Dublin City University: Leveraging the past and building the future



Across Europe, higher education is a rapidly changing and challenging sector. This is especially the case in the Republic of Ireland, home to Dublin City University (DCU) where universities need to take a fresh look at their offers to compete for funding and students. The President and the strategic plan were about to enter their next tenure and the brand needed to evolve to reflect the strategic intent and reinforce the existing strengths. It also needed to align four recently incorporated colleges as well as clearly referencing Dublin in name given the importance of location for international students.



Since the brand had to evolve with the institution’s strategy, engagement with the DCU President was central to success. We therefore formed a Steering Group and Consultation Panel of key players from across all colleges. This helped us identify the new positioning of Purposefully different, consistently excellent that captures the central thread of excellence as well as the University’s strength in providing a very distinctive modern education. We developed a visual language with greater consistency and pace that reflects the different perspectives of the incorporated campuses and reinforces DCU’s different approach in a country of traditional university brands. We also evolved the logo to include the name in full to help international audiences understand where the university is.



“Our brief posed a number of tough challenges and Frank, Bright & Abel worked closely with us to deliver on all of them. They managed to clearly signal change whist also only change what they needed to. And they did so in-line with the pace of change at DCU. They were instrumental in gaining the buy-in of all key stakeholders, from President through to the wider University community, we now have a brand that’s distinctive, relevant and fit for the future, whilst still reflecting and building on our existing strengths.”

Trevor Holmes, VP External & Strategic Affairs, Dublin City University