The School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, with one of three architecture programs in the 100 mile-wide island, welcomes a new dean to re-position the curriculum’s academic focus. Market saturation pushes for visual separation while the new dean requires a branding system on which he can construct his coming communications platform. Students and faculty long for an identity to which they can relate.
In 2007, the school re-branded with a conceptual move: an illustration of a military helicopter used as graphic camouflage—that was not well received. The 2011 re-branding had to ground, present and explain the project in a relevant, justified way.
The other two schools on the island use classical imagery—columns, blueprints—or highly digital references—pixels, screens—to brand themselves to the public.
The School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University’s updated identity constitutes a metaphor for an institution on whose shoulders rests the responsibility of defining strategies for the future. A system of three graphic gestures—sketches—becomes a branding device, one highlighted by its associations with action, intervention and ideation. Shifting points of view, experienced by students and faculty alike, are represented through a multi-layered brand approach where a changing canvas grounds the hand-drawn typographic mark. Process becomes the core idea. Consistent change anchors the brand’s system.