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New logo for UMB

Steinar Haugsvær

On 16 June 2005, the University Board approved the new logo for UMB. The general theme for the logo was termed ”Cycles of Life”. The new logo will be implemented on 1 January 2006.


The design agency behind the logo is Tangram Design and designer Bjørn Rybakken, winning the competition with 28 other agencies.

The path towards the final approval of the new logo by the Board has been a long one. Starting in March, the process on the general guidelines for UMB's new visual profile commenced. By May the first outlines of the new logo were presented and discussed by, among others, a reference committee and the university management. Further work to implement the new visual profile will start after the summer and by 1 January 2006 all UMB material will comply with the new visual profile, including websites, study material, brochures, letterheads, business cards, signs, etc. Each university department will be identifiable through its own adapted version of the logo.

Cycles of life
Thorough discussions in numerous committees have generated several ideas for a new logo. However, "life" quickly developed into a central concept, which most participants associated with the University of Life Sciences. The idea behind the symbol 'Cycles of Life' is that UMB, with its close links to the living world, deserves a logo symbolising constant change - as life itself.

The logo is based on a fixed pattern of circles (21 in the presented draft). Each circle, however, can either grow, become smaller or remain unchanged. Try computing the number of possible combinations. You'll find out that the figure is dazzling, even surpassing the age of the earth measured in seconds! Thus, the symbol also has a universal perspective. What do the logo's changing circles symbolise? There are no limitations for finding answers to this other than your imagination.

Personal identity
The most important role of a visual profile is to promote team spirit within an organisation. This is not only a matter of visual coherency, but also psychologically important for both staff and students. Soon, UMB will celebrate its 150th anniversary. For each of the about 53,000 days that have passed since its foundation, we can generate a unique UMB logo. Another possibility is that each student and staff member is assigned a 'personalised logo', e.g., by linking the logo's circle pattern to birthdates. Thus, each student or employee could have their own personal logo on their business cards or personal websites.

Tangram Design
The logo and visual profile were developed by Tangram Design, a design agency with an impressive portfolio, including (to name few): BI (profile and logo), Norsk Tipping (profile and logo), Imsdal (packaging identity and name), NAF (profile and logo) and TV Norge (profile and logo). The agency was also involved in the development of visual identity and logo for several of TINE's dairy products, such as Biola, Piano, Litago and Iskaffe.

Tangram Design has also been awarded various awards for its work. Among these was the 'Classic Award' for good design, awarded by the Norwegian Design Council in 2004 for the logo developed for Norsk Tipping (Norwegian Lottery).

Project organisation
The UMB management appointed the following committees to organise the development of the university's new visual profile:

Coordinating committee: Director of Information Paul Stray, Head of Department Tove Fjeld and student representative Peter Greve.

Reference committee: Professor Reidar Borgstrøm (INA), Communication Advisor Joanna Boddens-Hosang (Dept. of Academic Affairs and Noragric), Assoc. Prof. Yngvar Larsen (ILP), Assoc. Prof. Arne Grimnes (IMT), Assoc. Prof. Gro Ladegård (IØR), student Borghild Bay (IØR), Assoc. Prof. Odd-Arne Rognli (IPM) and Head Architect Leif Thomas (Service Dept.).

Project committee: Head of Section Steinar Haugsvær, photographer Håkon Sparre, designer Berit Hopland, designer Åslaug Borgan, Information Advisor Gro Elden and Marketing Coordinator Jan Reiling.




Updated: 29.06.05
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