Established in 1971, Hochschule Trier (Trier University of Applied Sciences) is, as its German name implies, a university of applied sciences in the German city of Trier. Hochschule Trier offers degrees across technology, business, law, design, and computer science programs to approximately 8,000 students that are spread across three campuses in the city. This November, the school introduced a new identity designed by a committee made up of its own design professors.
(All images via Design Tagebuch.)
The striking text sentence is based on the visualization of the three campus model of the university. The new logo stands for activity, diversity and individuality. It visualizes the open space for development, action and thinking. With its new design, the Trier University of Applied Sciences is setting a contemporary, innovative accent in the educational landscape and thus confidently reaffirms its recognized position as a strong brand.
The old logo hinted at the three campuses with its three abstract giraffe heads, which I am 100% positive are not giraffe heads and the typography looked like a type specimen of Frutiger. It wasn’t terrible but also nothing outstanding about it. The new logo keeps the concept on the three campuses but in a very non-obvious way: Each letter of “HOCH SCHULE TRIER” is typed three times but only one is visible, creating the odd spacing in the logo. Without showing the ghost letters, there is no way any one can figure it out so the end result is the only thing to judge this by and I kind of like it. I see it as students moving across campus at different speeds and with different ambitions but all contributing to a bigger whole. It’s not a logo I would defend to death but I do appreciate its intent. The typeface used is Alwyn New — never heard of it — and it’s almost right; the “R”s and “E”s bug me but not too much. The name in English oddly enough helps anchor the logo as in the image directly above the German name alone feels like it’s going to float away.
I wish all these print applications were better and helped sell the logo in a more interesting way. The colors are off, the typesetting is boring, and the introduction of a diagonal line feels totally gratuitous.
By contrast, all the swag where the logo is placed in vendor-approved maximum print areas, looks pretty great. If the logo had been typeset in maybe some Univers condensed, these three images would be extra hot. For anyone that has ever asked that a university design its own identity through its professors/students… this is it, here is an example where there might be a lot of heady/academic thought in it (i.e., the three letters) but ultimately the execution lacks the horsepower of a design firm whose main job is to design stuff, not teach students and on off-hours try to design an identity system. Overall, this is a bold change that gives the school a contemporary tone of voice but one that could have made an even bigger statement with some more development.