New youthful look for brand design of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
The new logo of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf has been in use since 1 August 2019.
Visibility is a decisive criterion for a logo, but the emblem used by HHU to date did not meet that criterion. It contained an unusually large amount of text and was scarcely legible, even from a short distance. The name ‘Heinrich Heine’ appeared twice, once in the university name and again as his signature. The new design features a modern take on the abbreviated name ‘HHU’ in small letters to reflect the usage on websites and in e-mail addresses, which are generally written in small letters. It is also memorable and legible from a longer distance.
The relaunch was initiated by the university’s President, Prof. Dr. Anja Steinbeck. The Senate, the Rectorate and representatives from HHU’s faculties had met several times since the end of 2018 to discuss the graphic design. In the spring of 2019, the final designs were submitted to the Senate, where all of the university’s interest groups are represented, and met with widespread approval. The logo’s graphic environment in all print and digital materials was likewise adjusted as part of the university’s new corporate design.
President Anja Steinbeck has this to say about the effort involved in the redesign: “The result of these extensive consultations and of the process - which was incredibly swift for a university - is an unmistakeable and striking logo. Not only does it really appeal to me personally, it also meets the requirements of the digital world, as confirmed by graphics and marketing experts.”
The new logo is popular, and not just with the university committees. “A fresh look that is respectable and yet serves all communication channels, both online and offline. Concise and balanced, forward-looking, highly recognisable.” That’s how Bettina Schulz, editor-in-chief of ‘Novum’, one of the most renowned and oldest journals for graphic design, sums up its appearance. Düsseldorf’s Lord Mayer Thomas Geisel adds: “A logo should be unique and easily recognisable. That’s the only way for people to remember it and what it stands for. HHU has done a fantastic job.”
Lara Volkmer, Chairperson of HHU’s General Students’ Committee (Allgemeine Studierenden-Ausschuss, AStA) thinks that: “It’s a pity that part of the university’s history will be lost along with the old logo”, but also feels that: “The new logo is very modern and practical. It shows that HHU is moving with the times.”
The logo was designed by the Eggert Group, an owner-managed agency from Düsseldorf with 40 employees that has been serving high-profile clients since as far back as 1985. CEO Sven Eggert is aware of the considerations surrounding a graphical change process, but also believes that: “Less is more. The university wanted the logo to be striking - this is particularly important in the digital world. 70 percent of all visitors use a mobile phone to access the website. This makes a reduced design absolutely vital.”