Communications

Rebrand FAQs

1: Why the new identity?

2: How did Western arrive at this new visual identity?

3: Has Western changed its name?

4: Will Western degrees and diplomas change?

5: Will the original coat of arms change?

6: Can I use Western's original, full coat of arms on my promotional materials if I don't want to use the new shield?

7: When can we start using the new logo?

8: When can we start ordering new stationery?

9: What do I do with my old stationery?

10: What will happen to the wayfinding signage across campus?

11: Can I still use the tower logo?

12: Can I create a logo for my department?

13: I belong to a research centre or institute – can we keep using our logo?

14: Is the Richard Ivey School of Business changing their logo?

15: Are we losing purple?

16: What other colours can I use with purple?

17: Can we still use the Bembo font?

18: Has Western's tone of purple changed? Is there a new Pantone value?

19: What are Western's official colours?

20: Are we still promoting Canada's Best Student Experience?

21: Will Western be changing its web URL and email addresses?

22: Will the Mustangs logo be changing?

23: How will this affect the Affiliated University Colleges?

24: Can I still use the university's wordmark - The University of Western Ontario?

25: Can I create my own clothing and merchandise?

26: I noticed the new logo on Western's homepage - has there been a redesign?

27. How much was spent on the rebranding?




Q: Why the new identity?

A: Western is a complex organization with multiple identities and symbols, which sometimes hinders our ability to communicate the impact of the University as a whole. Establishing a more unified visual identity for Western will strengthen our ability to gain greater recognition for our world-class research and teaching that is making an impact both at home and abroad.

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Q: How did Western arrive at this new visual identity?

A: From June to December 2011, in cooperation with Hahn Smith Design, a communications and design firm, we involved faculty, staff, students and alumni in a discussion about Western's visual identity - the logos and words we use to describe the University. We conducted online and in-person surveys, workshops and individual interviews with close to 5,000 alumni, donors and friends, more than 3,700 students and approximately 2,000 faculty and staff members. For more information on the process please visit the visual identity review website.

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Q: Has Western changed its name?

A: There is no plan to change the legal name of the university – The University of Western Ontario, which will continue to appear on diplomas and legal documents. However, in all our marketing and promotional materials, websites, and media relations materials, we will be calling ourselves "Western" or alternatively "Western University" when the context requires. We will continue to refrain from using the acronym UWO in our communications, as we have for the past 10 years.

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Q: Will Western degrees and diplomas change?

A: Western degrees and diplomas will still bear our legal name – The University of Western Ontario as well as the full coat of arms. There is a longer-term plan to have the full coat of arms re-drawn to make it more easily used in digital applications and to reflect the changes made in the "shield" portion of the logo.

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Q: Will the original coat of arms change?

A: There is a longer-term plan to have the full coat of arms re-drawn to make it more easily used in digital applications and to reflect the changes made in the "shield" portion of the Arms. Any such changes will be done with full approval from the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

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Q: Can I use Western's original, full coat of arms on my promotional materials if I don't want to use the new shield?

A: Use of the full coat of arms is restricted to the University Secretariat's Office and the Office of the Registrar for use on official university documents. Such documents include: degrees and diplomas, senate and board of governors documents, and transcripts.

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Q: When can we start using the new logo?

A: There are already several items available for use in the "tool kit" provided on this website. These items include: letterhead in Word format, PowerPoint and Keynote presentation templates, and computer wallpaper downloads. A full graphic standards website will be available in the coming months.

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Q: When can we start ordering new stationery?

A: The "tool kit" section of this web site provides Word templates for letterhead. We are working with Western's official stationery supplier, The DATA Group of Companies, to have our online ordering system up and running as quickly as possible. Faculties and support units are encouraged to use up their existing paper stationery before ordering new stock.

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Q: What do I do with my old stationery?

A: Faculties and support units are encouraged to use up their existing paper stationery before ordering new stock.

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Q: What will happen to the wayfinding signage across campus?

A: Facilities Management at Western has been planning for the past 18 months to execute a three-year project to improve and replace wayfinding signage campus-wide. This wayfinding project was initiated well before the visual identity review and has been on hold until the identity project was complete.

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Q: Can I still use the tower logo?

A: Going forward, the tower logo should not be used on any new materials. Units are encouraged to use up existing supplies of stationery, brochures, etc. that include the tower logo during this transition phase. Western's new logo should be used on any new materials.

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Q: Can I create a version of the logo for my department?

A: No new logos or variations on the new shield logo are permitted. Over the coming months we will be developing more comprehensive graphic standards guidelines that will clearly outline what is and isn't acceptable. These guidelines will include versions of the new logo for every faculty. If you have questions or concerns please refer to this page to contact us.

