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Create a modern logotype for Leeds College of Art, one that preserves the heritage and inspiration of the colleges intricate mosaic that is found above the colleges Vernon Street building.
Creative communications agency Peter & Paul, asked us to help them in developing a new logotype for the Leeds College of Art. The college’s Vernon Street building which opened in 1846, displays a large scale intricate mosaic by which the college is well-known and it is cherished by many of the faculty and board members within the college. Whilst the mosaic represents values of craft, excellence and history, it didn’t fully represent the output of the college in its modern context.
Fontsmith were tasked with preserving the mosaic’s distinct typography yet modernising it to form a new logotype; one built on the college’s heritage of high craft standards and creativity.
We began by defining the skeleton shapes of each letter within the mosaic. In this way we could gain an understanding of the type’s distinctive proportions and stroke weights. We then explored a broad variety of serif treatments and applied them to the core shapes in order to define tone of voice. A classic rounded bracket serif route was chosen as this resonated closest to the original mosaic, and also complemented the graphic mosaic system developed by Peter & Paul.
We then explored the arrangement of each word and proposed around ten different possibilities, including the addition of the year in which the college was founded. Upon selection of the best serif treatment and arrangement, we could then develop a master logo, crafted for both large and small size use – a logo built from heritage yet with modern versatility and finesse.
The completed identity work is a simple but effective solution. One that gives the college a more unified and contemporary identity without losing a reference to its past.