The Rise of Branding in the Education Sector


Given the crowded market and increasing competition for students, educational institutions have been prompted to develop solid education brand strategies to better articulate what they offer and how they are distinctive from their competitors.  

Rising expectations

With students now paying more for their studies, many expect a lucrative return on investment and value for money, whether this be through academic quality, employability after their education or the university’s facilities.

Even before an official interaction has taken place between the university and its potential student, the audience will already have a perceived notion of the organisation’s reputation and offerings. Therefore, when it comes to student attraction, a university with a well-respected brand has an enormous advantage.

The University of the Arts London (UAL), developed a new visual identity with the goal of developing a stronger voice and increasing brand awareness.

The new identity is a much simpler, more confident, and more authoritative typographic approach, rendering the university’s initials in lowercase Helvetica.

Old brand identity:


University Arts London old logo

New brand identity:

UAL’s visual identity is about being bold, simple and direct, in addition to allowing the stories of their students and academics to take centre stage.

UAL new logo

UAL’s visual identity is about being bold, simple and direct, in addition to allowing the stories of their students and academics to take centre stage.

Learning the lessons of online branding

Building a strong online brand presence is vital. Many students and parents will now look and connect with schools and universities online. Without online visibility, a school would be almost invisible. The rise of websites in the education sector has increased, and ultimately act as an online brochure for prospective students and parents, providing them with as much information as possible to help them decide if the school or university is right for them.

Shifting perceptions by rebranding

Formerly known as the University Campus Suffolk, the University of Suffolk has rebranded to better reflect its newly acquired full University status.

With the change of status, Suffolk University was keen to reference ‘change’ as a theme central to their core proposition — that of a new university for a changing world to further attract international students. With the new brand guidelines, this was rolled out across the new website, prospectuses and campaigns to create brand consistency.

New logo:

University of suffolk rebrand

University rebranding

rebrand collateral

Blair Campbell, Head of Marketing and Communications, said “the brand has been really well received and gives a firm nod to our past heritage whilst also looking to the future and all the potential it offers. The branding retains the square mark that has formed part of our identity for many years, intersected by a 45-degree angle to bring a sense of momentum and forward motion whilst also highlighting our geographical location”.

Students are customers and branding is an investment which gives schools and universities a USP amongst the competition, promotes awareness and reputation, whilst adding equity and value to the organisation.

To discuss your branding projects in the education sector, please give us a call on 01832 280032 or go to our contact us page.