Introduction

Birmingham Business School has a visual identity that reflects the personality traits and ambitions of the School. The School has a distinctive look, whilst still aligning very closely with the University's own visual identity and tone of voice.

These brand guidelines set out the way in which the proposition of the School, the tone of voice and the visual identity should be articulated throughout all materials and collateral which represents the School. It aims to make the School readily identifiable in a crowded, competitive marketplace, whilst also acknowledging the School's rich history of teaching and research excellence.

The 'boilerplate' brand proposition sets the scene:

Our world-class research and teaching provides the insights, ambitions and skills to shape better, simpler and more sustainable business strategies. We put business in context and people at the heart of business.

The School is:

  • International & diverse
  • Prestigious & ambitious
  • Innovative & enterprising

And has key personality traits that are vital to setting Birmingham Business School apart from its peer group:

  • Farsighted & holistic
  • Empathetic & committed

Tone of voice

Whenever we communicate on behalf of Birmingham Business School it should be in our tone of voice. Our tone of voice gives us a clear direction for written communications. Tone of voice only works when it's expressed consistently. The following provides an outline as to the tone of voice to use in written communications.

An introduction to how we talk about what we do and who we are:

We are 'energetic' - upbeat and inspiring

We bring energy and enthusiasm to everything we do. We are open to new ideas. We inspire those that we come in to contact with through the quality of our insights, our fresh thinking and our desire to create better outcomes for students, graduates, staff and businesses.

We are 'expert'- informed and intelligent

We have expertise in many fields among our faculty and professional staff, creating informed and intelligent debate about the future of business. Our teaching is informed by our research and our teaching seeks to share the insights that our research delivers. Working with partners we aim to build our knowledge, together helping each other to learn and using that understanding to grow better businesses and organizations through informed and skilled people.

We are 'enterprising' - imaginative and playful

We believe in the power of imagination, seeking new ways to tackle problems and deliver better business solutions. We believe in the power of enterprise to help students, businesses and ourselves to discover and develop innovative approaches for future business growth.

We are 'empathetic' - warm and personable

We believe in and value people. We believe business is about so much more than money, it's about the people who work in businesses and organizations, their customers, suppliers and those in our society who rely on the wealth created by business.

We are 'world class' – excellent and sustainable

We are recognised through our triple accreditation with AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS as delivering sustainable world-class business and management education. We are part of a world-class university, recognised globally for its excellent research and teaching. We are part of a global knowledge community, working with institutions around the world, partnering with colleagues on research and teaching students from across the globe.

Messages and headlines

For Undergraduate

  • The bigger picture: the bigger future
  • For the whole story

Before

At Birmingham Business School, we create business degree courses, which both academically and personally, prepare you for the working world. The Birmingham Business School offers a number of exciting and forward thinking undergraduate degree programmes across our departments.

After

Our business degree courses prepare you for tomorrow's working world, what business will be about in your future. Our undergraduate degrees connect you with research insights and growing businesses, teaching you to better understand the bigger business picture.

For Postgraduate

  • Dig deeper: do more

Before

We offer twelve month intensive full-time programmes as well as part-time MBA programmes studied over two and a half to six years, delivered over two consecutive long weekends per module.

After

Our MBAs offer flexible delivery, we understand the pressures of modern business. Whether you need to focus on your studies and get back in to the workplace quickly or want to study around your other commitments, we have full-time and part-time MBA solutions to meet your needs. However you choose to study, your MBA will provide a deeper global understanding of business tomorrow to enhance your career prospects.

For Business partners

  • More for business: more from business
  • Research you can bank on

Before

Birmingham Business School prides itself on its links with industry. We want to ensure that our research continues to inform the development of business practice and we want to facilitate companies to recruit our graduates into projects and permanent positions throughout the world.

After

Working with business we want to ensure our research delivers valuable insights and our graduates offer the skills to build better businesses. From Birmingham across the world, meeting your needs for knowledge, expertise and development are our priority.

For Alumni

  • Made in Birmingham
  • Good people to do business with

Before

Your Birmingham Business School connection doesn't end with your graduation; from alumni events and guest speakers to career support and mentoring, there are many opportunities to get involved with BBS Alumni.

