Special Feature Symbol of transformationAn interview with Professor Matthew Lee Kwok-on Vice-President (Development & External Relations)

Over time a brand changes and develops, and the logo needs to be modified to align with the new identity. This is exactly the case with City University of Hong Kong (CityU), as Professor Matthew Lee Kwok-on, Vice-President (Development & External Relations), explains.

Q: Why has CityU launched a new logo?

A: In the last few years CityU has undergone a rapid transformation. You have to remember that we have enjoyed university status for a mere 21 years, yet in that time we have achieved a great deal. To begin with, we have climbed several different global rankings and are now positioned in the top 57 in the world, according to QS, #9 in Asia and #4 in the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years of age. These are remarkable achievements, and have helped to establish our reputation as a dynamic, youthful and highly creative higher education institution. And so, looking at the former logo, although it did a great job at the time, we felt that CityU had moved forward substantially and we wanted to create something refreshingly new, a look that would better capture the essence of our rising achievements, aspirations and burgeoning image.

Q: What is the significance of the look of the new logo?

A: The main element is the vibrant shape. We feel that the sharper edges, the bold burgundy colouring and the dynamic shading capture the young, passionate, and energetic character of CityU. Benefitting from the assistance of a leading professional brand designer, we also felt that the modern, innovative design conveys the meaning of the logo tagline – Professional. Creative. For the World.

Q: Was it easy to come up with the new logo?

A: Well, it was a lengthy process taking several years! We set up focus groups, held face-to-face discussions and conducted an online survey to gauge opinion. As you can imagine, there were many stakeholders involved in such deliberations and it is never easy to please everyone. We were glad that the end-result of our extensive research showed that a sizeable majority endorsed the new-look logo.

Q: In addition to the new logo, how else is CityU trying to communicate its brand?

A: It is important that CityU makes sure that the perception of CityU locally matches with how the rest of the world views us. Being among the top universities in the world means that our professional education and research outcomes are earning world-wide recognition. Locally, though, some people might still regard CityU as a polytechnic. Our branding campaign sets out to communicate to Hong Kong that CityU is now a dynamic, youthful and highly creative higher education institution excelling in research and professional education at a global level.

Q: How are you setting about doing this?

A: We are strengthening alumni engagement and enhancing our communication strategies with various stakeholders, both internal and external, to raise support for the University and increase donations. Alumni engagement is hugely helpful especially in the form of mentoring, advising, fundraising, internships, scholarships, and support for curriculum development and new initiatives. Alumni are particular important to CityU because they carry our brand. As you may know, alumni take a highly active role in the CityU Foundation, which aims to strengthen the University’s relationship with donors and friends. Fundraising is particularly beneficial because donations, such as those to our pioneering School of Veterinary Medicine, communicate to the public that CityU is held in high regard among some of Hong Kong’s elite business leaders and entrepreneurs.

And our new logo represents this exciting transformative period in CityU’s history.