LSM Academy – Identity Development

Soon at the Lincoln School of Media, we are going to launch the LSM Academy.

Full details on this new addition to the school will be published in the near-future but in short; it’s a community base for staff & students to exchange skills, partake in workshops/master classes & discussions outside the regular timetabled activities for level 3 students. There are implications and benefits for level 2 students too, but these won’t become apparent just yet.

Anyway, because Graham Cooper and myself have hosted a number of master classes for various technical skills in the past and planned on continuing this again during the forthcoming academic year, we have been asked to get involved helping set this community up by providing content based on our previous and future master classes as well as suggesting how the provision should be developed.

High on the agenda was the provision itself and branding for the community. First and foremost, there needs to be an online hub where information regarding what’s happening, where, when and with who is displayed as well as tools for discussion and sharing of content delivered in the proposed master classes.

For now, a Blackboard community has been created but I offered to at least create some branding so there is a clear differentiation between normal scholarly activity and the Academy provision.

Here is the final branding I arrived at:

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 23.34.06

As I was pretty much the client (working with Neil Kendle), I decided on the tone and values the identity should communicate:

  • Be linked in with the University of Lincoln’s primary branding in some way but be different enough to portray the message that this an extracurricular centre
  • Feature a bold and fresh look / feel that’s visually stimulating in order to make users want to visit and revisit
  • Be adaptable so as to look good in a variety of size / colour combinations (simple form) and allow quick identification in situations where only small visuals are possible (icons)
  • Represent current trends in design for a digital provision-oriented centre that also has a physical embodiment

With these in mind, plus the idea that this provision could tie-in nicely with something else the Digital Media team have been discussing for a while, I set about creating the identity, but this time, I tried a different approach…

In the past, when designing identities, I had always created the logo first to meet the requirements of a brief and it’s core values and tone. Then, I would build whatever other provision were in the brief (if any) around that logo. Say a website, or some stationary.

Because, for now at least, this identity is to feature on a digital community I decided to design what the provision may look like and the logo in tandem and make changes to each component based on how the overall picture looks. The end result, I think anyway, worked out pretty well:

Colour Scheme 6b

Rather then discuss the full process here, I have used Behance’s Work In Progress feature to add comments and revision information. Check out the documented process here:

The style is simple for two reasons:

  1. The extent of the provision we are trying to provide with the Academy has not been finalised and therefore an adaptable design is preferable. Simple and adaptable go hand-in-hand.
  2. This style of visuals is very representative of current trends in digital provision design.

And, as usual, there is the standard style guide that has been generated in order to keep consistency throughout the rest of the design process:

Style-GuideLook out for more developments on this exciting project soon. I will post anything further relating to the progress of design and provision features as soon as they happen.

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