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Brand advisory group

A Brand Advisory Group was established to provide feedback on visual identity concepts throughout this process. Members include:

  • Scott Barker, Director, Athletics
  • Michael Bliemel, Dean, Faculty of Business and Information Technology
  • Andrea Kirkwood, Associate Professor, Faculty of Science
  • Emily Laverty, Academic Advisor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities
  • Brad MacIsaac, Assistant Vice-President, Planning and Analysis
  • Debbie McGarry, Executive Director, Advancement
  • Susan McGovern, Vice-President, External Relations and Advancement
  • Jessica Nguyen, President, UOIT Student Union
  • Joe Stokes, Registrar
  • Sheldon Williamson, Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

The Brand Advisory Group advised the Communications and Marketing department throughout the brand update process. The group provided recommendations on potential brand names, new logo designs and considerations regarding our implementation plans. Feedback and insights gathered through consultations (both formal and informal) were summarized and brought forward to the group’s discussions regarding our proposed new visual identity design.

Some of the questions this Group has been considering:

  • Why are we not considering ‘University of Ontario’ as a potential moniker?
    This is a key question our Brand Advisory Group has wrestled with throughout the process. On one hand, it would be a relatively easy transition, as ‘University of Ontario’ is already in the first part of our official name. It would also clearly position us as a university.

    But rather than differentiating us, ‘University of Ontario’ blends us into a ‘sea of sameness’ along with many other university brand names. We want to play to our strength in technology, which is our main differentiator, the focus of our institutional mandate, and the core of our vision for the future. We need our name to position us as different from the rest of the pack, while still clearly identifying us as a university. We have limited resources to put toward marketing, so our moniker needs to do more to communicate our unique position.

    In addition, ‘University of Ontario’ could lead to confusion with Université de l’Ontario français, a French-language university in Ontario.
  • The names being considered (ONTech, Ontario Tech, and Ontario Institute of Technology) don’t clearly indicate that we’re a university. How will people know we’re a university?
    We have heard this feedback consistently through this process and have made it a priority to ensure it is addressed. We know that while the ‘tech’ institutional model is relatively well-understood in the U.S. and other parts of the world, it’s less understood in the Canadian context. We are looking at ways to clearly position ourselves as a university through our logo and our branding.
  • Doesn’t using the word ‘tech’ or ‘technology’ in our name narrow the appeal of our university or downplay our strength in disciplines not traditionally associated with technology?
    Our discussions have helped provide direction on this important issue. President Murphy often talks about us as a socially conscious, tech-focused university; that’s a good way to think about it. Our new moniker and branding needs to reflect our strength in tech, our human-centred approach to a diverse range of disciplines, and our campus community’s social awareness, progressiveness and openness to new ideas.