A new look for NorQuest College

September 2, 2013

Story

With almost 50 years of history as a voca­tional school, NorQuest College imple­mented a major restruc­tur­ing in 2012 and iden­ti­fied a need to rebrand itself. The College needed to change who they are and develop a value propo­si­tion that would resonate with both its current and future stake­hold­ers. There was strong affec­tion for the old NorQuest and this resis­tance to change needed to be addressed.

Entro and Stormy Lake Consult­ing worked closely together to meet the chal­lenge of defin­ing a unified brand plat­form and visual iden­tity system that clearly aligned itself with the new strate­gic plan; that commu­ni­cated the evolved vision of NorQuest; and that would provide rele­vance and inspi­ra­tion to its audi­ences.

OUR PROCESS INCLUDED:

  • Audit of current brand posi­tion­ing, messag­ing, current research and College strate­gies
  • In-depth inter­views with stake­hold­ers (Board of Direc­tors, College Vision­ar­ies, Faculty Deans, Govern­ment, Donors / Commu­nity Stake­hold­ers
  • Dialogic Research (our propri­etary process) with more than 80 partic­i­pants repre­sent­ing faculty, staff, students, donors, alumni, govern­ment, commu­nity orga­ni­za­tions, busi­nesses and the general public.

THE BRAND SOLUTION

The strate­gic heart of the brand model was the promise that NorQuest College “maxi­mizes oppor­tu­ni­ties that others don’t see.” Entro created a strong and differ­en­ti­at­ing brand iden­tity to reflect this promise with our visual iden­tity, tagline and design system creat­ing a cohe­sive­ness and clar­ity of commu­ni­ca­tion. The symbol is a modern crest made up of four colour­ful forms. Its graphic elements commu­ni­cates the idea of: student-centred (circle / person); diver­sity (colour); guid­ance / support (star); growth (leaves / book). The canti-levered or stag­gered typo­graphic config­u­ra­tion cradles the symbol and creates a unique and modern signa­ture system that is adapt­able for future growth.

Entro devel­oped compre­hen­sive guide­lines and templates (design­ing all College mate­ri­als from View­books to banners) focus­ing on consis­tency across all appli­ca­tions yet, provid­ing a flex­i­bil­ity to build a struc­ture that could evolve, as required. Our design system has provided a tool for NorQuest that commu­ni­cates and builds their brand with differ­en­ti­a­tion, clar­ity and consis­tency.

For the inter­nal brand launch, we devel­oped a “Brand Char­ter” that described the NorQuest brand values and was signed in real time by faculty and staff, gener­at­ing engage­ment and excite­ment. Today, every new faculty or staff hire must agree to sign the brand char­ter before they can join NorQuest College.

An adapt­able signa­ture system was created which was both consis­tent yet flex­i­ble enough to work with NorQuest’s orga­ni­za­tions, asso­ci­a­tions and foun­da­tion.

THE RESULTS

“We’ve created some­thing really wonder­ful and mean­ing­ful for people and it’s defi­nitely bring­ing the change we were hoping to see.” Dallas Stoesz, NorQuest College

Inter­nal research revealed 91% support for the new brand – a tremen­dous turn­around from the initial concerns and skep­ti­cism that faculty and staff had for the new direc­tion.

In Febru­ary 2013 NorQuest College was honoured with CASE District VII Commu­ni­ca­tions Award in the “Brand and Image Devel­op­ment / Iden­tity Programs and Projects” cate­gory.

For more on NorQuest College, please see our case study.