Thomas Manss & Company has created a new identity for German university Fachhochschule Brandenburg. The new symbol replaces the abstracted depiction of the college building with a mark that is less literal without betraying its roots.
Both, the old symbol and its successor, are inspired by the architecture of the former army barracks the university calls home to 3000 students in Brandenburg an der Havel.
"The gate depicted in the symbol might be the formal main entrance of the college but very few members or visitors actually use it," explained College President Dr. Hans Georg Helmstadter. "Nevertheless, the identification of staff and students of Fachhochschule Brandenburg with this architectural feature is high."
However, while the old mark could be associated with the Bachelor and Master degrees in engineering, business administration and economics as well as information technology and media, it was felt that it also presented a staid image of an institution that prides itself on its progressive programme of global cooperation in research as well as teaching. Students enjoy partnerships and exchange programmes with 50 international universities in Europe and overseas.
"The challenge was to evolve the existing identity, building on the existing goodwill invested in the architectural symbol, yet, conveying the state-of-the-art nature of the educational programme," stated Andreas Lerchner, Thomas Manss & Company Partner.
Initial focus group research revealed that, in addition to the academic programme, the idyllic surroundings with their myriad waterways and leisure facilities were a big draw. The newly designed mark takes into account these findings and adds the water theme with a simple design intervention that leaves the symbol still proudly displaying its architectural origins.
"For the uninitiated punter the new mark represents an instantly recognisable, abstract, calm and modern shape," commented Helmstadter. "For people familiar with the campus, it evokes the main building and the four squares are also reminiscent of the gates depicted in the shield of the city - illustrating the college's unequivocal commitment to Brandenburg an der Havel."