Ten with Ken (Audio)
About This Show
Ken Steele is Canada's most trusted higher ed monitor and futurist, and in this podcast he rounds up emerging trends, research data, best practices and innovative new ideas for higher education.
(This is an audio-only podcast. Video webcast version available separately. For HD video version see YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo or Facebook.)
Most Recent Episode
Higher Ed Branding Misfires II: 2015-2017
Ken Steele completes his review of 12 higher ed rebrands in the past 2 years that sparked a backlash from campus stakeholders and alumni. In part 1, we looked at half a dozen new visual identities that caused outrage, either because they were too crazy creative or deadly dull. https://youtu.be/khrMeE_hngs But there were also some competent rebrands that nonetheless met remarkable opposition, often because stakeholders were too emotionally attached to what they had before: Western Sydney University (Australia): When its name changed from “The University of Western Sydney” in 2015, WSU also abandoned its 13-year-old logo, which featured a “bluebird” icon. Although the former logo felt pretty cool and corporate, students nonetheless had become emotionally attached to the bluebird, and launched a #SaveTheBlueBird campaign on Twitter. The new identity was more contemporary, and pretty conventional: a deep red shield with the letter “W”. Comedian Aamer Rahman mocked the expenditure for student audiences, but the administration stuck with the new look. Aamer Rahman - https://youtu.be/5Bg90nkRL3c Penn State University (PA): When one of the largest universities in the world changes its visual identity, plenty of people take notice! Penn State, with almost 100,000 students on more than 20 campuses, had been using the same brand identity for 30 years when it finally launched a rebrand in 2015. The new look was much cleaner, focusing the shield on just the head of the “Nittany Lion” shrine, and using a modern slab-serif typeface. The illustration was fairly realistic, of the stone shrine itself – but as a result the lion’s eyes seemed blank, unblinking, almost zombie-like. Football fans were relentless in attacking it, and a petition on change.org attracted about 4,000 signatures – but remember, that’s just 4% of Penn State’s enrolment. They rightly stayed the course. Berklee College of Music (MA): Berklee’s former logo was barely a logo at all: simple type in the corner of a red block. It didn’t reproduce well at small sizes, and in 2015 Berklee unveiled a rebrand that focused on the single word, “Berklee”, with a new icon (the “natural” notation). 500 students signed a petition objecting to the new identity, and particularly t