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Singapore Management University

In Pursuit of Meaningful Impact


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In support of its 2025 vision, the Singapore Management University (SMU) embarked on a journey of purpose to clarify areas of new importance, shift mindsets and more clearly emphasise its collective ambitions.

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CHALLENGE: Envisioning A Different Future

As the university transitioned from a principally Singapore-based university into an global institution offering relevant undergraduate and post-graduate education, with cutting-edge applied research and innovative industry collaboration, its brand architecture, programmes and strategic thrusts needed to be better articulated.

SOLUTION: Greater Coherence

There was a need to consider the proliferation of sub-brands from the growing number of centres, labs and initiatives, and bring greater coherence to what the university was offering as a whole. 

Activiste worked with SMU’s leadership to develop a comprehensive brand architecture framework and visual system, into a more coherent whole; whilst highlighting areas of distinction and special emphasis. The brand architecture updates were unveiled alongside a refreshed visual identity system, a comprehensive set of guidelines and a series of stewardship workshops.

IMPACT: Continuing the Journey

The new brand proposition launched in January 2018 at a townhall, featured a designed experience and brand book that encouraged individuals to unpack and apply the SMU brand proposition to their work. 

Activiste continues to work closely with the Singapore Management University in supporting the next lap of its development as it grows internationally in scale and stature.

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“This journey in pursuit of meaningful impact is about understanding and recognising SMU’s intent and core purpose. We all need to understand the spirit of what we are trying to do in order to pull in the same direction. This will ensure that it is not just what we say that is consistent and coherent, but what we deliver as a result of this.”

Professor Lily Kong,
Provost, Singapore Management University, in her 2018 welcome address to staff of SMU

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Accompanied by a refreshed visual identity system, the updated brand architecture framework highlights SMU’s growing achievements and capabilities in areas beyond undergraduate programmes.

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