By Egotist / /
Established in 1949, Northland Community & Technical College is a two-year community and technical college. Offering more than 80 program options in fields like Aerospace, Business and Marketing, Education, Information Technology, Law and Public Safety, Manufacturing and more, Northland serves over 4,500 full and part-time students with nearly 200 faculty members. Its sports teams, the Northland Pioneers, compete in the NJCAA Division III athletics program.
The college was recently rebranded by Minneapolis design studio—Object. The college received a complete visual identity overhaul starting with the update of a new monogram. Through discovery sessions Object asked students, faculty and staff what was working and not working with the brand. Overwhelmingly, what they heard was that people wanted change. There was little affiliation with the existing logo & wordmark and there was an appetite for something innovative and expressive.
Additionally, the athletics program was completely redesigned, too. Before jumping into design, Object explored if the college should keep the existing team name the “Pioneers”. The outdated settler interpretation of a pioneer from the past didn’t resonate with students and faculty and was not inclusive to race or gender.
In order to keep the name, Object needed to redefine what a pioneer is. They set out to reimagine the old settler pioneer into something that was more innovate, inclusive, and forward-thinking—an astronaut, the space pioneer.