College has postponed its controversial rebranding plan after months of criticism. The so-called “identity initiative”– which included plans for introduce a new Trinity crest and rebrand the institution as “Trinity College, University of Dublin” – was due to be unveiled before today’s launch of its strategic plan for 2014-2019.
In an interview published in The Irish Times this morning, Provost Patrick Prendergast said that the new strategic plan has been prioritised over the initiative. “As time has gone by, the thinking was: ‘just get on with the strategic plan’,” he said. “This is what’s in the tin. Whatever wrapper you put around it is important too, but not as important as what’s in the tin.”
In an email to students last November, he had said that the initiative’s objective is “to create a shared visual identity and narrative for the entire university.” The plan “will allow us to tell a more cohesive and powerful story about what Trinity wishes to achieve in the future,” he said. “By taking such a professional approach to our identity and brand, we will be able to better use our strengths as a university with a global reputation in student recruitment, in fundraising, and in public relations.”
But rebranding efforts had been strongly criticised by academic staff after a new blue and white Trinity crest was given preliminary approval by the College board in March. Several senior academics had been particularly vocal in their criticism of the logo change, and an online petition calling on the provost and board “to refrain from altering the College name and coat of arms” was signed by over 1,800 people.
College will now put the plan on hold until consultation to ensure “a balance is achieved between the heritage elements of Trinity’s identity” and innovation in education and research, according to The Irish Times.
The move comes after news that Bernard Mallee, College’s director of communications and marketing, who was charged with overseeing rebranding efforts, is to step down from his position at the end of the month.