Edmund Heaphy | Deputy Editor
Trinity College Dublin today revealed a reworked visual identity, which is the result of months of consultations held in response to an initial controversial rebranding attempt last April.
The College Board approved a set of logotypes this afternoon, comprising the second attempt at creating “a consistent visual identity” for Trinity. The approval marks the close of consultations held with over 40 groups from the college community over the course of the past few months.
An Initiative in Identity
Logotype leaked in March
Logotype Approved by Board Today
In early April, a logotype was presented for preliminary approval to the Board, despite significant opposition from internal college groups, such as the Fellows, who had said that they “did not think [their] views were being listened to”. Significant controversy arose from a perceived name change in the initial logotype, which dropped the “Dublin” from “Trinity College Dublin” in favour of “Trinity College, the University of Dublin”, in an effort to emphasise that Trinity was a university. The logotype was also perceived to look toy-like and less “heraldic”, leading to widespread parody on social media. The logotype approved today retains the “Trinity College Dublin” name and includes a more heraldic logo.
The controversy was compounded when the logotypes were leaked to both the Irish Times and The University Times before consultation with the college community had begun, and when The University Times learned of reports that the Provost had been heckled about the logotype at the annual Scholars Dinner. On top of that, the cost of the initiative – at around €100,000 – was also controversial. It is understood that the revised logo has not caused spending on the initiative to increase, as not all of the budget was spent on the initial round.
The consultation process for the new logotype released today was led by the College Registrar, Professor Shane Allwright. She led a small working group which was tasked with developing a logo that retained the current naming system, retained the “heraldry in the shield” and to “review the shade of blue proposed to ensure it is reflective of the ‘Trinity blue’”.
Groups of students, scholars, staff, fellows, alumni and retired staff were consulted on the latest iteration. The groups were given the choice between two shades of blue, and got to vote on whether “The University of Dublin” text should appear in blue or grey.
The revision of the identity came about as a result of a survey which found that “Trinity currently uses more than 200 different visual identities” across the college, and the need to ensure that Trinity’s brand was consistent in a local and global context, both online and in print.
Speaking to The University Times, Professor Eoin O’Dell, Chair of the Fellows, said that “the Fellows welcomed the consultation process run by the Registrar and her group over the last six months” and that “they were happy with the proposals that she brought to board this morning.”
Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union President, Domhnall McGlacken-Byrne said: “The consultation process proves that college has taken steps to ensure that they are listening to the voices of the students and staff in the wake of the controversy earlier this year.”
Commenting after Board approved the logotype, Allwright said that the working group was “grateful for the College community’s input in the consultation process and their invaluable contribution to the final visual identity”, saying that they hoped that “presenting a consistent visual identity will strengthen Trinity’s presence nationally and internationally.”