Thomas Manss & Company‘s new symbol for the German Fachhochschule Brandenburg University replaces the abstracted depiction of the college building with a mark that is less literal without betraying its roots.
Both, the old symbol and its successor, are inspired by the architecture of the former army barracks the university calls home to 3000 students in Brandenburg an der Havel. “The gate depicted in the symbol might be the formal main entrance of the college but very few members or visitors actually use it. Nevertheless, the identification of staff and students of Fachhochschule Brandenburg with this architectural feature is high,” explains College President Dr. Hans Georg Helmstädter.
However, while the old mark could be associated with the Bachelor and Master degrees in engineering, business administration and economics as well as information technology and media, it was felt that it also presented a staid image of an institution that prides itself on its progressive programme of global cooperation in research as well as teaching. Students enjoy partnerships and exchange programmes with 50 international universities in Europe and overseas.
“The challenge was to evolve the existing identity, building on the existing goodwill invested in the architectural symbol, yet, conveying the state-of-the-art nature of the educational programme,” according to Thomas Manss & Company Partner Andreas Lerchner.
Initial focus groups research revealed that, in addition to the academic programme, the idyllic surroundings with their myriad of waterways and leisure facilities were a big draw.
The newly designed mark takes into account these findings and adds the water theme with a simple design intervention that leaves the symbol still proudly displaying its architectural origins.
College President Dr. Hans Georg Helmstädter comments:
For the uninitiated punter the new mark represents an instantly recognisable, abstract, calm and modern shape. For people familiar with the campus, it evokes the main building and the four squares are also reminiscent of the gates depicted in the shield of the city – illustrating the college’s unequivocal commitment to Brandenburg an der Havel.
The new Fachhochschule Brandenburg symbol has been implemented across a wide range of applications including stationery, posters, brochures, presentations and the college website. Andreas Lerchner explains: “The visual identity had to be implemented easily and efficiently by college staff as well as numerous external suppliers.”
All designs and templates have been documented in an easy to use design manual and were presented to staff and students alike during a dedicated launch event.
With the founding of Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences in April 1992, Brandenburg upon Havel became a university town for the first time in its history of over a 1,000 years. Brandenburg University offers attractive, cutting-edge degree courses in three disciplines: engineering, business administration and economics as well as information technology and media.
Nearly 3,000 students are enrolled at Brandenburg University, studying in modern teaching facilities and laboratories in a leafy campus setting. All courses lead to the internationally recognized degrees, Bachelor and Masters. Students particularly appreciate the project-orientated courses on offer. Course content is defined in co-operation with partners in industry, commerce and public administration from around the region, giving students the chance to get to know their future field of work hands on right from the start. The university promotes with particular emphasis international exchange in teaching, research and study. Brandenburg University has more than 50 partnerships with universities across Europe as well as overseas.
Thomas Manss & Company
Founded in 1993, Thomas Manss & Company is a multidisciplinary design consultancy with offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Brazil.
As designers, we set out to make a difference to the companies and organisations that we work with and it is our belief that this is best achieved through close collaboration with our clients.
Working for cultural institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery, the William Morris Gallery and the British Museum, as well as for publishers such as Phaidon, Thames and Hudson and Ivory Press, we have developed various projects for the arts and design sector, from campaigns to books and identities to signage systems. We also have a strong portfolio of clients from architecture, technology and luxury industries including the architects Foster + Partners, the manufacturer of high-end speakers Bowers & Wilkins, the Italian group of papers Fedrigoni and the luxurious hotel group Ritz-Carlton.
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