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RYERSON UNIVERSITY’S BRAND REFRESH INITIATIVE


Our Brand Momentum

We have seen record-breaking growth in our applications; we are being recognized, locally and globally, for our innovative programs, centres and zones; we continue to challenge the status quo when it comes to what a university education can be; our Academic Plan: Our Time to Lead is helping us define our vision for the next five years as a Canada's  leading comprehensive innovation university.

But this is no time to slow down or rest on our laurels. This is just the time to embrace who we are and tell the world with a strong and united voice.

That’s why we’re taking on an exciting initiative to review and rearticulate our Ryerson brand.

You might ask yourself, to what end?
 

  • To provide Ryerson with a platform on which to succeed in the increasingly competitive higher education world.
  • To identify what makes Ryerson exceptional in particular areas and create compelling messages that resonate with our community.
  • To help tell our story and talk about the Ryerson experience in an integrated and cohesive way, emphasizing our unique value and how we stand out.
  • To further strengthen our community pride.
     

Visit ryerson.ca/brand for Ryerson's new brand guidelines and graphic standards.

Our Working Teams

To see this project through, we are collaborating with one of the top design agencies in Canada – Bruce Mau Design. They bring to the table years of experience working with other innovative higher education institutions, such as OCAD University, Harvard University and Arizona State, to name a few.

Their unique approach and creative thinking makes them the right fit for Ryerson.

From Ryerson we had teams with representatives from across the university, including students, staff, faculty and executives.

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Our Approach

This initiative consists of five phases. One cannot begin without the other and each takes time to get it right. We are currently in phase four. Over the next year, we will report back with regular updates on key milestones. 

Phase 1: Research
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Engaged key stakeholders through in-depth qualitative and qualitative research with our research partners, The Strategic Counsel, and brand agency, Bruce Mau Design.

When starting this initiative, we looked to those who KNOW us best.

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Developed guidelines based on the insights that were shared by our community. These will be our guiding principles throughout the entirety of this brand refresh process.

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Research Results – We heard you loud and clear.

“Ryerson is best known for innovation, entrepreneurship, experiential learning and getting on with it.”

”Being part of something that is growing is much more exciting than something that is already big.”

“I think Ryerson is respected as a citybuilder / they are playing a leadership role in revitalizing downtown TO.”

“People aren’t aware of the scope and diversity of the research we’re doing.”

“The reputation has skyrocketed into a school of innovation.”

 

Phase 2: Brand Platform
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Our brand platform is designed as a tool and reference for Ryerson's community to guide everything we do to inspire and engage. Much of what you'll see has been adapted from the Academic Plan: Our Time to Lead. The following gives you a sneak peak at some of the key elements: 

 

 


Ryerson Brand
Platform Overview

 

Brand Big Idea


The Intersection
of Mind & Action

Brand Story


Ryerson University is a leading comprehensive innovation university integrated into Toronto's diverse urban core. At the intersection of mind & action, we've built a home and a hub for inventive and purposeful thinkers and creators - all working to positively transform themselves, their culture, the economy and society.

 

 

Brand Mission


Ryerson University can be found at the intersection of mind and action, equipping its students with the knowledge and experiences that empower them to positively and meaning fully transform themselves, their culture, the economy and society.

Brand Vision


To be Canada's leading university and hub for inventive and purposeful thinkers and creators.

 

 

Brand Values


Diversity
Inventiveness
Resourcefulness
Relevance
Courage
Openness

Brand Differentiators


We Are Enterprising
We Are City Builders
We Are Connected by Diversity
We Are Creators
We Stay Relevant

 

 

Brand Tone


Optimistic
Grounded
Progressive
Inclusive
Daring
Scholarly

 

 

Phase 3: Identity System

 

Our brand identity is what gives us our unique look and feel. We’ve created a visual toolkit that will unify communications and distinguish our messages from the landscape. The toolkit is made up of the following elements:

 

 

Logo

The university logo is the sign-off to everything we say. It embodies who we are and unites all of our different voices so that together we are stronger than the sum of our parts. The logo acknowledges our past, while taking a confident step forward. 

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Fonts

We’ve selected two fonts to be used in our communications. These represent the university as a bold, innovative, sophisticated entity. 

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Colour Palette

While blue and gold will always be core to our identity, we have refreshed the colours to better represent Ryerson as a contemporary university. 

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Photography style

Photography is the most effective tool for showing the true Ryerson experience. We are looking for candid, real and action-oriented shots. 

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Brand Categories and Logo Lock-ups

We’ve categorized all the university entities into 4 types.  Each type has visual guideline (including a refreshed logo) that will help clarify Ryerson’s diverse composition.

University Brand


The university brand is the overarching identity of the university. It is the voice used in top-level communications and when the university is speaking as one unified entity.

Brand Impression


“This is Ryerson University.”

SRC/Academic Brand


SRC/Academic brands are parts of the university that are most closely associated with its mission of learning.

Brand Impression


“This is part of what Ryerson does as a University.”

Sub-Brand


Sub-brands are part of the university, but have different identities. They revolve around activities beyond education.

Brand Impression


“This is connected to Ryerson, but different than its core learning function.”

Independent Brand


Independent brands are not aligned with Ryerson University. They are consciously different.

Brand Impression


“This is separate from Ryerson University.”

Phase 4: Content & Messaging

 

As much as our look and feel impacts our brand, so does the way we tell our stories. We want to connect our stories to the world and position Ryerson as the hub of diverse, meaningful activity. We want to lead with impact.

To do this, we follow a very easy formula that brings the brand big idea to life: 

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Phase 5: Creative Execution

Initiative in Action

With a new school year coinciding with the brand launch, it was the perfect time to make students familiar with the new Ryerson branding to get them to engage with the brand in a meaningful way.

During Week of Welcome we asked students, "What will you make happen here at Ryerson?" Students wrote down responses and taped them to a branded backdrop with the help of our brand ambassadors. All students who shared a photo of their answer to the #MindandAction hashtag were entered in a contest to win one of five $200 cards for the campus bookstore. Participants also received blue and gold popcorn for participating. Finally, videos and photos were captured during the week for use in future marketing materials.

Contact Us

If you have questions or comments about what you’ve read, please feel free to get in touch:

ryersonbrand@ryerson.ca