Fathom Studio Develops Signage System for Yukon University

Fathom Studio Develops Signage System for Yukon University

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In May 2020, Yukon College gained accreditation and officially became Yukon University, Canada’s first university north of the 60th parallel. Delivering over 50 degrees, diplomas, and certificates, the school prides itself in furthering the tradition of northern-focused education across 12 campuses on the traditional territories of the 14 Indigenous Nations. The University respects the Indigenous Nations’ knowledge, world views, and educational priorities, and takes great pride in providing access to post-secondary education territory-wide, from Carcross to Old Crow.

Branded by Will Creative (Vancouver, British Columbia), the University’s new rich purple and white logo is based on the Crocus flower—a symbol of northern strength, which captures the resiliency, passion and positivity the University strives to inspire in their students and communities. The crocus doesn’t thrive in spite of the harsh conditions of the North—it flourishes because of them; the crocus and Yukon University are reflective of the uniquely determined spirit of northern communities.

The signage system, designed by Fathom Studio (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia), was an exercise in realizing a signage-form based on the visual identity and brand personality, including building identification signs, vehicular directional signage, and the campus entrance identification signage. These components of a broader system were designed to resemble the crocus symbol when viewed from different angles. The first implementations have been installed at the main campus, located in the City of Whitehorse.

While the sign program will be rolled out at the Whitehorse campus in phases, a new phase has been introduced to tailor the 11 campus identification signs to each community’s unique culture. Currently, Fathom Studio is working with the University to develop a plan based on consultation and collaboration, allowing for community members at each location to participate in the design—possibly the production—of each sign.

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