L. Kerber1, S. Miller2

1HEEM - Universities of Oslo, Helsinki, Aveiro (FINLAND)
2HEEM - Universities of Oslo, Helsinki, Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
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For centuries, plebeians trying to navigate the marketplace have relied on shopkeepers’ pictorial signs to guide their purchases. Likewise, with the recent massification of higher education, the college-bound (with an unrealized sense of confidence) are trying to navigate a similarly confusing and globalized marketplace and mistakenly rely on carefully crafted branding to guide their decision-making. It is interesting to consider the preferred visual elements of logo construction especially in a notoriously design-conscious country, such as Finland. The authors promise to explain how values, as represented in the strategic plans and mission statements of higher education institutions, can be detected in institutional branding, specifically through logos. With an accurate understanding of the model presented (within the paper and gameboard-styled poster), players can identify the distinguishing symbols and stylistic choices of logos that differentiate universities from polytechnics within Finland.

Outline of the paper:
Introduction: A review of the global and national shifts impacting the missions and values of higher education institutions.
A. Discussion of how and why institutions are rebranding themselves as a result of the aforementioned shifts.
B. Overview of the trends in how HEIs communicate their institutional identities and purposes to internal and external audiences.
C. Summary of the role logos play in institutional representation.

II. The Case of the Logo
A. A historical review of university seals and logos.
B. Explanation of what various visual elements symbolise.
C. A practical and concrete example: Why and how are the logos of universities and polytechnics, specifically in Finland, so different?
1. Argument that differing aims for and outlooks on their functions have led universities and polytechnics in Finland to pursue two distinctive
branding strategies.
a. Exploration and presentation of university logos
b. Exploration and presentation of polytechnic logos
2. Discussion of the distinguishing characteristics from the above examples.
III. "Reading" Logos
A. Consideration of what we learn about an institution from its logo and branding.
B. Presentation of a tool/check-list that can be used to predict whether an institution is a university or a polytechnic.

IV. Conclusion
A. A brief review of the main topics discussed.
B. Reflections on the limitations of the paper, explanations for exceptions, and suggestions for further inquiry.
keywords: branding, mission, logo.