Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communication and Arts/Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
SoADs that belong to universities can suffer keenly from the one-size-fits-all approach to corporate identity. This paper summarises the design and development of an online school profile and the sometimes amusing, nearly always frustrating experiences of the design team in dealing with corporate concepts of branding the university. The process involved analyzing the identity of Edith Cowan University’s School of Communications and Arts (SCA) and building a web-based interface (SCA Face) to encapsulate this large, multidisciplinary school. SCA Face showcases the school’s work and events in a manner precluded by the existing university website specifications and policies. The design was carried out on a collaborative basis, with a team member dedicated to needs analysis, and design meetings with the heads of each discipline area within the school. SCA Face grows through grass-roots ownership so that each area in the school is responsible for and manages its own content. The project uses school resources and skills. In this way, the final product highlights the school’s innovation through its design. In its reduction of complexity and integration of media it consciously runs counter to the university’s corporate style. We conclude that a SoAD identity should be sympathetic to the prospective and current student point-of-view rather than one that meets administrative expectations. We also explain the difficulties in finding a home for a website for which the university grudgingly gave permission, of getting senior management to agree to this view and how these problems are institutionalized by the intractability of IT services
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