UCL makes its mark on the disruptor trend in new campaign

Ahead of the opening of its UCL East campus in east London, Jack Renwick Studio has created a new brand positioning for the university centred around the idea of disruptive thinking

We’ve seen a flurry of educational establishments rethinking their brands in recent years, including Kingston reclaiming the title ‘School of Art’ in 2017, and Johnson Banks’ snappy identity for TeachFirst earlier this year.

One of the UK’s top research universities, University College London, is the latest example, having just unveiled its new brand positioning: ‘The home of brave thinkers’.

Jack Renwick Studio was commissioned to work on the new positioning ahead of the opening of UCL’s new campus at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2022, where it will join other cultural institutions including the BBC, Smithsonian Institute and the V&A.

While ‘disruptive’ has been one of the biggest buzzwords of the last few years, UCL is claiming its place as a long-time disruptor in an accompanying campaign, which focuses on the university’s reputation for ‘disruptive thinking’.

Highlighting some of UCL’s key research areas – such as climate change, plastic solutions, driverless vehicles, AI and Alzheimer’s – the campaign uses distorted visuals to show how the university is, quite literally, disrupting thinking around some of the biggest challenges we face today.

The campaign has been brought to life on the hoardings where the UCL East campus is being built and on screens around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as well as rolling out across UCL’s website, social media and printed communications.