Ural Federal University (UrFU) is a university in Yekaterinburg, the fourth most populated city in Russia. The university was formed recently by combing the two existing universities in Yekaterinburg, the Ural State Technical University (USTU) and the classical Ural State University (USU).
The visual identity for the new university was unveiled on April 7. It has been created by the Yekaterinburg agency RA Voshod (written РА Восход with cyrillic letters, meaning "Sunrise" in Russian), who won the assignment last December.
Voshod's creative director Vladislav Derevyannyh attended the unveiling of the new look and has provided a detailed explanation of the process which lead to the creation of the logo and the rest of the visual identity. Much of this article is a summary of his explanation.
The process involved going through nearly a hundred different university logos form Russia and around the world, identifying common themes and rejecting many of them for the project. So it was decided that the new logo wouldn't be a landmark, it wouldn't use illustrative images (hands, trees, globes, pens) and it wouldn't mimic a stamp. Furthermore, heraldic solutions were abandoned, as the team saw it more fitting with unversities who had a century-old tradition.
What had been present in the logos of the two preceeding universities was porticos (a number of columns with a roof structure). The USTU logo used eight columns, the USU logo used four. It's not totally clear to me, but the main problem with using the colonnade in the new identity seems have been the number of columns.
The team then looked at the name of the new university and the two that preceeded it, as well as their abbreviations and a lot of buzzwords such as "study", "mind", "unique", "universal", "success" and "aspiration", finding that the Russian letter U (У) was present in all of them. A number of different U's were tried out before settling for the final version.
|Different text lock-ups.|
The U symbol can be used on its own, but can also be locked-up with the abbreviation and the full name of the university, which happens to be Уральский федеральный университет имени первого Президента России Б.Н.Ельцина (which is Russian for "Ural Federal University named after Russia's first president B. N. Yeltsin").
There is no single colour for the logo, instead it uses a bunch of colourful gradients. One can also clip different images into it.
Voshod developed fours parallel identity concepts. Faculty and students were invited to provide their opinion on the different versions.
|The three rejected alternatives.|
|Logo of Ural State University.|
USTU - Презентация логотипа (archive)
USTU - На пути к новой айдентике (archive)
USTU - УрФУ – бренд, который создаем МЫ
РА Восход - news (archive)
РА Восход - blog article (archive)
About USU's old logo (archive)
The following images show different applications of the new identity and were provided by UrFU and Voshod.
|The logo on black background.|
|A mock-up of the logo on a website. (Opera!)|
"Я♥У" means "I♥U" in Russian, something Voshod have used to create a nice ambiguous rebus mark.
I'm not sure what the Я♥У mark will be used for, perhaps they will hand out t-shirts with it to new students.