LIBERAL ARTS HAS A BAD RAP

Ezra Santos - Managing Director

 


“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

- Great master of classic science fiction Robert A. Heinlen, Time Enough for Love (1973)


Specialization is for insects. I love it.

Speculative science fiction encourages us to look into the future and explore the “what if,” and “what could be” of technological, cultural, and societal change. But what does this have to do with the title of our article? Have I bamboozled you so I could brainwash you into the cult of science fiction? I wish, but that’s not the purpose of this article. So what’s the connection?

I’m a fan of science fiction for many of the same reasons that I’m a fan of a broad based liberal arts education: they encourage us to be curious, unconventional, boundless, and fearless. They encourage us to explore new possibilities, find unique answers, and create new opportunities.  All traits and attitudes found in leaders, thinkers, and innovators. So when the opportunity arose to brand a University that lived and breathed Liberal Arts education we jumped at the opportunity.

The University of Lethbridge encourages students and faculty to cultivate new outcomes, different views and innovative solutions. They encourage what was always there: a natural ability to raise the bar higher. This was exciting, and we were very honoured to have been chosen. We are proud to present you with a synopsis of the university of Lethbridge brand.

 

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

ARTICULATION AND EXPRESSION

FIAT LUX

Fiat Lux, the university motto that means “Let there be light” is the heart of the brand. It represents the inner being of the institution, what the university is a shining example of, what we values, what we encourages, what we pass on to others.

“We seek, discover and create – we inspire others to do the same. “Let there be light” speaks to a force of will, a spirit of determination, and a desire to achieve and create, which opens the door to a narrative that directly relates to (and fits) history, brand heritage, and the purpose of our existence as an institution.”

LUCERE is the brand idea(l)

Lucere, meaning “to shine” is both the brand idea and brand ideal. Through “lucere” we transmit complex, segmented messages, promising a “destination” that is better, brighter and more promising. Which relates to and fits our culture, values, and strategic vision as an institution.

SHINE is the campaign

“Shine” represent a symbolic base of expression (belongingness, social meaningfulness, and affective fulfillment) that allows us to further distinguish ourselves from the competitive offerings. This type of expression is visual, expressive and experiential. It allows us to align with the heart (the values, dreams and aspirations of our prospects, and the mind) to establish a landing ground for our compelling, rational message:

“We will be Canada’s destination for all who seek a comprehensive, liberal education-based university that promotes a diverse and inclusive environment and inspires research-informed teaching and learning, creative discovery, scholarship, professional endeavor, experiential opportunities, and community engagement.”

Through “shine” we authentically and “uniquely identify UofL as a superior quality education that prepares the whole person not just for tomorrow’s job but for a lifetime of personal and professional achievement” in a way that is simple, digestible, accessible, and aspirational.

 

CONTEXT

The project

  • Brand articulation and creative expression

Goals

  • A clear and distinct positioning that sets it apart from competitors who are evolving in real time.
  • Move to higher ground by building on existing equity as a nurturing and solid institution.
  • Articulate the future vision in a way that is credible and inspiring to the audiences we most need to engage: students, faculty, funders, and partners.

Process

  • Identify the brand signals we are to send out
  • Ensure brand signals are in alignment with strategic goals, business model, and reality
  • Ensure brand signals are truthful, emotive, aspirational
  • Enhance the brand, strengthen the position
  • Create a unified brand position working model
  • Articulate and express the brand