EMSCom at Università della Svizzera Italiana

A paradigm shift for the prestigious communications specialists

The leaders of the prestigious EMScom programme at the Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI) had forged a unique position in the world of executive education. In a market of widely available and varying quality EMBA courses, they were becoming the most rounded and respected course aimed at communication specialists.
Faced with ambitious new growth objectives, and with a need to reach an increasingly global and adroit audience, Moving Brands were engaged to define a vision to align the stakeholders, and realize this in a brave new identity to raise their profile and credibility among global C-level communications professionals.

Objective

The EMScom had outgrown its identity, and this project allowed us to project ourselves in a more authentic way. Moving Brands were able to think outside of the box, and the resulting new identity is something we feel much more comfortable with – it better reflects who we are.

Nina Volles – Managing Director of EMScom at Università della Svizzera Italiana

The brief called for an identity for the course that “must lead the conversation,” but the key challenge was defining a vision within the boundaries of the broader University. Stakeholder workshops and interviews helped clarify the ambitions and varied viewpoints within the organization, and enabled us to define a strong, individual voice for the course within the broader USI group.

A Brand Narrative® that captured their driving force would act as a reference point for many high-level decisions about the direction of the brand.We defined this narrative as “Change your perspective.” It highlights the transformational process, both personally and professionally, that stakeholders identified as essential to the course. It conveys that the program provides a learning and growing experience, acting as both a reminder for alumni, and as a promise for students. Importantly, for an organization with a complex architecture, it aligns closely to the Communication Management offer, but has the breadth to be applied to other Executive programs across the faculties.

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Approach

At the heart of the identity system is a flexible and scalable set of assets, a living identity which is a brave and highly differentiated approach within USI’s competitor set. It allows for the creation of communications that range from restrained and functional to expressive and abstract.

The Brand Narrative of ‘Change your perspective’ underpinned the movement of the dynamic logo: Each line is constantly acting and reacting on its axis, representing the paradigm shift the students experience. The logo also references the natural phenomenon of collective intelligence — where groups act in unison with intelligence greater than that of the individual. In digital applications the logo gradually shifts, and there is a selection of ‘snapshots’ of the mark for use in print applications.

We built a Processing tool to craft this dynamic logo, to help us understand how the pattern looks in motion, and to uncover the strongest, most interesting patterns.

The identity connotes a technical quality, which refers to the aim of the course to become ‘more of a science than an art’. The font Gravur Condensed was chosen for it’s precise appearance whilst retaining a human feel.

The colour palette was fastidiously shaped. It is designed to complement the existing USI brand whilst projecting the pioneering approach of the programme. The final palette, includes fluorescents and metallics, strike a balance between modern and timeless.

The textures are drawn from the movement of the logo, and provide a range of expression. This flexibility is further exaggerated by the diverse colour palette, and the system’s inclusion of a black and white photography style.

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Results

The new identity will be employed by the USI internal design team, rolled out across the website and all templates, documentation, brochures, alumni and student communications, and tradeshow collateral.

Moving Brands has retained a relationship with the leadership team of EMScom, consulting on the brand as it rolls out, as well hosting a delegate group in London for a panel discussion on innovation and mass communications.

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