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The Return of The Crest

Nov 30 2008 18:22
Kirsty Patterson
Heads of Departments have given a resounding 'yes' to the return of the Imperial College Crest.
The College Crest is back!

Heads of Departments gathered at a recent Rector's Away Day unanimously agreed to relinquish the ban on using the Imperial College Crest to identify the College. The Crest, awarded to Imperial College in 1908 by King Edward VII, contains the college's motto: SCIENTIA IMPERII DECUS ET TUTAMEN (which roughly translates to "knowledge is the adornment and protection of the Empire"). Until recently the use of the crest on paper work, presentations and other publications which identify the College was expressly disallowed. Imperial College Union had a special arrangement to use the crest on regalia such as sports kits and society clothing. Other items which 'promote the history and heritage of the College' were also allowed to contain the crest such as chess sets, invitations to formal events, degree certificates and the cutlery at 170 Queen's Gate.

The controversial rebranding which happened under previous Rector, Sir Richard Sykes, saw petitions to 'Keep the Comma' and disgruntlement at the use of 'Two-tone Blue Arial'. The idea was to move away from the traditional shield and steer Imperial towards a more corporate branding.

Advice on the Imperial College Website has read: "The crest is an important part of our graphic identity. It is reserved for uses that promote the heritage and history of the College. It should not be used to identify the College today, for example on signage, publications, websites, stationery or presentations." With this stipulation now being removed we are going to have to hope that previous assertions from Communications that "an organisation can only have one visual device, or logo, to identify it. The use of others means it takes longer to identify us and gives our competitors an advantage" prove to be greatly misinformed.

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Discussion about “The Return of The Crest”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Nov 30 2008 18:30

"adornment and protection of the Empire" ....

Nov 30 2008 19:19

God Save the Queen

Nov 30 2008 21:09

Does this mean we're going to be seeing the crest pop up everywhere now? From the website and prospectuses to departmental letterheads?

Nov 30 2008 21:57

Probably not, but it is likely to start re-appearing on lecture slides and powerpoint presentations (after many years of academic staff being hassled to remove it...)

Nov 30 2008 22:02

Yes, 'Empire' makes more sense than 'State'. I took that from the Imperial website though and added a 'roughly' infront of 'transaltes' as I didn't think it sounded right.

It will be changed shortly.

6. ..   
Dec 01 2008 01:18

Excellent news! How long until they put it back on the signs around campus? This certainly is a step toward a better branding for the College.

7. bleh   
Dec 01 2008 02:12

I prefer the 'blue arial' logo personally

Dec 01 2008 05:54

i bet there's lots that don't know the crest is partly identical to the house of windsor coat of arms.

i also support the crest's usage and visibility - if you have it you might as well show it; other institutions wish they had a crest of their own.

is there any chance that the people supporting it's removal from official status wanted to weaken links or the impression thereof to the 'empire' and the monarchy as we're moving into the 21st century?

God Save the Queen * cough

but, seriously, you have to have a crest regardless.

Dec 01 2008 09:46

Should one assume that College will not rushing to replace all the current signs then?

10. @ bleh   
Dec 01 2008 11:32

me too

Dec 01 2008 11:51

I don't think there's any plan to re-introduce it as part of the "official" branding. It just isn't banned anymore (there have been numerous reports of incidents where communications have sent stroppy emails to people using the crest).

Dec 01 2008 12:00

Was there anything communications could actually do if one kept on using the crest?

Dec 01 2008 13:15

@12 - They used to come round and f**k up your s**t

14. ..   
Dec 01 2008 14:38

@12 - Nothing really except complain. Loads of Dep Socs used it on hoodies etc. and I always put it the front page of my projects!

Dec 01 2008 15:24

.. - You may find that the current 'signs' around campus are merely large plastic stickers which have simply covered over the previous crest logo and blue/cream branding.

Dec 01 2008 17:21

in reply to post 15, I was going to say are you sure its not just a cost saving exercise so they don't have to teach lecturers how to change the master slide in powerpoint and also estates don't have to keep buying more vinyl stickers...

Dec 02 2008 11:28

@ 8

When Imperial was founded in 1907 with RSM and RCS coming together, (C&GC not until 1910), it was King Edward VII woh signed the Royal Charter, and allowed to college to used the royal coat of arms. Which is the same as the House of Winsor's.

18. No-one   
Dec 02 2008 12:51

could use the words Royal Charter, Coat of Arms and King Edward with more ease and familiarity than the poshest man at Imperial (meant completely without malice).

p.s. Mark Mearing-Smith was totally on t.v., on John Prescott's journey around Britain programme. Mark was in the "meeting the upper class" section of the show.

p.p.s ammar rules

p.p.p.s. lolcatz

p.p.p.p.s. love you Mark

Dec 02 2008 23:20

Hallelujah! (Though I always ignored the ban.)

20. @19   
Dec 02 2008 23:58

Who actually gives a f**k? You make it sound like it's some sort of godsend. The crest makes zero difference to Imperial as it is. Image comes from good academia and not from a coat of arms that is essentially the same as the royal family's.

Dec 03 2008 02:12

Mustafa Arif: nobody cares about you, and they never did. Haven't you got a life yet since you left IC 3 years ago? Why the hell are you still posting here?? p*** off.

F**k the crest: If it shares ANYTHING with the royal family, then I'd much rather have the current blue logo - it looks much smarter and more modern than some crest designed for a load of inbred and ill educated toffs.

Dec 03 2008 12:18

"Image comes from good academia"... if one is so educated and knowledgeable, one should use the term Shield or Coat of Arms, not Crest... the dumbing down of extra-curricular education has clearly affected the Communications Department, shame that even the brightest students in the country have been affected too.

To be honest, I agree with 21 that "the much smarter and more modern" look is better as a communication brand. The shield is awesome in other situations like the degree certificates. I think the college need a flexible and enforceable policy on this.

Dec 03 2008 15:24

Good point about the use of the word 'crest' instead of shield. There was one point when I'd written the whole article with the word 'shield' instead of crest but changed it back when all references to it on the College website called it a 'crest'. My mistake. I considered using 'Coat of Arms' but it took up too much space in the title.

In response to 21 and your question "Why the hell are you still posting here??". Live! welcomes contributions from anybody - current IC students, students from other universities, staff, alumni and randomers who stumble across the website on Google. As an Imperial College alumnus, past IC President and past Live! Editor I hope Mustafa continues posting here for a long time to come and his contributions are welcomed along with everyone elses.

Dec 04 2008 01:08

Haha - Of course he's welcome to post here Kirsty - I'm just very childish, and I like a good flame war, It's better than 4chan here sometimes...

Dec 04 2008 19:32

It's not original, but I think I should contribute - "Tee Hee Hee"

Feb 28 2011 10:40

Could I add that, whilst the use of the crest was reviewed by the Communications Division at the request of Sir Roy Anderson, the former Rector, the guidance at has not been changed as a result.


Saskia Daniel, Head of Editorial

Communications and Development Division

February 2011

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