The blueprint for a 21st century creative University

The University of the Arts London engaged Moving Brands to define the strategic direction of their organisation. In the face of rising fees and a fast changing academic landscape, UAL needed to assert their position as a champion of creativity and a global leader in Arts education.

The challenge for UAL was not simply to create a unified identity, but to build the Colleges’ shared sense of purpose for fearless creative excellence into a strong, credible brand. Our understanding of the moving world and our belief in the transformative power of using creativity to drive business objectives positioned us as an ideal partner for the project.


The brand strategy was born out of a deep collaborative process with representatives from across the University including college heads, faculty, staff, students and alumni. We conducted a series of workshops, which incorporated both visual and word-based exercises to enable the stakeholders to discuss and define their future vision for the University. We ran a project blog to share insights, track progress and encourage feedback – a useful tool when working with shifting and numerous stakeholder groups.

Throughout the workshops, we identified common themes and helped articulate the experiences and intuitions of the UAL representatives. While each college had its own distinct heritage and spirit, they found strength in belonging to something bigger than the sum of its parts, and were proud to be part of an ever-evolving, innovative collective rooted in London and unashamedly of the Arts.

‘Of the Arts’ is the short form of UAL’s new Brand Narrative, defining purpose and setting the foundation for behavior. It acts as a rallying call to everyone from students to faculty by positioning UAL at the epicentre of creativity, innovation and enterprise. ‘Of the Arts’ references their history as individual Arts colleges, whilst connecting them as one to the wider world. Along with the long form, the Brand Narrative acts as a memorable decision-making tool for day-to-day issues as well as long-term strategies.

‘Of the Arts’ comes to life in how they act, speak and look through five Brand Characters; ‘Fearless’, ‘Obsessive’, ‘Enterprising’, ‘Flowing’ and ‘Urban’. The vision for the UAL brand sees the organisation acting with a sense of shared direction, with the agility to evolve new attitudes and approach.

Moving Brands was not involved in the development of the visual identity.