The new visual identity for TREY has finally been unveiled! TREY’s new visual identity was revealed yesterday, on the 4th of December, in TREY’s first major student event, TREYHEM. The unveiling was preceded by almost a year’s worth of planning. Read more about how we got to this point and learn what the new visual identity represents to us.
What is a visual identity, and why does the Student Union need one? The visual identity is part of the new Student Union’s brand, and it is often the first aspect of the Student Union that the students recognize. It creates a first impression, and it is used to build brand awareness. The visual identity includes, among other things, the logo, color scheme, illustrations, and fonts — in other words, what the Student Union looks like. The visual identity is not a separate detail as it should reflect us and the things we are as a student union and student community. At best, it can become a symbol for our new community, a symbol with which the students can identify. For this reason, we put a great deal of time and thought into designing TREY’s new visual identity: we worked for almost a year and included dozens of community members in the process.
Together with their Brand Coordinator, a team of employees and board members of Tamy and TTYY got down to work in February 2018. Designing a visual identity for TREY was a part of this process. Last spring and summer saw a good amount of reflection and discussion on what the new student union should – and should not – represent. Answers to these questions were sought from the community: we organized different kinds of workshops, interviews, and surveys for students, associations, and student union actives in order to collect comprehensive data to begin working on the visual identity. The data showed themes regarded important by our community which the visual identity should aim to communicate. Among them were the following themes: Tampere as a connecting identity, communality, and the student union as an influential and respected supervisor of students’ interests. The strategy of the Student Union was created based on this data, and the brand and visual identity form a central part of the strategy.
As a part of the preparatory work, a number of criteria were set for the visual identity: it should speak to a diverse target group, have a distinctive colour scheme, and be recognizable, clear, easy to copy, multifunctional, and timeless. Some limitations were also identified: TREY’s visual identity should not be mistaken for those of other student unions or universities, and it should not be too provocative or mimic the features of the old student unions. The visual identity should be clearly new but still familiar to the current student community.
The one to put all of this into visual form was a Tampere-based advertising agency called Bananas. Several drafts on TREY’s visual identity were produced during the autumn. Dozens of employees and board members of the student unions participated in commenting these drafts. After the comments, we had aclear idea of what emotions these drafts evoked and into which direction we should develop them. After a few months of work, TREY’s new visual identity was born:
Tampere, the home city of our Student Union, is a city of water located between two lakes. This aspect is communicated by the flowing design of TREY’s logo and the shape of a drop in the letter E. TREY’s logomark combines three elements: the Tammerkoski rapids, the shape of a column, and the letter T of TREY. The Tammerkoski rapids are an important landmark in Tampere, and they play an important role in student and teekkari culture in Tampere. The column represents academia and education. It connects our logo to the university community, representing the student union as a voice of our students both in the university and society.
From the beginning of 2019, this visual identity will be the symbol of our community. It will be present in everything that TREY does and represents. In itself, the process also proved to be an excellent recipe for building the new community in the future: we will need such ingredients as community dialogue, functional cooperation, open discussion, a dash of creativity, and a good amount of patience.
Text: Rosa Lehtinen, Brand Coordinator for the Student Unions
Translation: Emma Laakkonen