McKim has a long and storied history of creating compelling brands and visual identities for many of Manitoba’s largest and most important institutions. Most recently, our team was involved in creating a refreshed brand for our long-standing client, the University of Manitoba.
In 2011, McKim created the iconic Trailblazer brand campaign, which created a powerful new story for the U of M that resonated deeply within the university, the community and alumni. The campaign also won a prestigious CASSIES award, and over the years the university was recognized with numerous honours from international post-secondary awards programs.
In 2017, the university expressed a desire for its brand to better reflect its achievements and global contributions, as well as to demonstrate its many commitments to inclusion, diversity, Indigenous achievement and reconciliation.
Together, we embarked on a two-year journey of discovery. We travelled the country and in all, gained insight from more than 7,000 alumni, students, faculty, staff and other members of the community. Through surveys, interviews and stakeholder engagement sessions, we listened carefully and heard that it was indeed time for a new voice that took a bold direction, but it needed to be respectful of the heritage of Western Canada’s first university.
The resulting new logo is a manifestation of what we heard from this community — that maintaining symbols that are timeless and enduring, and updating the mark to better reflect the University of Manitoba today — are both meaningful. The new design was recently launched and has been received with unanimous, wholehearted support from students, alumni, leadership, faculty and many other stakeholders.
Creating a mark that reflects the breadth of ideas and ideals of a complex organization such as a university requires a complete agency-client partnership. But we feel a truly powerful logo has been created, and everyone at McKim is proud to have been part of such a remarkable project.
Most important, the University of Manitoba is courageously going where no other Canadian post-secondary institution has gone; a heartfelt congratulations to you in this new chapter.