18 June 2021
Our old brand has been with us for a long time, and while we couldn’t be prouder of 26 years welcoming refugees to the UK, we’re sure you’ll agree it was showing its age. STAR has doubled in size since the 2015 ‘refugee crisis’, massively increasing the impact of our work with refugees. We want our branding to reflect and celebrate this development.
It’s a very challenging time for people seeking asylum and refugees in the UK, so being able to more effectively mobilise student activists is vital. This year, we’ve been collaborating with STAR student leaders and trustees, activists, and members to revitalise our branding and website.
Forging a collective identity
Back in December 2020, we began our branding journey by gathering ideas and feedback from current student leaders, trustees, Equal Access Activists and STAR team members. We wanted STAR to have a fresh and modern look, reflecting the individuality of our groups, and the collective identity of the wider STAR network. We were so excited to work with branding and digital agency TEMPLO, on how we could reflect the multifaceted nature of STAR.
Co-founder of ULIP STAR and student trustee Billie says:
‘Being involved in STAR’s rebranding process was really exciting! I’d never been involved in a branding process before, and watching (the amazing) TEMPLO team, Pali and Anoushka, turn seemingly abstract questions about STAR into a true visual identity was so interesting and impressive. I love the designs we decided on and feel like it really represents STAR well, as does inviting students to be a part of the process.’
Student trustee Karolina adds,
‘It was especially fun when [TEMPLO] asked us questions that didn’t seem to be connected to the brand renewal, but in the end were… they asked us to bring a couple of objects and talk about how we viewed STAR through those objects.’
Inspiring student leaders and members
We might be biased, but we think our new branding is vibrant, modern, and cool – reflecting some of the best things about being a student. Students started STAR back in 1994 and continue to help lead us today, so we knew we needed a visual identity that did justice to our inspiring student leaders and members. We’re so excited to use our new brand to spread our message loud and clear, so we can mobilise even more students to build a society that welcomes refugees.
Hannah, Cardiff STAR leader and STAR office volunteer says,
‘It was a great experience to be involved in the rebranding of STAR! I really appreciate that they valued the opinions of students in the STAR groups. We represent the brand when campaigning or fundraising at our universities, so it’s important we can be proud of what we’re representing. I’m very pleased with how the rebrand turned out and I think this is due to the involvement of so many students across different universities.’
We haven’t just created a new logo, but a whole new visual identity. We’re excited to share that every STAR group will be able to choose their own logo that’s uniquely theirs, but recognisably STAR.
A new direction
Every year, a different set of students takes the reins of STAR’s societies, so our work is always evolving. As a network, we don’t just respond but proactively push for change. That’s why we’re so pleased that our new brand illustrates the dynamism at the heart of our movement.
If you look closely at our logo, you’ll see that multiple distinct orbits come together to create a star – just like how our student groups, Equal Access Activists, and a central team of experts together make something greater than the sum of its parts. We each have our own identity within STAR, but it’s our combined power as a network that enables us to bring about lasting change.
‘I’ve never been a part of something like this before’, continues Karolina, ‘and I found it really great that my input was valued.’
From brainstorming ideas with branding extraordinaires TEMPLO, to finalising the website page by page with Onyx-Tech, it’s been a fascinating journey. Thank you to TEMPLO, Onyx-Tech, student trustees Billie and Karolina, our trustee and Equal Access Activist Maryam, STAR leaders Hannah and Makeda who worked on this renewal with the staff team, and to anyone who’s been a part of STAR over the years.