University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) wants to position itself as an intellectual hub. ‘Hub’ associates with Amsterdam, ‘intellectual’ with the critical thinking that characterizes the people of this university. To express the chosen positioning, Bourne translates the positioning into a corporate story and a campaign. Aditionally, we are engaged in the communication regarding the (future) housing of the various campuses and the communication of the Library UvA/HvA.

Positioning and communication strategy University Library

The University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam University of Applied Science collaborate in ever more areas. For example, the libraries are merged under the common denominator ‘Library UvA/HvA’. Part of this library are also UvA Heritage (Allard Pierson Museum and Special Collections) and the HvA debate center FLOOR.

Bourne advises the Library UvA/HvA on how to translate her ambition, as expressed in its policy, into communication from the Library itself and from the connected parties - in a way that all feel at ease with. We also advise on the organization of the communication, in which we consider the most suitable formation to roll out the communication and achieve the objectives.

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The corporate story of the UvA

The University of Amsterdam positions itself as an intellectual hub. The UvA chooses Bourne to develop a personal and authentic story that explains this positioning in a consistent and trustworthy way. Besides many interviews with students, researchers and staff of the University of Amsterdam, we also make sure to speak to people from outside the university.

Because the UvA is so rooted in Amsterdam, we want the city also involved in the story. If the UvA is the intellectual hub of Amsterdam, then the city can be its ambassador. We interview alumni and renowned persons from Amsterdam, and write the final story in collaboration with journalist Anniek van den Brand. Our deliverable exists of an audio recording accompanied by an inspiring brandbook.

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‘Call us ambitious - because we are. Driven too, and aware of the fact that an academic education should prepare young people for an uncertain adventure, of an unknown future in a rapidly changing world. Graduating from the University of Amsterdam means to be ready for a life in which existing knowledge is just temporarily and new knowledge should be developed continually. It means to be ready for a position at the forefront.’

Brandbook of the UvA as an intellectual hub

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UvA-campaign ‘We Are U’

Based on our corporate story we develop the campaign ‘We Are U’ for the University of Amsterdam in collaboration with advertising agency 210kg. This campaign is about the story arising from the UvA mentality as described in the story. UvA people are critical thinkers, who have the guts to ask questions and to initiate discussions and confrontations. 

With photographer Alek we visualize this mentality for a big outdoor campaign. We also develop the mobile We are U-videobooth, that lands in different locations of the university. In the booth staff and students are being challenged to capture their statements and questions on film. These films we publish on Facebook and YouTube where we invite people to react and to share them.

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Mapping change on the Roeterseilandcampus

The University of Amsterdam makes every effort to communicate current and scheduled construction works, because those works have impact on accessibility, buildings or parts of buildings being in and out of use and (very Dutch) where to store your bike.

Bourne has charted and set up the basic plan of the campus - the basis for all maps with a specific focus on activities or users.

That focus can be the location of construction areas and routes for lorries and heavy equipment, or to inform students and faculty about the best routes across campus, or to inform the Amsterdam population living in close proximity about the nature and schedule of noisy construction works. 

The University uses the map abundantly, both in print on the campus as on their website.

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UvA: Developing open city campuses

The UvA is working on concentrating its housing in four areas: the Downtown Campus, the Roeterseiland Campus, Science Park and the Academic Medical Centre (AMC). In a few years, the university will exist of four open city campuses where people come together and collaborate.
To communicate clearly and consistently about the developments and their implications for local residents, students and staff, the university has asked Bourne to develop a recognizable design style for all communication regarding the housing, in line with the UvA corporate design. The result is being shown on billboards, posters, neighbourhood newsletters, signage, information panels etc.

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A joint science institute for Amsterdam universities

Bourne advises the Amsterdam universities VU and UvA about the positioning and branding of a joint science institute. The cultural differences between both universities are large though. Fortunately ‘betas judge each other on merit, less on culture’, as someone assures us in one of the interviews that we held in preparation for two positioning workshops. Herein participants from both universities meet each other in a shared ambition to develop a science city in Amsterdam, a place of deepening knowledge and with international allure.

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