A new brand for a new era at the ever-evolving, interdisciplinary university
Northeastern University is a model for modern higher education: rooted in the past yet boldly innovating and evolving their culture and curriculum for the 21st century. Their students and faculty are uniquely engaged in the professional landscape, and the school’s culture produces some of the most talented people entering the workforce today (seriously, ask our engineering or design teams where the next digital design superstars are coming from).
We have a long and successful history of collaborations with the team at Northeastern, so when they asked us to help them with something truly huge we jumped at the chance. Northeastern needed to evolve its identity and create more tools for creative expression across academics, athletics, environments and everything in between.
Rather than create something entirely from scratch, we started by hitting the books — scouring the library and Northeastern archives for the graphic roots of the school. We discovered some unique and compelling elements to build on in the history seals, typography and athletics. We started with the seal and its hand-drawn typography from the 1930s, working outwards to define a typographic and expressive system. We worked with Jesse Ragan to craft a new nameplate to anchor a new, flexible brand architecture system. And then expanded that work to develop a custom typeface, Speare, that the school can own for years to come.
Something old, something new
We redrew Northeastern’s iconic seal for legibility and balance, and elevated key elements to expand their brand across platforms, departments, and contexts.
Standards and direction
We created a comprehensive book of guidelines, direction, and inspiration for the future. These standards support Northeastern’s team and partners as they communicate across the globe. With this foundation in place, the brand system can remain true to its core values and expand for years to come.
King Husky, evolved
After establishing the foundational master brand, we extended it into a system for Northeastern athletics. Rolling out now across arenas, jerseys, TV, and social, it re-contextualizes familiar elements and introduces new components that represent Northeastern’s athletes, fans, and teams.
We’re extremely proud of the result of our collaboration with Northeastern’s talented strategists, photographers, designers and writers. This is just the beginning, we’re excited to watch the story continue to unfold in the classroom, on the web, on the playing field, and around the world.