Producing a stand out identity for a socially vital academic collaboration

University of Leeds - Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre

The University of Leeds and the University of York recently launched the Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre, funded by UKRIs Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK’s largest funder of economic, social, behavioural and human data science. They needed a visual identity to reflect their identity and mission, help the centre presents as professional, and ensure brand consistency. VPRC is dedicated to understanding how policing can better service the needs of vulnerable people, to study how vulnerabilities – like exploitation by county lines drug networks, online child sexual victimisation, domestic abuse, modern slavery, mental illness and homelessness – interact with, and are shaped by, policing.

Our response

We began by writing a detailed brand story encompassing everything that was unique and beneficial about the Centre. We used this to inform our messaging “Resetting the relationship between vulnerability and policing through research” and visual identity development, which was highlighted by an overlapping pyramid icon, inspired by Esher, that denoted the interconnectivity and interdependence of all participating parties in both the centre and across the entire policing space. We chose to lead with a purple colour, which sat ‘between’ the colour palettes of both participating universities, with only two supporting colours to create a consistent look and feel across all their assets.

For photography, we recommended a reportage style which ensured that nobody was looking to camera. To bring the identity to life, we then produced an A2 poster template, a four-page leaflet, a PPT template, and pull-up event banners. We continue to produce collateral to support this new brand, such as event posters (printed and digital) and complex infographics. Digitally, we designed their social channel cover images across Twitter and YouTube and provided valuable website assets.