School Updates its Visual Brand and Websites
UC Davis Veterinary Medicine is updating its look with a fresh visual identity that draws on the university’s new brand, takes advantage of design technology advancements, and includes a custom illustration of an ancient symbol.
The school’s communication materials—such as PowerPoint, email and flyer templates—have not been updated for years. The communications team wanted to create a new look that would excite our clients, donors and other constituents by highlighting the school’s greatest assets: its people and animals.
The recent rollout of the university’s “Outgrow the Expected” campaign—which included a directive from Chancellor May to adopt the brand—offered the perfect opportunity. The school’s communication team does not have a dedicated designer, so they partnered with Lisa Wells, designer for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, to create a fresh look for Veterinary Medicine.
The outcome can be seen on the new Communications Resources site, which is accessible from the News tab on the main menu on the school’s website. Users can access the updated brand standards and download templates, Zoom screens, a new email signature, and other materials. The new site replaces the former VIPER site.
To create a distinctive look for the school within the university’s brand, the communications team identified a subset of secondary colors from the university’s colors that, along with the traditional blue and gold, make up the school’s preferred color palette.
In addition, the communications team took advantage of photo cropping technology to use cut-out photos of animals, humans and buildings as the center-stage of the new visual brand. Users can access a library of these cut-out photos or request to have a specific image cropped.
The team also hired the university’s brand illustrator, alumnus Steven Noble, to create an illustration of the Rod of Asclepius. The snake-and-rod symbol represents medicine, and with the letter V added, veterinary medicine. It is primarily being used as a watermark accent to add visual depth to designs. Although it fits with the university’s set of brand illustrations, the Rod of Asclepius is exclusive to the school.
The end result is a visual identity that fits within the new university brand, but with a distinct look that serves the school’s needs—including deeper engagement with clients, donors and other constituents. The communications team encourages units to adopt the new identity in their newsletters (electronic or print), flyers and other materials. The communications team can facilitate the creation of updated templates and provide advice.
“I’m excited to see the new brand look for the school, and I encourage everyone to adopt it to the extent they can,” said Dean Michael Lairmore. “It takes the university brand and creates an exciting identity for UC Davis Veterinary Medicine.”
The university rolled out its new brand on the homesite this month, coinciding with admittance notifications to undergraduate applicants. The university’s IET department is now working with colleges, schools and units to implement the look on their SiteFarm sites.
John Gardiner, the school’s web manager in SVM-IT, is leading the adoption of the new templates across the school’s sites. He has contacted the individual site managers and is working with them to inspect the sites in the virtual staging era set up by IET. The updated templates are scheduled to be pushed out from IET in late April or early May.
For more information about the brand, visit the site or contact Director of Strategic Planning and Communications Tom Hinds. For more information on the website update, contact John Gardiner.