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University of Southern California


Founded in 1880, USC is the oldest private research university in California. It consists of 19 different academic units—the largest of which is the size of Brown University—and three hospitals. USC is the largest private employer in the city of Los Angeles and generates $8 billion in economic impact in Los Angeles and California.

Our work with the institution began with a rebrand and the creation of a consistent overall brand system. We redesigned and produced multiple publications and collateral pieces and continued with the creation of a residential college crest system for their dorms. 

All work done with DJ Stout at Pentagram. 

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The previous identity, designed by Saul Bass in the 1990s, included multiple thin rules and fine serifs which did not hold up well on emerging digital platforms.

We updated the typography to perform well in all use cases, retained the familiar USC monogram and surfaced the shield held within the university's formal seal. 

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We redesigned and produced USC Trojan Family magazine for over five years and created a series of collateral pieces and look books for various colleges, institutes and centers within the university. 

The ability to hire top notch photographers to impart personality to materials that were previously bland was key. This piece for the school of education is a good example of how we created unique personas for the various academic units we worked with. 

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Academically, USC is on par with Stanford and many of the Ivys. Their residential experience wasn't quite up to those storied standards though so they asked us to develop a series of residential college crests to represent the different "dorms" on campus. 

Starting with a sheild shape similar to the new rebrand we created 14 discinct crests using heraldic symbols, color and iconography unique to the USC culture and geography. 

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The new residential crest system was launched in spectacular fashion at the first Residential College Cup, an annual competition between the seven first-year student residential colleges—Birnkrant, McCarthy Honors, New North, Parkside Arts & Humanities, Parkside IRC, South, and West.

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Simplifying complex ideas.

Simplifying complex ideas.

Simplifying complex ideas.

© Copyright 508 Creative 2020

© Copyright 508 Creative 2020