Learning for Life

Creating a brand for a university is about creating a sense of place. A sense of home. A sense of pride in the alma mater. A private Lebanese non-profit Catholic institution of higher education, Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) follows the American system. The university welcomes students, faculty members and staff from all religions and backgrounds to help create a unified Lebanon through liberal education, career preparation and freedom of expression. GAUDIUM DE VERITATE (JOY OF THE TRUTH), the university’s tagline reflects its spirit.

  • Notre Dame University
  • Education
  • Regional (Jordanians, Emirati, Saudis students) with a focus on Lebanon
Brand Audit, Brand Positioning, Brand Strategy, Brand Architecture, Brand Concept, Brand Language, Retail and Environmental Branding, Brand Applications

Given the university’s dramatic development and evolution from its establishment to its 25th anniversary, and the university’s movement into an exciting new phase of its history, a revamped unified brand was in order. One that was a clear representation with a clear direction. Especially since NDU’s logo was difficult to work with and was not consistently applied across the three campuses and different university entities. No detailed guidelines or brand structure or brand language were in place. Sub-logos were independent. Literature seemed to come from different places rather than the same institution. Signage for wayfinding was not uniform and precise. Consistent color coding was needed for the 7 different faculties. The website did not reflect students’ needs. All this made rebranding vital. Especially since NDU has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. and needs a brand image that fits this new aspiration.

As brand champions, we ensured NDU had what takes to make a great brand: consistency, proper application and a professional asset management system. Inspired by a main architectural feature in the university campus (Rotonda), the design’s key drivers are relevant qualities: faith, progressive, concrete, balanced, modern and open minded. The visual solution draws on the existing logo and retains main visual features, such as the image of the Virgin Mary, the Halo, and the basic shapes of the N, D and U. The curve shape, inspired from the university architecture and the Rotonda, is introduced to enhance the acronyms legibility. The patterns and the grid are all inspired from the Rotonda and the logo’s positive/negative shapes. These all help create a visual coherence and consistency as well as establishing a visual ‘dictionary’ that is unique to Notre Dame University-Louaize. 

We applied strategic thinking rooted in the brand essence (“a passion to achieve”) to tangible outcomes. We accordingly developed a brand hierarchy system; refreshed the logo; developed a core font and color palette; identified how we speak about NDU in writing; developed a house style; created a template for positioning of the logo; created detailed guidelines for imagery, photography, layouts, literature, signage, online communication, core communications tools, advertising and merchandise; and revamped the website based on a needs analysis and online strategy. Reflecting the pride, passion and faith of NDU students, academic and staff, a motto was created to stand the test of time and embody a sense of legacy. Because this is not a temporary advertising slogan, we identified the university’s 3 strongest characteristics and crafted a memorable tripartite motto full of impact: Faith Balance Knowledge.