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We won!

We've got some good news! We won an award after all our work on the Union's rebrand this year. Check out how we did it!

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You might have noticed that last year the Union got a little bit of a glow-up; mainly a new logo, flashy colours, and a new U motif everywhere. It was a super-exciting time to be re-introducing ourselves to the Heriot-Watt community, but a lot of work went in over a long time to get us to brand launch-day then, and award day now! 

We worked with two local Edinburgh design and marketing companies that were themselves former Heriot-Watt alumni – we felt they had the unique insight needed to really bring a fresh new take on how we sounded and looked. If you want to check out their work, here and here

At the same time, we were going through a massive internal change too – we were set to launch a new strategic plan that would dictate how we’d be acting in the interest in students in the next 5-6 years.

Being a Student Union, a big part at the start was figuring out exactly what our main idea was of ourselves; whether we tried something new or kept doing what worked, everything came back to one key idea. Why the Union does what it does and who for. In the end, we came to:

Students first, always.

With the who-part sorted, the next view was how. If we’re always looking to benefit Students first, always, we wanted to make sure how we did it was equally fitting, and truly HWUnion. In the end, we settled on 5 key values to how we’d prioritise students in the future:


We stand with students no matter their background, culture, viewpoint or needs.


The Student community is a vibrant fun one and we wanted to mirror that for both the students we serve, and each of the colleagues we see daily.


We want to find what works best for students, and that means trying new things. We should step out of our comfort zone even if it’s a bit risky.


It’s not always about fixing student problems, we should be celebrating student wins and helping students fix their own problems.


It might seem obvious, but we are the organisation on campus that can truly, always put students first. We don’t want to forget that, and we want you to know it too.


Okay, so what about the fun visual stuff now?

With an idea of the purpose and values we held, it was then time to start looking at designs!

We wanted a logo that boldly featured HWUnion that would be recognisable as us and would show community values but not at the cost of the individual’s perspective. The final design concept we all agreed on was “U at the heart of the Union”. The sentiment has a lot of meaning to it and was taken quite literally when we look at our new logo. Can you see it yet? It’s literally a logo made of U’s!

The U stands for Union, but also stands for “You”, which from our Students’ perspective means them – again we wanted to put our students at the heart of our new logo.

Beyond that, the most obvious part of our new logo is that it prominently shows the HW of Heriot-Watt. You’ll notice the adjoining and interlocking U’s in H and W – we wanted something to show the community and democracy of the Union, too. The H shows two U’s lifting one another up, the W shows two U’s standing side by side.

The U motif is really versatile, too. You’ve probably seen a lot our graphics on social media this past year incorporate it. Most obviously right now is our Halloween ghost made of a super simple U.

We can change the colours as long as it suits events but we really try to stick to 4 key ones – namely our pink and blue, and white and grey. These colours were chosen because they are bright and colourful, easily distinguished from other colours used by Heriot-Watt – and were the most popular choices from our focus groups!

The visual look of our brand doesn’t just rely on the logo but also on these colours. If you see something in bright pink, that’s us!

Early on into the brand launch, we were really keen to show off how well it could settle into the fabric of the Heriot-Watt Community. That’s why we challenged students at the Scottish Borders Campus to a competition; the winner would become the official tote of our shop, and we’d show off how the U meant the Union and U the students of Heriot-Watt. Here’s the winning entry from a (now graduated) Heriot-Watt student!

And here’s the point of this whole news piece…..we won an award for the brand’s development and launch!! Of course, as usual, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram because we’re always trying new ways to engage and improve student life at Heriot-Watt but also check out some of our newest initiatives for students like our WattU page where you can find out new hobbies and student-favourite pastimes, or our recommend page where you can add your favourites to the list!

We've also got our WhatsOn page for all things happening around campus, and our ever-growing list of student-run societies!

If you've made it this far, thank you! Students' interest in the Union is what makes us increasingly relevant so get involved even more and keep in touch! 


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