Powering up your SU

Rebranding Your Union

Our mission is simple: to make student life better at Royal Holloway. It's essential that everything we do supports that mission, including our visual identity. The existing visual style of our organisation is no longer fit for purpose and that's why we're carrying out a rebrand.

We've run surveys, workshops and consultations and partnered up with Let's Dance. We've got pages and pages of research and narrowed our options down to three routes. Over the next couple of weeks Let's Dance will analyse the 500+ responses we received about the routes and produce a final version for the Students' Union. You can still check out the routes below.

Our Three Routes

We’ve identified three routes, each of which reflects the mission and values of the Union.

While the three routes have this in common, they differ in their specific personality. In doing so they present a range of options for the final visual style.

Each route comprises of a description of the style, a set of images to illustrate it, and example colours and typefaces which would complement the route.

The chosen route will provide a basis on which to develop the new, complete visual identity of the organisation.

Route 1 // Industrial Indie

This route takes inspiration from contemporary trends in independent businesses like shops, restaurants and bars. It combines this with a grungy industrial style that works with features of the Union building such as painted brickwork, pillars, metalwork and roller shutters internally, as well as the red brickwork externally.

Route 2 // Visions of the Future

This route uses bright poppy colour and objects of curiosity to stimulate the mind and create a space where it feels that anything is possible. It’s unashamedly fun, fearless and even at times downright weird, but the playful feel creates something to make everyone feel welcome.

Route 3 // DIY Yard Sale

Students’ Unions were founded on creative initiative on a shoestring budget. This route pays homage to that with a sense of style that feels self-made and effortless. It creates a relaxed look that’s low on gloss but high on opportunity. A space where anyone can get involved and make something happen.

Past, Present, Future


    Red Brick Research

    Prior to our last rebrand we commissioned Red Brick Research to conduct a stakeholder review, focus groups and brand analysis.


    Introduction of Current Brand

    'Dots' visual identity launched.


    Initial Research

    Following analysis of research including 'Have Your Say', the democracy review and the annual student survey a significant lack of understanding of the Students' Union's purpose was identified.


    Rebrand Introductory Proposal

    In order to address the disconnect and confusion around the Union's purpose and services a rebrand was identified as a matter of strategic importance. Key to this would be the development of an overarching brand identity, tone of voice and consistent style of communication.


    Creative Agency Tender

    Tender sent out to a number of creative agencies.


    Let's Dance Appointed

    Creative agency Let's Dance are appointed to lead on the rebrand.


    Rebrand Project Plan Finalised

    Timeline of the full process outlined including consultation opportunities, research requirements, definition of new brand and brand roll-out.


    Stage 1: Understanding Royal Holloway

    Three month period of research and understanding begins with the aim of fully understanding the motivation for change and our membership, including their wants and needs.


    Strategic Research Review

    Review of Quality Conversations (300+ Strategic Plan survey), and the past two year's annual student survey (3000+ responses).


    Student Rebrand Survey

    February 29 saw the launch of the student survey which ran throughout the first three weeks of March. The aim of the survey was to establish exactly how students feel about the organisation - why you come here, what you think of the building, and what you would change.


    Staff Rebrand Workshops

    To ensure that staff had an opportunity to feedback on the rebrand process, three workshops were hosted - two by our Marketing department and a third by Let's Dance. These sessions covered a multitude of areas surrounding the rebrand but held a focus on you, our student base, and what you've told us you expect from the organisation.


    Focus Groups

    During March we ran focus groups with a range of student to gauge current opinion on the Students' Union, the brand and their knowledge of the overall services offered.


    Stage 2: Who We Are

    During April we began to build a clear and concise understanding of the Students' Union as a brand based on the results of Stage 1.


    Stage 3: How We Look and How We Sound

    Let's Dance presented their findings to the Students' Union along with three prospective design concept routes. The aim of this stage is the creation of a final visual and verbal language to support the new brand.


    Design Route Consultation

    Concept route feedback is currently being sought on the three designs presented by Let's Dance. This feedback is taking the form of face-to-face discussion with routes being presented at the Student Opportunities Conference to over 600 students, social media feedback and the survey available on this page. The results of this process will be fed back to Let's Dance on 17 June.


For the full research report from Let's Dance, download the PDF

Download the PDF