The journey to a renewed brand identity for Stellenbosch University (SU) reached a significant milestone when Council approved a new logo for the institution today (Tuesday 13 April 2021). The new 'S'-stream logo will replace the 'S'-leaf logo that has been in use since 2000.
Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, said: “The world over, brand positioning is crucial for universities, ultimately affecting their reputation, ranking and funding. Our new logo is modern and streamlined, yet still has the gravitas of a classic and elegant logo, with immediate presence and visibility, as befits an institution with world-class academic standing, aspiring to be Africa's leading research-intensive university by 2040."
The warmth and vibrancy of Africa
At the heart of the new logo design are two elements: The first is the 'S' of 'Stellenbosch', expressed in rhythmic lines that resonate the warmth and vibrancy of our continent. Secondly, the lines form streams that flow continuously within a 'U' for 'University'.
Prof Elmarie Costandius, senior lecturer in Visual Arts and part of both the University's Visual Redress Committee and the logo design team, called the new SU logo “distinctive, appropriate, memorable and timeless". “The rhythmic lines created by the repetitive 'S', as well as the counterspaces in between, remind us of entopic symbols that span across cultures and languages," she said.
The new logo also contains the words 'Stellenbosch' and 'University', in each of the three South African languages used by the institution, namely English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans.
SU's institutional slogan, “forward together, sonke siya phambili, saam vorentoe", again in the University's three languages, constitutes the final element, with all logo components bound together into a cohesive whole.
As the colour maroon is the most recognisable, distinctive brand asset that differentiates SU from competitors, it has been retained as SU's primary colour. In addition, the colour gold has been introduced, signifying SU's resolute commitment to excellence. In applications of the logo, an extended colour palette will be used, reflecting the earthiness and vibrancy of the University's natural surrounds.
Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy and Internationalisation, who has been spearheading the rebranding initiative, said the process of developing the renewed identity had been based on extensive consultation. “The new logo is a co-creation following extensive engagement with key University stakeholders. At least 3 100 stakeholders participated and contributed to the process."
In his comments, Mr Xola Njengele, chairperson of the Students' Representative Council, added: “The consultative nature of the creative process designing SU's new visual identity will definitely result in special affinity with the new branding."
According to Prof Klopper, a comprehensive audit conducted in 2018 indicated the need for a differentiated brand positioning. “Work on the refreshed visual identity began in November 2019 with the appointment of the brand agency, Boomtown, who also designed the final version of the logo in consultation with SU's branding team and Mr Iaan Bekker, an executive creative consultant and the designer of South Africa's coat of arms."
Mr Glen Meier, CEO of Boomtown, said: “We are very excited about the impact the new logo will have in moving SU towards the realisation of its vision."
In adopting the new logo on Tuesday, SU Council chairperson Mr George Steyn commented: “The new SU logo is a creative expression of where we are now and where we see ourselves going in the future. The commemoration of SU's centenary in 2018 created a significant opportunity to plan for the future SU we wish to create. We did that with Vision 2040, and the new logo succeeds in visually encapsulating that, but also strikes a fine balance between an institution with heritage and the need to progress into the future."
Please click here to visit the dedicated rebranding webpage created on SU's website. Here you'll find more information, including answers to frequently asked questions. It also includes a short but very exciting video revealing our new logo. Alternatively, click here to watch the video now.