Status: Complete

Rebranding

I'm curious whose idea this was. Among everyone I know who has seen the change the response has been hugely negative, not in the same way all changes are, where people grumble but after a while they stop noticing, but actual confusion and dislike. The confusion is a large part of the problem, with questions such as "Why does our colourful and friendly students union, so cute that it's literally a perfect name for a cat, want to become the very essence of faceless corporation." I cannot express enough how awful and contrary to all the qualities I like in susu this logo is.

I'm sure it must have been an Emperor's New Clothes situation, or a situation where everything looked fine on paper, like you wanted sans serif to be modern, you wanted a shorter name to symbolise speed and efficiecy and it even says US, implying togetherness. All of which is indeed fine on paper, and admirable qualities to convey in a logo, but somewhere along the way you needed a fresh pair of eyes who weren't afraid to go against the opinions of everyone who'd worked on the logo. As it is at the moment, I assumed it was a joke. I'm still not quite convinced it isn't, which is part of why I'm emailing. Is there any more information available on the rebrand other than what the Tab has written? 

In short, first off is this really the new brand, and if so who decided on this design and why.

(sorry this was actually three questions in one)

Submitted on Saturday 14th May 2016 by Jesse Dykes

No worries that it’s three questions in one – I’ll try to answer all three separately. Firstly though, have no fear – Susu the Cat will keep her name!

First, whose idea this was. This idea has been brewing since at least 2014, when the Redbrick research revealed that a great number of students were totally apathetic towards the Union, it’s branding and its culture. The idea was also discussed in council in June last year. Then, this year, with the go ahead from the trustee board and the council, we collected 2,400 responses to the survey about the rebrand, we welcomed people into workshops where every student who attended was invited to give designing the new logo a try

Second, this YMC was submitted after the first Tab article, and I hope that now that the full branding guidelines have been leaked and you’ve seen all the colour, the dynamic properties of the new logo and the full concept you like it a lot more – I’ve seen responses from people who remain apathetic, but a lot of people who are much more impressed now that they’ve seen more than a half finished sign. I agree, everything did look good on paper – but I honestly feel that it looks really great now it’s been fully implemented too. The whole idea of the sign off  (referred to as ‘The Mark’ in the leaked version of the branding guidelines) is to not make the Union a faceless corporation, because student groups can project whatever face onto the logo they like – as colourful or creative as they want to be, if they want to be!

There is a lot more information across the Tab and the Wessex Scene now, and if you want any more please feel free to put up another You Make Change, email me on pres@soton.ac.uk or come and find me in the Sabb office so we can have a longer chat about it.

The design was created by Holdens creative agency, and was voted on by Union Council  who were presented with three designs and settled on this one as the one to develop into the final brand.

I hope this satisfactorily answers your questions, but if not get in touch and I’ll happily tell you anything else you want to know.

Ben Franklin
Union President

Monday 16th May 2016 10:56am

Question for: Union President