This past Wednesday, April 13th, Franklin’s new brand concepts and graphic identity were presented to students, faculty and staff as part of the University Day celebration events.

The process of becoming accredited as a university in Switzerland and changing the name from Franklin College Switzerland to Franklin University Switzerland has been carried out by many participants, including students, alumni and all areas of Franklin’s faculty and administrative structure, over the past decade. 

Various aspects of Franklin have been redefined along the way as part of this journey, including many elements of the institution’s mission, curricular offerings and program structure. 

In a sense, Franklin has been “rebranding” for ten years, and the brand guidelines and framework that have been developed over the past year are intended to permit the current core values of the institution, both new and traditional, to be communicated to the public.  A US-based design company, White Whale, has worked closely with Franklin's Office of Marketing Communications (OMC) to develop a conceptual framework and graphic identity that will shape the way that Franklin presents itself on public platforms.

Throughout the fall semester, White Whale conducted several hours’ worth of interviews both with students and faculty on-campus and with off-campus constituents, including parents and alumni.  Based on those interviews, several key terms, educational values, and other defining factors were identified and distilled into a conceptual framework that seeks to express the core of what Franklin University Switzerland is today and wants to be tomorrow.  

Beyond the primary factors of Franklin’s Swiss location and institutional status, American curricular format and accreditation, and the inherently cross-cultural nature of Franklin’s environment, some concepts that were important, repetitive through-lines of those interviews were modernity, forward-thinking, travel, boundlessness, curiosity, innovation, confidence and making connections.  From those central ideas, a new logo that combines a very modern graphic mark, built by forming elements of the Swiss and American flags into a forward-moving, stratified ‘F,’ with an equally modern Swiss typeface and a red, white and blue color scheme was designed to express those concepts in a distilled way through form and typography.

The result of this process is the Franklin University Switzerland Brand Book, a summary of what was said, learned, developed and designed by White Whale and the OMC.

The brand concepts and graphic identity will be implemented over the upcoming months as part of a complete overhaul of Franklin’s website, digital communications formats and print media.  Additionally, several new initiatives and platforms for content contribution are already under development.  As a result of what was learned from students and faculty during the interview process, new communications will seek to make the stories, experiences and academic activity of Franklin’s students and faculty the primary focus of the content published on all university platforms.  Completion of the implementation phase is planned for late summer, thus the Fall 2016 semester will begin with the new brand guidelines in place.