Cambridge Open Engage Branding

A brand is more than just a logo and a recognisable name. The experience and connection with that brand or product is what users don’t forget.

What we did:

The challenge

Academics’ expectations that access to scholarly research is open to all are increasing. In order to position Cambridge University Press within the open research space and make the scholarly communication cycle more efficient, fast and direct, the Press spotted an opportunity to build an open content repository for collaboration on early research outputs. 


The Press approached Make it Clear (MiC) to help with the brand identity of this new platform. Aligning with the Press design principles and Cambridge Core branding, the visual identity of the site had to support branded Press and partner hubs, as well as associated marketing activities. 


Vicky Drummond, then Director of Online Customer Experience for Academic, commented that “we wanted the branding of Open Engage to reflect the intention behind the platform, as well as align with the existing Press branding. MiC grasped the brief and delivered something that clearly identifies Open Engage.”

The process

After reviewing a key competitor activity report and other research materials, MiC created naming recommendations for the platform. The three naming and strap-line concepts were presented with rationalisations and then refined according to feedback from the key stakeholders at the Press. Each concept developed a different approach. 


The next step was to visualise three logo concepts, again with rationalisations or explanations of each concept’s theme or intention. These were paired with the naming concepts and iterated after the key stakeholders shared their thoughts. The decisions were guided by considerations of what would appeal to the key audience of researchers, authors and publishing partners across multiple disciplines. 

The result

Once the winning name and logo concept had been chosen, we created a visual identity pack that covered the following elements: logo usage, use of imagery and colour, font usage, and positioning of the logo. This visual identity pack outlined the brand guidelines so that future use can be consistent and includes information about the positioning and purpose of the platform, acting as a home for the brand messaging and information. 

The final stage was to deliver digital assets to the Press according to the required formats that were outlined in the definition stage of this project. Finally, to view the brand identity in action on the now live platform, click here

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