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Q: I belong to a research centre or institute – can we keep using our logo?

A: One of the main goals of this visual identity review is to raise the profile of the University by having a consistent visual representation of our faculties, departments, administrative units and research centres and institutes. We recognize that some research centres and institutes have more established brands and so will be co-branded with the main university visual identity. The appropriate use of these logos will be clearly outlined in our comprehensive graphic standards guidelines. All centres and institutes will be communicated with on an individual basis.

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Q: Is the Richard Ivey School of Business changing their logo?

A: The University recognizes that there has been a significant investment made to develop Ivey's unique and well-established brand, which is integral to marketing and development programs currently underway. We are continuing to work closely with Dean Carol Stephenson in a consultation process that will ensure both brands further strengthen and enhance each other.

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Q: Are we losing purple?

A: No way. The overwhelming majority of the survey respondents and workshop participants made it abundantly clear that purple IS Western's most distinguishing colour. We are changing our Pantone purple from PMS266 to PMS268 - this new purple is deeper and richer. The Pantone Color Matching System (PMS) is largely a standardized color reproduction system.

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Q: What other colours can I use with purple?

A: In the coming months our detailed graphic standards website will outline acceptable colours that complement our official colours of purple, white and grey (silver) and how those colours should be used.

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Q: Can we still use the Bembo font?

A: Western will no longer be using Bembo as an official serif font. The new visual identity incorporates two new fonts for Western. Our serif font (see the Word Western in the logo) is a custom-made font that we are calling Hellmuth - this font will only be used in the actual logo files. Our secondary font is a sans-serif called Benton - the acceptable substitute "system font" is Arial.

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Q: Has Western's tone of purple changed? Is there a new Pantone value?

A: Yes. Western is shifting slightly to a darker and richer purple. Our new value is Pantone 268 (formerly 266). The corresponding CMYK value is C:82 M:100 Y:0 K:12, the RGB value is :R:79, G:38, B:131, and the HEX value is #4f2683. Pantone values are used when a specific colour (purple) is printed separately to ensure the most accurate reproduction. CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black)) refers to the four inks used in most full-colour printing. RGB (Red, Green and Blue) refers to the colour model used for sensing, representing, and displaying images in electronic systems, such as televisions and computers. HEX values are used in HTML code to designate specific colours.

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Q: What are Western's official colours?

A: Western's official colours remain purple, grey (silver) and white. Our new purple Pantone value is PMS 268 (formerly PMS266). The corresponding CMYK value is C:82 M:100 Y:0 K:12, the RGB value is :R:79, G:38, B:131, and the HEX value is #4f2683. The silver/grey is PMS Cool Gray 10U, the CMYK value is C:0 M:2 Y:0 K:60, RGB value is R:128 G:127 B:131 and the HEX value is #807f83.

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Q: Are we still promoting Canada's Best Student Experience?

A: We are shifting to a more inclusive positioning of The Western Experience. For undergraduate recruitment messaging we will continue to use Canada's best student experience.

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Q: Will Western be changing its web URL and email addresses?

A: We have secured westernu.ca as a new URL. In the coming months Western plans to adopt this as its new web address. The implementation of this new URL campus wide for both web and email will take careful planning and a sufficient phase-in period.

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Q: Will the Mustangs logo be changing?

A: Throughout our survey work, faculty, staff, students and alumni felt strongly that the Mustang logo was a well established brand that represents our reputation for excellence in athletics. As such, the Mustang logo will remain unchanged.

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Q: How will this affect the Affiliated University Colleges?

A: Western's affiliated university college have brand standards independent of the main university. We are working with the Affiliates to ensure that how they reference Western University is consistent.

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Q: Can I still use the university's wordmark - The University of Western Ontario?

A: There is no plan to change the legal name of the university – The University of Western Ontario. However, in all our marketing and promotional materials, websites, and media relations materials, we will be calling ourselves Western or Western University. Western's wordmark in Bembo font should no longer be used.

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Q: Can I create my own clothing and merchandise?

A: Anyone wishing to order clothing or other merchandise should do so through The Book Store at Western.

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Q: I noticed the new logo on Western's homepage - has there been a redesign?

A: Western's homepage has been tweaked to reflect the new visual identity. A full redesign of Western's website is scheduled to launch in April. The design of this visual identity launch website WILL NOT be the look and feel of the web redesign for Western.

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Q. How much was spent on the rebranding?

A. Approximately $100,000 was invested in consultation with faculty, staff, students and alumni through one-on-one interviews, workshops and surveys. We then invested approximately $100,000 in creative development of the new Western logo as well as logos for all faculties, departments and sub-brands (fire, police, etc). This amount also includes conceptual work for other communications materials.

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