• Transform magazine
  • July 18, 2024


New brand broadens scope and awareness for British Academy

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The British Academy, UK’s national body for the humanities and social science, has introduced a new visual identity , which mirrors the academy’s evolution, growth and influence across the UK, with it shaping policy and enriching public debate.

Led by historian Sir David Cannadine, the academy has updated its brand positioning, making its ambition of having a stronger voice and driving investment in research, both locally and globally, clear.

Hutchinson says, “The academy has a rich history dating back over a hundred years and much to offer in these challenging times, yet the role and influence of our institution is not well understood outside of the world of academia. Only has created a brand that embraces the academy’s past, whilst enabling us to connect with new audiences today and into the future. The identity positions the academy as the UK leader in the humanities and social sciences and will help us to work towards a future in which everyone is inspired to think more deeply about what it means to be human and how the humanities and social sciences can shape a better world.”

To go along with the academy’s new plan of action, a rebrand was needed, with the previous visual identity being an obstacle more than an advantage as it failed to represent the British Academy’s values and aspirations, as well as reach a young or diverse demographic.

For the daunting task of rebranding, Only, a Manchester-based branding agency was appointed by the British Academy’s director of communications and external relations, Liz Hutchinson, to convey the organisation’s messaging in a clear and original way, establishing it as a leading organisation among its audiences across the world.

After collaborating with a number of fellows, funded researchers and staff, Only design a visual identity that communicates a contemporary and determined organisation which uses its heritage and experience to ensure a better future.

The British Academy’s new logo draws inspiration from the organisation’s history and its promise for academic discovery, while infusing modern elements that help it enter the digital age. The overall visual identity is bold, strong and eye-catching, helping the academy raise awareness to its contribution to the humanities and social sciences, while building recognition for the brand.

Matthew Tweddle, creative director at Only, says, “We worked closely with Liz and her team to create a modern and progressive identity for the academy. At the heart of the new brand is a new monogram that neatly references the academy’s enduring commitment to academic discovery. Across applications, bold verbal and typographic expression helps to capture the timely significance of the academy’s contribution to many of the greatest challenges facing society today. The new identity is a significant step change for the academy that will help it to present a more coherent offering to a more broad audience.”

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