After

Birmingham is just the beginning. Whether you want career advice and mentoring, expert and experienced networks to support your next steps or opportunities to grow your knowledge, as a BBS alumnus you're part of something bigger.

For Us

Before

Birmingham Business School has been a major player in business education for more than a century. We have an extensive worldwide reach, with many international students studying at the University of Birmingham campus and Alumni in countries all across the world.

After

Our world-class research and teaching provides the insights, ambitions and skills to shape better, simpler and more sustainable business strategies. We put business in context and people at the heart of business.

Our identity

The relationship with the mother brand

Research into our brand quickly established that the School needed to maintain a close relationship with the University. There was never any question of the School becoming an autonomous organisation. There is a huge amount of brand equity in staying closely allied to the University: the challenge was to calibrate the weighting in that relationship.

The identity is designed to reflect and endorse this close relationship.

The two elements – The combined crest, University of Birmingham word marque with accompanying 'Birmingham Business School' text – must always be used as seen opposite. They should never be used seperately.

The lock-up - landscape version

The lock-up - portrait version

Spacing

The two 'U' spacing device should be used to ensure consistency. This means that there should always be the space equivalent of two 'U's from the University of Birmingham around the lock-up when used, as shown opposite.

Background

The combined crest, University of Birmingham word marque with accompanying 'Birmingham Business School' text – must always be used on a plain background, if an image is used behind the lock-up then it must be made tonally the same values, including the spacing area.

Incorrect example

Correct example

Typography

The school utilises the main University corporate brand typefaces: Akzidenz Grotesk and New Baskerville ITC.

Akzidenz Grotesk BQ

This typeface should be used on a smaller, more informative scale. Light, Regular and Medium are the preferred weights and can be used for body text.

New Baskerville ITC

This elegant typeface is used extensively across the university, usually in the regular weight and relatively small sizes. We would encourage the school to experiment using New Baskerville ITC Bold in larger font sizes to give impact and character to the typography.

Arial

Where these fonts are not available on your system, Arial can be used as a substitute for Akzidenz Grotesk.

Imagery

Photography

Photography can help reinforce the core brand values and we suggest trying to utilize imagery with unusual angles to reference the 'seeing things from a different perspective' aspect of your personality. Including shots of groups of people interacting also references your empathetic/collaborative side. Below are some examples that can be used as a guide.

Illustration/infographics

Illustrations must only be used related to undergraduate activity. The predominant colour within the illustrations should be P382 with a secondary colour, if required, from the University's UG colour palette.

Undergraduate brochure covers

Colour palette

The School's colour palette has been selected from the existing corporate brand palettes. Each of the four main colours is assigned to a particular audience group and that colour is used prominently in relevant communications.

Undergraduate
#c1d82f
Pantone 382
C M Y K
29 0 100 0
Postgraduate
#00bBe4
Pantone 306
C M Y K
77 0 7 0
mba
#7d0049
Pantone 215
C M Y K
6 98 12 20
Research/business
#605270
Pantone 7448
C M Y K
32 42 0 55
Secondary colour
#bfb6ad
Pantone warm grey 5
C M Y K
0 5 10 29
Secondary colour
#757477
Pantone 425
C M Y K
0 2 0 66

The four facets

The four facets represent different aspects of the School and allow enough flexibility in implementation to focus just on one particular audience or address multiple audiences simultaneously.

When the facets combine together the intention is for the individual colours to merge, forming a rich, deep black, representing the school in its entirety. This must never be used in conjunction with the BBS word marque.


Creating the facets

Each facet is a square and should be used at these pre-determined angles.

How to use the facets

Positioning

There is flexibility in how the facets can be positioned and these guidelines illustrate many ways of using them. It should be noted that the individual angles allocated to each colour must be maintained.

Sizing

The only 'rule' to observe is that the facets are always square and are always the same size in relation to each other.

Using the facets as individual components

Facets can be used as individual components to address a specific audience. The system for this employs a horizon line from which the topmost point of the facet hangs. If publications are being designed as a set, we would suggest that the same horizon line height is used for all of them.

Extra rotation

To give added energy to individual facets, it is possible to add a duplicate facet at +5° or -5° and use the Multiply filter to create further angles, perspectives and colour.

