Friday, July 24, 2009

  • The new Waterloo logo: how we got there
  • GSA/UW memo is “important step forward”
  • Happened and happening
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

The new Waterloo logo: how we got there

The new Waterloo logo has not yet been formally introduced to the university community, and is not scheduled for its first official appearance until the fall, but already there has been widespread reaction to some elements of the new visual identity.

In part, the reaction was to an earlier draft of the logo that had been leaked to the Internet. A Facebook group for “students and alumni opposing the new University of Waterloo logo” was set up earlier this week and has attracted more than 4,000 members so far. A blog by Evan Thor in the National Post, July 22, summed up some of the critical points, while commenting that “…the university has done a marvelous job of portraying their forward-looking vision…. regardless, the controversy has highlighted one very important message: rebranding is not easy.”

UW new marketing logoUW ceremonial logoTo clear the air, Meg Beckel, vice-president, external relations, supplied Imprint with images of the actual prototype marketing logo (far left) — as well as the original, historic ceremonial logo as it was used until the 1990s, when some tinkering was done to tidy up the lions’ tails. The ceremonial logo is the one that appears on official documents and on grads’ diplomas.

Why, then, was the new one created?

It began, Beckel says, with a consensus among communicators and other key groups across campus “that our current marketing efforts were not working as well as they should, that Waterloo did not have a strong identity out in the world, and that we were not as well known as we thought we were. We needed a more cohesive message and look.”

To sample a broader audience, the marketing research firm Ipsos-Reid was engaged last spring to conduct a national reputational survey, interviewing people in six different audiences: parents, guidance counsellors, business leaders, corporate recruiters, university leaders, and the general public. The result confirmed that “Waterloo’s reputation and specific strengths were not clearly understood across Canada,” Beckel says. “In order to advance the Sixth Decade Plan we need to hold a solid position in the higher education arena with a clearly stated promise that defines us.”

Meg BeckelFirst step was to clarify our attributes, what Waterloo was all about. Beckel (right) led a cross-campus team through months of a “positioning exercise” that produced a framework and design direction. The central theme is that “Waterloo operates at the frontier of innovation in learning, discovery, collaboration and experience, so we will be full participants in building a better future, every day. The attributes that define Waterloo support this positioning: unconventional, collaborative, connected, innovative, creative, courageous, risk-taking and critical-thinking.”

None of this is new, Beckel adds; “however, it does clearly state it in a way that can guide how we speak it, live it, plan by it, and fulfill our promise by it.”

With identity clarified and put into words, the next need was to express that identity visually. Focus groups of staff, students, faculty, and alumni, when asked if the current shield and wordmark conveyed the university’s attributes, overwhelmingly said No.

So the work with the graphics department began. “After 131 iterations,” Beckel says, “we came up with the new market-oriented identity system – the new logo, wordmark, font, the use of coloured lines that will help to represent the faculties. We reviewed these elements with the same key audiences, and overwhelmingly the response was positive, although there were a few dissenting voices.”

One often-expressed concern was that the original logo would be replaced, “which confirmed our belief that we need to retain the ceremonial logo,” Beckel said. “It’s permanent, whereas a marketing logo could change in 10 to 15 years.”

What happens next?

“We will begin to share the new visual identity system with campus groups now, in preparation for a reveal and story in the November issue of Waterloo Magazine. This process is key to getting feedback to the design direction, language and implications.” A town hall meeting to be held later in October will be open to all. The “hard” launch of the identity system will “happen throughout 2010 to give us time to roll it out incrementally and cost-effectively.”

There will be an official Facebook site for the new logo, starting this fall, where people can ask questions and make comments. In the meantime, students, staff and faculty can send comments to UW Opinion, while alumni can email notes to the “Editor’s In-box” on the alumni e-newsletter, @waterloo.

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GSA/UW memo is “important step forward”

A milestone document came into being this spring, when a memorandum of agreement between the University of Waterloo and the Graduate Student Association was signed.

It begins: “The university recognizes the separately incorporated Graduate Student Association – University of Waterloo (GSA) as the representative of graduate students at the University of Waterloo (UW). This agreement outlines the official working relationship between the GSA and UW in terms of communication and consultation, decision making and policy development.”

The document goes on to set out the details of the relationship, as well as to make note of what is not included in the agreement: for example, “it does not speak to facilities, services or access to services provided to the GSA by the university for which there are agreements already in place,” such as the lease of the Schweitzer farmhouse.

Jonathan Aycan, GSA pres“The MoA is indeed an important document with great significance for the GSA,” says Jonathan Aycan, current GSA president (left). “Its main purpose is to formalize and strengthen an already excellent working relationship between the GSA and UW. The MoA, which is formally endorsed by the UW Board of Governors and the GSA Board of Directors, recognizes the GSA as the official representative of graduate students at the University of Waterloo.

“Prior to the MoA, no official UW document formally recognized the role of the GSA. Both the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo and the University of Waterloo Staff Association have similar Memoranda of Agreement with UW; it was thus a natural step for the GSA to pursue a similar agreement.

“The MoA is an important step forward as it officially recognizes the importance of a strong relationship between the UW administration and the GSA, as well as a commitment to maintaining this relationship in the future.

