University visual identity refresh

Victoria University of Wellington has announced a number of decisions made by its Council regarding the refresh of its visual identity, emphasising and celebrating its location in Wellington and strengthening its distinctiveness internationally.

The Council wishes to emphasise that the full name of the University will remain prominent in the primary logo, and that there is no change being made to a range of other names used throughout the University that give prominence  to ‘Victoria’ and to the University’s heritage.  There will be no change to:

  • The University’s legal name i.e. Victoria University of Wellington
  • The use of the University’s legal name in academic publications
  • Colloquial names for the University e.g. ‘Vic’
  • The names of student groups, clubs or societies e.g. VUWSA (unless any wish to change their name)
  • The names of rooms and buildings of particular heritage importance e.g. the Victoria Room and the Hunter Building
  • The name of the alumni publication Victorious
  • The names of groups such as the Hunter Club, the Victoria Legacy Club and the Victoria Benefactors Circle

The Council approved Te Herenga Waka as the University’s new Māori name, replacing the current name of Te Whare Wānanga o te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui. The new name is also the name of the University’s marae and means ‘the mooring place of canoes’. With its fully carved and beautifully decorated wharenui, or meeting house, the first to be established in any university, Te Herenga Waka has been at the heart of the University's community for more than three decades.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says: “The University is proud of how our marae represents the iho, or essence, of our Māori identity at the University. I would like to thank our Māori staff, students, stakeholder community and representatives of mana whenua for their thoughts and guidance on this issue.”

The Council has approved a new primary logo for the University. Professor Guilford said that there had been a range of feedback on a logo shared last month with the University community. Council approved a more simplified version of the logo that was designed to take into account that feedback, gave due prominence to the University’s legal name of Victoria University of Wellington and its Māori name of Te Herenga Waka, while still ensuring an emphasis on the word ‘Wellington’. The current working draft of the approved logo can be found on the University’s website. Brand and design professionals are continuing their work to refine the design of this new logo, which is expected to be completed by September ready for adoption of the University’s new visual identity later in 2019.

The Council also approved a logo for international usage, which will include the name ‘New Zealand’ beneath the primary logo. The logo for use on ceremonial items such as degree certificates, will incorporate the primary logo design and the full University crest.

Council approved the new name of Wellington School of Business and Government for the Victoria Business School—the University’s commerce faculty.

This name accurately reflects the faculty’s unique combination of world-class expertise across various business disciplines with an in-depth understanding of innovative public policy and public management. The new name is strategically important to the University because it emphasises the key point of difference in being an entrepreneurial capital city business school that works at the intersection of business and government.

Professor Ian Williamson, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the School says: “We are uniquely placed to develop leaders who can implement economic opportunities from a holistic point of view, taking into account commercial, governance and societal perspectives.

“Staff, students and stakeholders provided valuable feedback on choosing a name that will raise our profile and ensure our reputation matches the distinctive nature of our teaching and research.”

Council also approved a change of name for the University’s international student recruitment function from Victoria International to Wellington University International.

Professor Guilford says this will help ensure a clear identity offshore and eliminate confusion her team regularly encounters with the international arms of other universities that have Victoria in their name—in particular Victoria University in Melbourne which also uses the name Victoria International.

Council also provided for the option of including the word ‘Wellington’ in other sub-brands of the University—such as faculties—and approved brand protection mechanisms to permit this. Any changes will be implemented case-by-case, after discussion with staff, and final confirmation by Council.

Chancellor Neil Paviour-Smith says that the decisions reached were made after careful consideration of management recommendations and took into account the feedback that had been shared by some stakeholders. “We acknowledge that change can be unsettling.  But Council considered the concerns that were being conveyed, and balanced these with the need to confirm decisions we believe are in the best interests of the University as a whole.  We look forward to observing the benefits these decisions are expected to deliver to the University in the future”.