Design - Brochures/display

Brochure design

Here are some indicative ideas for how the identity can be employed across standard A4 brochures. Key points to note would be: how the facets can be used singly or in multiples, how tightly they can be cropped and how typography can be approached. Below the examples we have indicated which market these brochures could be used for.

UG
PG
MBA
Research/Business
UG and PG
PG and Business
UG
UG/PG and MBA
PG

Below are some examples showing how the identity has been employed with full-colour and black and white imagery and rather more restrained typography. These examples also show how the facets can be cropped and used as opacity layers to add some distinctiveness to the photography.

UG
PG
MBA
Research/Business

Pull-up banner design

The lock-up device must always be positioned at the top of the banner, text within the top half of the banner and imagery and facet devices to the bottom of the banner. The triple crown accreditation should sit below the text on the right-hand side.

UG
PG

Online communications

Website

The identity adapts easily to use online and the use of the colour facets for specific areas of the School's activity is also translated to the online environment.

The School does not have an independent website and works within the confines of the wider University of Birmingham website. This website is fully responsive to the devices of the viewer, with banners and imagery altering in size dependent on the device (desktop/ mobile/tablet).

The website is based on a series of page templates within which content can be tailored. Examples of how the templates have been adapted to use the School's brand identity can be seen here.

Headers

These have colour blocks added to top-left and centre top to help assist the Business School title stand out. This also works better when responding to different devices. Images to be placed on right hand side, so not to clash with titles.

Landing 2 banner

Course finder banner


Social media

The brand extends to the School's social media channels, with corresponding visuals for each area as per below.

Examples

Facebook
Facebook banner has colour blocks at bottom. This will help the title text and FB buttons to stand out and be more eligible. The lock-up has been added to a clear area to stand out and be easily recognised.

 

Twitter
Twitter banner has the lock-up added to a clear area to be easily recognised, also added into a 'safe area' to be viewed when the page size responds down.

Avatars

The colour blocks have been used for this in replacement of the Lock-up. Due to the sizing, the lock-up would be 'crunched' and become blurred if used here. The colour blocks will remain recognisable when responding to all devices.

E-news examples

 

Motion graphics

Specific motion graphics are in place that should be used on videos produced for the School. These include animations for video introductions, lower third detailing and captioning. These animations help to represent the School as a vibrant, forward-looking environment. An example of how this has been used can be found below.

Intro stings

This could be used as intros for school videos or backdrop screens at events, in animated form before the speaker starts a presentation.

Video captioning

This example shows a technique for how videos should be captioned.

Templates

Stationery


Empty belly templates

These can be placed into Word and used as required for documents and posters.

Please ensure that when using this template it is not distorted or cropped in anyway.

Fonts

Where the font Akzidenz-Grotesk is not available please use Arial as the substitute font for internal documents and posters.

Name badge template



Conference name place template


Sub-branding

The complete lock-up should always be used in conjunction with the sub-branding badge. The lock-up should take priority, in most cases it should appear top left and sub-branding badge top right or towards the bottom when space is an issue for example on pull-up banners.

The sub-brand badge must never be used as a stand alone device without the complete crested lock-up.

Examples

Careers in Business

City REDI

The sub-branding badge

The two 'U' spacing device should be used to ensure consistency. This means that there should always be the space equivalent of two 'U's from the University of Birmingham around the lock-up when used, as shown opposite.

Careers in Business
City REDI

Pull-up banner examples (sub-branding)

The lock-up device must always be positioned at the top of the banner, text within the top half of the banner and imagery and facet devices to the bottom of the banner. The sub-branding badge should sit below the text. The triple crown accreditation should sit below the text but before the sub-branding badge.

Careers in Business
City REDI
Distinguished Leaders Series

Contact us

All queries related to use of the brand identity for Birmingham Business School should be addressed to the Marketing and Communications team:

Adam Gore

College Marketing and Communications Manager

a.gore@bham.ac.uk
0121 414 8885

Kate Salter

Marketing Officer

k.salter@bham.ac.uk
0121 414 4914

Baljinder Panesar

Marketing Officer

b.panesar@bham.ac.uk
0121 414 4726