How to avoid 12,000 unlikes – Loughborough University

What’s wrong with this logo.

Answer: nothing.

Old Loughborough Uni Logo




What’s wrong with this logo.

Answer: nothing – it’s simply irrelevant.

New logo

New Loughborough Uni Logo






Loughborough University have launched a new logo and their students – past and present are not happy.

So here’s a summary of how not to completely mess up an identity project:

1. A logo is not a brand – not even close.

2. An identity can be improved in many ways without ever touching the logo.

3. Speak to the people who matter before you design anything – usually the people buying your product or service.

4. If your brand has history don’t throw it away – lever off it. The old logo is based on the arms granted to the former technical college in 1920 when it evolved into a University.

5. A change of  logo should signify a wider change in the organisation – it’s a line in the sand.

6. A logo is a small part of a much wider identity – but it’s the most emotive element.

We’ve worked on 500 year old brands, new start ups, charities – and universities. So we know these rules work.

Hells Angels to the Rescue

Malawi – on the one hand a beautiful African country, on the other a place with 1 million HiV sufferers.

BBC Radio 4′s From Our Own Correspondent gives a superb 4 minute taste of everyday life there and how the intrepid bikers from Riders for Health are making a massive difference.

The Malawi piece starts 16min 54secs into this link and you can fast forward to it.

We’ve just put the finishing touches to the design of Riders for Health’s Annual Review which will be our site soon. Malawi, as well as other African countries, are featured – so now you’ll be able to both see and hear about Riders’ phenomenal work in Africa.


The 45bn design pitch

The Norwegian Central Bank put the design of their bank notes out to pitch to 8 design teams. They’ve chosen to develop a mix of 2 concepts - traditional 1 side with a modern reverse. With 45bn of notes in circulation I hope the designers are on a repeat use fee.

Blending traditional with modern is a brief we’ve come across in many forms across many sectors – visitor attractions, professional firms, sports brands and charities. If your brand has history (like many of the luxury goods brands) that’s something that can’t easily be copied. If you invest the time to understand the history of a brand then you can create much more relevant and compelling design going forward.


Protect your brand


If you’ve put a lot of thought, time and investment into building a brand then you should think about:

–  Protecting the goodwill built up in your brand.
–  Making it harder for competitors to copy you.
–  Making your brand easier to sell, franchise or licence.

Trade marking can help in all these areas. A trade mark is a device (or marque) which distinguishes your goods and services from those of your competitors. Your trade mark can be words, logos or a combination of both.

We’ve recently been though the process and successfully trademarked our own logo for the UK market. So we can now use the R symbol with our logo as opposed to the TM symbol which anyone can use but offers no protection.

With distinctiveness being a crucial area of trade mark law, creativity in naming and logo design can greatly improve your chances of registration. You can search the Intellectual Property website and Google to avoid any obvious clashes but the more you look into it the less clear the answers become. This is where you need expert help – we used an iP specialist called Stobbs based in Cambridge.

There’s another big benefit of having your brand trade marked. New generic top level domains (gTLDs) have started to become available (since February). So instead of the usual and .com etc there will things like .clothing .restaurant .nottingham etc. If your brand is trade marked you can register it at the Trademark Clearing House (operated by Deloitte) and you will get first refusal (lasting 60 days) to register a domain name in the new gTLDs as they become available. Over 5,000 trade marks have already been registered and approx 1,000 new gTLDs are planned.

With over 120 million registered .com domain names and over 10 million domains, web name space is running out! These new domain name extensions will get around this problem. In addition they will enable you to create a more relevant domain name for your brand – which in turn makes your brand easier to find on Google. So in the long run it’s good for business.

New Improved Purple Circle


Some things at Purple Circle have changed
–  the name
–  we’re leaner
–  more flexible

New thinking for a new era. That’s what the brands which will succeed tomorrow need now. Clarity of positioning combined with compelling design to drive your brand forward.

Some things haven’t changed
–  exceptional service
–  clear thinking
–  work which delivers
–  your contact

Michael Slack
07971 404 911
01509 881107