The ask for this project was to create a recognizable and distinct visual identity for The University of Calgary’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, which is still compliant with the overarching UCalgary brand standards.
This project’s scope included redesigning the online graphic elements for UCalgary’s EDI website, creating a series of posters for multiple guest speaker events, and creating posters for the university’s Black History Month events.
The University of Calgary Black History Month posters
For this project, the client expressed a few different pain points that came to light when trying to represent diversity. They often felt a lack of available imagery that represents the true diversity of not only colour but also ability, size, shape, background, ethnicity, and orientation.
The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Pluralism Initiative graphic
We tried to solve this pain point by creating images that leaned into the abstract and avoided the typical cliche markers representing diversity. Most of the resulting imagery is free of gender, skin tone, and other identifying attributes. An exception was made for the series of Black History Month posters we created which intentionally feature prominent Black Canadians in illustrations of their recognizable silhouette.
The University of Calgary Black History Month poster
We designed a set of images that evoke emotion and soul while also appearing as a cohesive graphic set. The sweeping lines and connected shapes evoke a sense of togetherness and unity amongst people from different walks of life. The intention was to represent inclusivity more abstractly.
Courageous Conversations Speaker Series poster
Our design process involved experimenting with free-flowing shapes and lines. The reading of the images is inclusive and universally applicable without leaning too hard into traditional identifiable markers such as skin colour. Symbols of unity, inclusion and intersection were heavy inspirations when creating all elements of this project.
Diversity image using the graphic language of flowing lines
The University of Calgary Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion website icons
This process created a set of beautiful minimalist and abstract images. We applied the same approach in the design of the website iconography, which you can see examples of in the photo above. A vital component of this process was including UCalgary’s colours in the graphic elements.
Atelier Oluwatosin designs in use on UCalgary website
Designers: Tosin Odugbemi, Anjay Seabrook
Branding Support: UCalgary Office of Communications