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The Project

Why did the corporate design need to be revised?

The previous corporate design had been in use since 1998. It was thus artistically and technologically outdated and was originally intended to be used exclusively for print media. In other words, the old CD did not cover the area of multimedia, specifically the Internet.

This had the following consequences: The existing design layouts and patterns for print media were incomplete and often unusable, as they were not available in current file formats. The university emblem could not be reproduced consistently in all multimedia contexts and on all materials due to its complexity.

As far as the Internet was concerned, the university used two variants of the emblem, one of which was implemented in the content management system. Neither of the versions could be adapted for use with technical innovations without the investment of considerable time and effort.

Another major drawback was that there was no room for individuality with the existing corporate design, such as the possibility of integrating the logos of departments and central service departments.

As a consequence, the university was obliged to expend considerable time and effort on visual design processes. The new corporate design enables the university to conserve these resources. In addition, the university’s public presence is more professional, and the University of Freiburg has a more unified identity as a whole.

What was the goal?

  1. a complete corporate design with room for individual elements from academic and central service departments to professionalize the university’s public image.
  2. a modern corporate design that supports current and future technologies.
  3. a user-friendly corporate design with central services for user support.
  4. an efficient corporate design to save the university time and effort.

What was the procedure?

The process began with a preparation phase (starting in 7/2008). The university settled on formal criteria and guidelines for selecting an agency with support from an external consultant and devised a four-phase selection process: 

Phase 1 (starting in 11/2008): The university issued a public call for proposals for the revision of the corporate design in order to allow all interested agencies to submit a proposal. The university selected all candidates that had the necessary qualifications to revise the corporate design. The call for proposals and the selection of agencies were supervised by an external consultant.

Phase 2 (starting in 12/2008): In order to gain an impression of the creative and conceptual approach of the candidates, the university asked the selected agencies to submit their proposals on a conceptual and a graphical issue concerning the university’s corporate design.

Phase 3 (starting in 1/2009): The university selected three agencies on the basis of the recommendations and asked them to develop and present a comprehensive proposal for a revised or new corporate design.

Phase 4 (starting in 2/2009): On the basis of this presentation, the university leadership selected the ageny qu-int and commissioned it to revise the corporate design.

The selected agency created a “CD manual” with details on all individual elements of the revised corporate design, and the implementation phase began in summer 2009.

What was decisive was that the agencies received a detailed briefing for each phase of the selection process. The briefings communicated formal requirements like technical preconditions, printing formats, etc., and they also included information on the self-concept of the university that the corporate design was supposed to transmit.

The account of the university’s self-understanding drew on various sources. These sources included the mission statements of the faculties, which are formulated in their structural and developmental plans, the results of the environment and competence analysis (2007),for which representatives from university groups prepared a detailed analysis of the university’s strengths and weaknesses, and the results of the Congress on the Future (2007) and the innovation workshop Strategic Identity (2008), which also included input on the university’s self-concept.

The CD process was monitored by an advisory committee appointed by the Senate with representatives from various university groups. Thus, the perspectives of the university groups were represented in the selection of the proposals.

When was the new corporate design adopted?

The corporate design was officially introduced and first used in winter semester 2009/10.