"Specifically, the document acknowledges the importance of open communication and consultation between UW and the GSA, and emphasizes graduate student involvement in decision making and policy development at UW. Moreover, the MoA centralizes key information regarding graduate student representation on various UW committees and existing agreements between the two organizations.”

The document was signed on April 15 by Craig Sloss, then GSA president; David Pritchard, GSA vice-president, communications and organization; President David Johnston; and Alan George, then associate provost, graduate studies.

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Happened and happening

Stirling engine SDE projectThe Stirling engine (left) harnesses heat from the radiator in an automobile engine cavity, which is used to power a fan which in turn is used to cool the radiator. This is one of the energy-smart design projects by third-year Systems Design Engineering student teams being shown and demonstrated today, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in Davis Centre room 1301.

"Tenants and friends of the University of Waterloo Research + Technology Park combined fun and philanthropy at Conestoga Golf Course on July 18," says an R+T Park news release. "The UW R+T Park Annual Charity Golf Tournament broke two records in its third year, for number of golfers and monies raised for the Tenants Fund at KW Community Foundation." With 180 golfers the event was sold out; it raised $15,000 for the park’s Tenant Fund to support children’s charities and locally based community projects.

Retail services stores will have special hours during Student Life 101 tomorrow: Book Store, Waterloo Store, Write Stuff (all in South Campus Hall): 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Campus Tech (Student Life Centre): 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Also (and only) on July 25, there will be special promotions. At Waterloo Store, 15 per cent off all hoodies bought in store. At Write Stuff, 15 per cent off all crested school supplies bought in store. And at Campus Tech, the first 50 customers to activate a new mobile device on July 25 at Campus Tech will receive a $50 credit on their Rogers account. (Details in store.)

CPA staff

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Link of the day

Amelia Earhart

When and where

Free soda pop floats today, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., CPH courtyard and between RCH and Physics. Donations accepted to Waterloo Region Food Bank.

Disorderly Conduct: conference on language and concepts in a shifting model of medical and clinical care, UW and WLU, July 24-25. Details and to register.

Student Life 101 open house for students coming to UW this fall, Saturday, 9 to 4. Details.

UW Badminton Club tournament: "Survival of the fittest." Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Columbia Icefield Gym.

Waterloo at the Zoo outing to Metro Toronto Zoo for alumni, family and friends, Saturday. Details.

Class enrolment for fall term courses: appointments until July 26 for new students; open enrolment begins July 27.

Natural gas shut off in Engineering 3, Tuesday, July 28, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., to reroute gas line for E5.

UW Bookstore Read and Relax book sale. July 28 and 29, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., South Campus Hall Concourse.

Spring term classes end Tuesday, July 28. Exams August 4-15; unofficial grades begin appearing on Quest August 17; grades become official September 21.

Reception for Ursula Thoene, computer sciences, retiring after 28 years at UW. Thursday, July 30, 4 to 6 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1301. RSVP by July 20.

‘Dealing with Difficult Students’ workshop organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Friday, July 31, 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Alzheimer Society barbecue, August 20, 5-8 p.m., 831 Frederick Street, Kitchener. RSVP by July 31.

Civic Holiday Monday, August 3, UW offices and most services closed.

CECS employer interviews (main group) begin August 4 and continue to August 28.

Co-op job postings open August 4 and continue into the first week in October.

Instructional Skills Workshop organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, August 6, 7 and 10, 8:30 to 4:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Architecture co-op employer interviews August 6, 13, 20.

Alumni workshop: “Enhance the Networking Experience” Thursday, August 13, 6 p.m., Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

Jim Brox retires: reception Thursday, August 13, 4 p.m, University Club. RSVP to Donna Schultz.

PhD oral defences

Electrical & computer engineering. James Pei Man Shei, “Coded Wireless Video Broadcast/Multicast.” Supervisor, Pin-Han Ho. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, July 29, 10:00 a.m., EIT room 3142.

Kinesiology. Drew Graham, “Endothelium-Dependent Vasomotor Responses of Hypertensive and Type 2 Diabetic Rats: Effects of Sex, Aging, and Therapeutic Interventions.” Supervisor, James Rush. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Friday, August 7, 11:00 a.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.

Electrical & computer engineering. Afrin Sultana, “Amorphous Silicon Based Large Area Detector for Protein Crystallography.” Supervisors, Karim Karim, John A. Rowlands. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, August 7, 1:30 p.m., EIT room 3142.

Combinatorics & optimization. Tony Huynh, “The Linkage Problem for Group-Labelled Graphs.” Supervisor, Jim Geelen. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Monday, August 10, 9:00 a.m., MC 5136.

Statistics. Qian Zhou, “Information Matrices in Estimating Function Approach: Tests for Model Misspecification and Model Selection.” Supervisors, Mary Thompson, Peter Song. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Monday, August 10, 10:00 a.m., MC 6027.

Statistics. Ryan Browne, “Leveraged Plans for Measurement System Assessment.” Supervisors, Stefan Steiner, Jock Mackay. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Monday, August 10, 10:00 a.m., MC 6007.

Psychology. James Schmidt, “Contingency Learning and Unlearning in the Blink of an Eye: A Resource Dependent Process.” Supervisor, Derek Besner. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2419. Oral defence Tuesday, August 11, 11:30 a.m., PAS 3026


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