple facets, represents the character of Capilano University and its connection to the land on which it stands and the people who live, work and learn here. The combination of linear and circular organic forms, defined by the vibrant colour palette, speak of diversity and collaboration, with the separate elements creating a vibrant whole. Ultimately, the emblem creates a universal symbol defending the virtues of Capilano University as a place of higher experiential learning.

Beyond the logo itself, the brand story and language have been developed to help Capilano University staff work with the brand on a day-to-day basis. This includes photographic subject matter and style, brand tone and speaking points in addition to templates and guidelines.

Video

Business Cards

Stationery

Guidelines

Viewbook

Viewbook Spread

Viewbook Spread

Campaign Transit

Campaign Bus Tail

Campaign Transit

The Results

The brand launched on November 24, 2016 in an enthusiastic and celebratory event. “Students, staff and partners in the community have told us they love our new brand and find it powerful and welcoming,” says Paul Dangerfield, president of Capilano University. A great achievement for an institution with so many stakeholders.

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