From online to open: Athabasca University launches refreshed brand
AU refines brand identity to better reflect our next-generation online experience
Learning should be accessible, flexible, inclusive, and unpretentious.
That’s what Athabasca University (AU) is all about. We are Canada’s Open University—the choice for ambitious people everywhere. That means we’re open to anyone with a desire and commitment to learn.
For more than 50 years, AU has empowered students of all ages and backgrounds to pursue a high-quality post-secondary education. Because we’re online, we meet our students when and where they are—at any time. Anyone can study at AU without disrupting their home, work, or family life.
Technology is changing our lives and world, including how we learn and work. As a leading online university, we strive to innovate in everything we do, from digital-first research that’s recognized around the world to personalized learning experiences that set up our learners for success.
AU removes barriers to create better tomorrows for everyone. We’ve made a few changes to our brand to better serve you, our AU community.
From “online” to “open”
As a complement to sharpening the focus of our story as Canada’s Open University, we’ve refined our brand identity to better reflect our next-generation online experience and our anyone, anywhere, anytime advanced learning.
AU’s online delivery model was once a major differentiator, and we used the tagline, “Canada’s Online University” to capitalize on that distinction.
AU has always been open to students who want to learn, where others have placed barriers to accessing higher education.
What has remained consistent throughout our long history is our commitment to open access. While our next-generation online experience is second-to-none, what truly differentiates us is our unique mission as Canada’s Open University.
Open has always been part of our story, and now we need to help people better understand what open means for them.
Our brand tells our story, and AU’s story is always evolving and growing. The changes to our brand elements are subtle but compelling—a slightly different, more open shield, that can also be seen as a window to new understanding and knowledge, or a frame to put ideas in a broader context. There’s also a focus on light, bright, and open in our photography. Our new font and colours have been adjusted for greater accessibility and impact, too.
Underlying our refreshed brand is research, both qualitative and quantitative, that we undertook with students, staff, alumni, and our broader community. It helped us to clearly define who we are and the value we provide.
The result is a comprehensive, clear, and more accessible brand that will help us to consistently communicate and connect with learners and the public, while building recognition and trust.