Nestled in the 'Purple Mountains' of Northwestern Massachusetts sits Williams College, one of the Nation's leaders in Liberal Arts education. Established in 1793, the college offers 36 majors in 25 departments, with graduate programs in art history and development economics.
Order was asked to develop a comprehensive visual identity that reflects the college's immersive community and establish a long-term system evoking all aspects of Williams' life.
Williams College's 18th and current President, Maud S. Mandel.
Our team spent a considerable amount of time on campus, in the community, and speaking with Williams staff and students to uncover the essence of "place". What we found was a textured, diverse, and visually rich history. The result was a brand positioning we call "Invigorated by Connectedness" — bridging the gap between students, professors, academics, athletics, alumni, and every member of the Williams family.
Institutional research was conducted by Audrey Francis of Elastic Strategy→.
Communication materials found within Williams' library archive showcased a "typographic diversity" perfectly aligned with our brand positioning. This eclectic expression drove our single identity proposal.
Order worked with Sharp→ to develop a type-driven identity, consisting of four custom styles that showcase the many voices of Williams. The primary expression is set in a Slab Serif (found most commonly throughout the college's history), supported by Serif, Gothic, and Octic alphabets.
A new, extended color palette allows for a broader range of visual expressions.
Fun fact: Williams' purple color was chosen by Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill's mother, in 1965.
Williams students, also known as "Ephs" (rhymes with chiefs), were the inspiration for a new type family name. Four classes, three weights each, resulting in 15 (including Serif Italics) expressive styles.
Designed by Lucas Sharp and Connor Davenport.
Eph type has the ability to shape-shift depending on department or application, reflecting a connected visual language.
As a way to embed the identity into every aspect of Williams, additional visual components were developed — a new insignia, illustration of Ephelia (Williams' official purple cow mascot), and cow-print patterns. These elements are available for staff, students, and community members.
A college insignia was designed as a way to include Ephelia into a more formal setting.
The drawing of Ephelia was derived from issues of The Purple Cow, a now-retired Williams publication. Drawn by Lucas Sharp.
An updated mascot illustration was drawn and animated by Aran Quinn→. Instead of a single position, the new Ephelia can move, emote, and express a wide range of positions.
Online brand guidelines are available as a primary resource for the college.