The Commons Rebrand

Challenge

Lead the development of a fully rebranded identity & hierarchy, website, and launch campaign for the University Student Commons & Activities (USC&A), a sub-brand of VCU.

Role

Visual branding/art direction, brand hierarchy research & strategy, UX/UI strategy & design, and website & campaign development.

Timeline & Tools

Brand identity & hierarchy – 6 weeks, UX/UI – 8 weeks, Website & launch campaign development – ongoing

As a Marketing/Design Graduate Assistant at VCU’s University Student Commons & Activities, I’ve had the immense privilege of leading a department-wide rebranding initiative. Because I’m currently working with my coworker, Chris Cole, on building out the full launch campaign, website redesign & brand identity, I’ll be updating this page over the next few weeks.

To start, here’s a preview of the new visual identity & how it’ll apply across our different teams/services.

Ram Horns sculpture at VCU
We decided to root The Commons visual identity in existing brand equity, derived from two phrases we kept hearing from students: “The Ram Horns” & “The Commons”
Ram horns logo, The commons, VCU and seal
The new primary logo for The Commons now features a simplified graphic representation of the Ram Horns in the Commons Plaza.
RamsConnect logo, logo lockup with team name
The Commons provides students with a range of services, programs, and spaces through several secondary units. These are a few applications of how the new identity will extend to all brand touchpoints.
In order to strengthen The Commons brand as a whole (which benefits all secondary units through increased recognition), I created a lockup of the primary “Ram Horns” logo mark with stylized type for the unit names.
Type treatment for APB, SLCE, GSPB, FSL
Type treatment for units wishing to indicate their sponsorship of a specific program (with the logo lockup also featured on the collateral).
RamsConnect
RamsConnect, the online portal for students to get involved, receives a similar type treatment to secondary units, but in a two-color, stacked wordmark.
The Commons at Larrick Logo
The new logo also has location lockup options in order to tie all three locations to the department’s operations.
Custom icon set
Custom icon set
Website Prototype
Prototype of the new homepage of The Commons website, designed to match the new web template for the Division of Student Affairs. The rebranded identity of The Commons will be rolled out alongside a new department website (currently developing) & the “Find Your” launch campaign (producing with Chris Cole).
Commons Header Video, "Find Your" Campaign
Concept video for the new website’s homepage hero content
Two computer screens featuring the before and after of The Commons website
Updated site (currently in development) with “Find Your” launch campaign, redesigned information architecture/navigation elements/content and the new branding for The Commons.

VCU 2020 Virtual Commencement

Additionally, the Ram Horns illustration created for The Commons logo was adopted by VCU to be featured on the official 2020 “Virtual Commencement Swag” shown on VCU’s social accounts & website below.

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