– Kyle W. Brown, Editor-in-chief

Wilfrid Laurier University celebrated both its past century, and the potential for future growth Friday, with the public release of Andrew M. Thomson’s book on the school’s history, and a sneak peek to the university’s new branding scheme.

The new visual identity and Laurier brand was designed by Scott Thorley and Company (STC) at a cost of approximately $100,000. STC, a design company based out of Toronto who boast a list of impressive clients including Columbia University, the University College in London, as well as the National Arts Centre, were awarded the right to develop a design through a competitive Request for Proposals process, in which Laurier officials were boggled by how many proposals they received, said Jacqui Tam, Assistant Vice-President of the Communications department.

The new identity focuses on a maple leaf motif, stealing elements of the maple leaf depicted by Molson Canadian, Thornley said. Though not unveiled as part of the formal identity, one newspaper ad prototype said the maple leaf was chosen to symbolize connectivity and support, and leads on to discuss how at Laurier, “faculty, staff, students and alumni committed to a common vision: To Inspire Lives of Leadership and Purpose.”

The maple leaves are prominent in three different colours, one purple, one gold, and one red. The purple and gold are obviously a symbol of the historical colours of the school and athletic mascot, while Thornley says the red could be used for more aggressive international marketing, such as China, where it would represent Laurier as the Canadian school.

The new identity also sees a shift in slogan. No longer will the school use the “Canadian Excellence” slogan prominently displayed on the website, but instead “Inspiring Lives” has taken its place, following the success of the Laurier 100 slogan.

The day was not solely dedicated to the future though, as Thomson answered questions about his historical book on the university, also giving a brief reading from an excerpt of it. Though the book does feature Laurier Brantford’s growth in the past decade and change, the primary focus of the book is, suitably, on the Waterloo campus, from its origins as the Lutheran Seminary of Canada.

The book can be found for sale at the Stedman Community Bookstore.

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