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Issue 1847 (PDF)
The student newspaper of Imperial College London

Keep the Cat Free

Imperial spent nearly half a million pounds on ‘brand refresh’ and logo

Costs include an ‘inclusive research agency’, bespoke font, new signage, and promotional material.

Imperial Logo Photo: Rolando Charles for Felix


in Issue 1847

Imperial has spent nearly half a million pounds on its polarising new logo and brand project, according to a College disclosure issued in response to a wave of freedom-of-information (FOI) requests.

The logo was met with derision upon its unveiling at the end of February, and spawned a petition calling for its removal that has gained over 8,000 signatures.

Imperial says that the costs, totalling £434,801.47, include spending on external agencies that provided ‘brand strategy, verbal and visual identity, design assets for launch, templating, training, and an assessment of the accessibility and inclusivity of the refreshed brand’.

Design studio Pentagram worked on ‘brand strategy and creative elements’ according to the College website. Open Inclusion, an ‘inclusive research agency’, was brought onboard to ‘ensure the inclusivity and accessibility of this work.’

Imperial also paid for a bespoke font, new signage, and promotional material associated with the project, including a ‘brand animation video and lanyards’.

The new logo has come under fire for its omission of the words ‘College London’. Critics say that the word ‘Imperial’, presented alone, harks back to the university’s historical links to the British Empire.

They have contrasted the new logo with the university’s decision in 2020 to remove Imperial’s motto (‘Scientific knowledge, the crowning glory and the safeguard of the empire’) from the College crest.

‘Our full institutional name – Imperial College London – remains unchanged,’ writes the College in its FOI disclosure, adding that it has ‘chosen to use Imperial as an official visual shorthand for our name in our logo.

‘London remains a hugely important part of who we are, and will be fully reflected through our brand outputs, including through imagery and text.’

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