Re-energizing entrepreneurial learning at Canada's urban university.


Ryerson University Brand

Positioning × Visual Identity × Communications Campaign × Brand Video × Collateral

Role: Co-Creative Director (with Laura Stein)
Studio: Bruce Mau Design

Ryerson University, located in the heart of downtown Toronto, has undergone a dramatic shift from a practically-focused polytechnic to a comprehensive academic destination. Now home to 38,000 students across six faculties, the school has pioneered entrepreneurial, zone-based learning and has established itself as the “city-building” institution — collaborating with the public and private sectors to accelerate change in the community and beyond. 

Ryerson’s brand, both verbal and visual, had not kept pace with this evolution. The team was invited to update the brand in a way that would capture the true spirit of the institution, bring clarity to a complex brand architecture, and create space for ongoing evolution. 

We engaged in an extensive research engagement that laid the groundwork for the new brand platform, including a re-energized mission and vision. We also conducted positioning workshops with each faculty to help align their message with the larger university brand. 

The team then developed a strong yet flexible identity system, incorporating high-equity elements of the legacy brand while embodying the new brand positioning.

With the new brand in place, we developed a brand video and creative messaging campaign for a multi-year communication plan. The campaign reverses the traditional inward-facing narrative of higher education, instead focusing the stories on those who benefit from the work being done by Ryerson, its students, and its faculty.