Anglia Ruskin University

Rebrand shaking up the sector


The challenge

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) are not a conventional university. They are distinctive in their attitude and offering. Inclusive not just by default but by design. However, as a brand, they struggled to stand out in a sea of higher-education sameness. They wanted a new, digital-first, brand that challenged perceptions and changed misconceptions. A brand that proved they are not a secondary university. They needed a brand as powerful as their ambitions.

They enrolled Rufus Leonard to help them deliver a progressive brand that communicates their power, embraces their difference and enables them to be truly confident about the valuable work they do.


Our visionary thinking

ARU have always embraced inclusion and their student body is a testament to that. They attract people who want to get the skills that will allow them to change the world, make it a better place, and serve the communities they came from. People from all walks of life. Where other institutions may measure their excellence on turning away a student with two As and a B, ARU looks at the potential – the person they could become. It’s about the talent ARU unlock. The passion ARU fuel. The transformation ARU make possible.

These values needed to resonate through every facet of the new brand. We started with ARU’s brand mark.

We took the heron element of ARU’s crest and reimagined it as a clean, modern logo. Not only does it represent their ties to the region but when we delved deeper, we discovered in many cultures across the world, it’s symbolic of self-actualisation and self-reliance – the values ARU nurture in every student. A statement of their origins and aspirations.


Our detailed doing

ARU’s people are what make them unique, so we’ve put the spotlight on them. Real students and faculty members on bold colourful backgrounds, bringing through the energy of life at ARU. We also used their first-hand stories to guide our messaging. So everything about the new way ARU look and speak is authentic – inspired by the real people shaping the future.

In keeping with the influence from lifestyle brands, the photography style is more personal – capturing quiet moments of self-fulfilment. And the distinctive font and colours bring ARU into a modern space. Everything about the new brand has been designed with a digital-first approach and accessibility front of mind.

Anglia Ruskin University making a difference



This new brand identity gives us a look, personality and voice to match the unique and valuable work we do. It will set us apart from our competitors, elevate our profile and make us a name recognised for the values we stand for – inclusion, innovation, sustainability.

Professor Roderick Watkins

Vice Chancellor


Recognised by

Transform awards