Capilano University wins best higher education rebrand in the world

Jul 6 2017, 12:57 am

The rebranding of Capilano University has topped a global survey of more than 100 higher educations brand identity redesigns over the past two years.

The survey, by higher education branding expert Ken Steele for his website Eduvation, looked at the success of various rebrands around the world.

It particularly focused on rebrands “that are professional, memorable, balanced and well-designed, and that didn’t spark a backlash from faculty, students or alumni.”

In a video on his website, Steele says the Capilano University rebrand is one of his favourites and a big improvement on the school’s previous identity.

“In 2016, they unveiled a much more dynamic, colourful identity that masterfully combines traditional academic shield and eagle feathers,” he said.

“The style is definitely influenced by traditional Coast Salish indigenous art, where the eagle is a guide and messenger, symbolizing wisdom, friendship and leadership.”

The rebranded Capilano University logo (Capilano University)

The rebranded Capilano University logo (Capilano University)

After consulting students, staff, faculty, and First Nations elders, the new logo was created by Ion Brand Design with indigenous artists Marissa Nahanee and Jordan Gallieto.

In a release at the time of the rebranding, Paul Dangerfield, the University’s president said the new logo reflected its place between sea and sky.

“Our new brand signifies the creativity, confidence and wisdom that’s cultivated at Capilano University,” said Dangerfield. “It’s our time to shine.”

For Steele however, there was one more association to the rebrand, that Capilano and the designers perhaps didn’t expect.

“Capilano wanted a new identity that reflected a much more confident, unified, and creative institution,” said Steele.

“Personally, the translucent candy colours remind me of Apple’s first line of gumdrop-shaped iMac computers. Tasty!”

The 1990s ad for Apple's coloured iMacs (Apple)

The 1990s ad for Apple’s coloured iMacs (Apple)

The Capilano University redesign process can be seen in the video at the top of this story.

Jenni SheppardJenni Sheppard

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