Brand education: How the University of St. Gallen mastered brand excellence

Brand education: How the University of St. Gallen mastered brand excellence

Founded as a business academy in 1898, the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland is best known as a school of management, economics, law, social sciences, international affairs, and computer sciences. With 34 different centers in its ecosystem, the HSG team struggled to present a cohesive brand identity that worked in today’s digital landscape. Frontify helped centralize the HSG brand and modernize its brand management processes, giving the teams a new way to connect with the brand.

The University of St.Gallen uses Frontify since 2019
Brand Guidelines
Digital Asset Management
Digital & Print Templates

A digital dilemma

The University of St. Gallen (HSG), founded in 1898, stands for excellence in teaching, research, and executive education. Today, 34 individual institutes and research centers make up the HSG landscape. This complex structure requires a strong brand identity, but bringing everyone together under one roof is no easy task.

All organizational areas work independently, so it's not easy to create a consistent brand experience.

Friederike Rieder

Head of Executive Education

Before implementing Frontify in 2019, teams, assets, and tools were scattered across the HSG’s IT ecosystem, making brand management tricky. Additionally, the university’s brand manual and corporate designs were hidden on the intranet, and the teams often used outdated and incomplete versions, which led to misalignment and inconsistencies.

The university’s last major rebrand was over twenty years ago, at which point the green color and logo became synonymous with the HSG. Since then, there had been very little evolution, and the brand had “stagnated” as a result. Existing brand guidelines and assets focused on designing for print, meaning they lacked the flexibility and guidance necessary for today’s digital world.

All the design elements we had were pointed towards print, and they weren't flexible enough for the digital world.

Dominik Junker

Art Director

A modern solution

The University of St. Gallen knew it needed to change the way people interacted with its brand. Implementing Frontify gave it a central hub for all its brand materials, in one shared space. Now, users can find all its brand assets—like logos, templates, graphics, and images—in one online place.

All the information is up to date and everybody has the information that they need to work with the brand.

Dominik Junker

Art Director

The Frontify platform has helped HSG standardize its corporate brand, even across multiple institutes, global partners, and external stakeholders. It has given the HSG brand much-needed additional visibility, modularity, and a modern touch to facilitate its transition from print to digital. The brand now meets their requirements for the many online channels and touchpoints, as well as offline settings.

This has helped improve consistency across departments, helping to create a stronger, cohesive brand identity for HSG. Even better, streamlining access to brand materials across the whole organization has delivered huge efficiency gains, enabling teams to work 30-40% faster while also improving the quality of their brand work.

People have the tools to support them with the consistent use of the brand.

Valérie Horner Diem

Head of Branding and Marketing

An outstanding outcome

Adopting Frontify has helped HSG future-proof its approach to brand management. It’s helped them move out of the old, print-first way of working and develop a flexible, digital-first brand.

Frontify’s central, online platform has brought the HSG brand closer to its users, enabling them to work more efficiently while providing higher-quality outputs. It has changed the way people interact and work with the brand, and offered many benefits:

  • Creative teams have seen efficiency gains of 30-40% working in Frontify
  • HSG has achieved standardization of its corporate design across 34 individual institutes and research centers
  • Using Frontify helped the HSG brand evolve from one that mainly worked in print settings to having the flexibility and modularity to work online
  • Frontify provides a central, online home for all brand resources and assets, so users can find everything they need more easily
  • Instead of using outdated PDF brand manuals, HSG now has centralized, digital brand guidelines that are always up-to-date.

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