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Ryerson University

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. Bruce Mau Design was invited to bring the brand’s communications in-line with the new reality of the university. The work needed to capture the true spirit of the institution, bring clarity to a complex brand architecture and create space for ongoing evolution.

BMD engaged in extensive research, consulting key stakeholders, current students and alumni, while leveraging significant quantitative data collected by the client team. Research synthesis laid the groundwork for the new brand platform, including a re-energized mission and vision. BMD also conducted positioning workshops with each faculty to help align their message with the larger university brand.  With the new brand in place, BMD developed a brand video and creative campaign and messaging framework for a multi-year university communication plan. The campaign reverses the traditional inward-facing narrative of higher education, focusing instead on those who benefit from the work being done by Ryerson, its students, and its faculty. 

Prior to rebranding the University’s new communications and brand platform, BMD was commissioned to reimagine and redesign the Yeates School of Graduate Studies' Viewbook.

The Yeates School houses 48 Masters and PhD programs and over 125 research centres, including Canada’s #1 ranked business incubator. Inspired by the school’s mission to “invite students to share in the advancement of a new kind of graduate education,” BMD designed a modular publication that empowers prospective students to customize their own viewbook based on their individual interests and needs. The full volume holds nine distinct pieces, including a map and student profile cards, program guides, statistical information and a small notebook. This versatile publication distinguishes the Yeates School as a collaborative institute of graduate studies and provides prospective students with engaging information. 

BMD spearheaded the writing, photography, web integration and wall display of the book. Upon entering the lobby of the Yeates School, visitors can see each component of the viewbook mounted in an open display.

Ryerson photography by Mark Blinch.
Runway photograph by fervent-adepte-de-la-mode.