The Lakehead Brand

When the Lakehead University brand is expressed consistently, it reinforces the universally accepted value of Lakehead University.

The Brand Guide Book describes the Lakehead University brand mission, vision, values, and character. It also provides guidance for the correct use of graphic elements such as the Coat-of-Arms, Shield, typography, and colour system.

What is a Brand?

At the heart of every successful brand is a compelling and credible message that matters to people.

While the name, logo, and visual treatment are the cues and symbols of what the brand stands for — and often what people remember and recognize — any organization with a strong brand clearly understands:

  • Who they want to communicate to
  • What those people are looking for
  • What they offer to satisfy that need
  • Why their offer is compelling, credible, and unique
  • How to communicate that value in a strong and memorable way

The need for a clear brand message with resonance and appeal is even more important in a competitive environment. When there are many brands and messages vying for the attention of the same set of buyers, the brand that does the following will be heard and will win loyalty:

  • Is the most crisply defined
  • Makes the most powerful promise of value
  • Appeals to both heart and mind, and
  • Delivers that value consistently

Perhaps most importantly, a strong brand is any organization's single greatest guidepost. Without a clear sense of their "customer," what that customer is looking for and what their offering is, organizations can struggle to stay on a strategic course to success.

Brand Framework

The tool that is used to help brands stay on course in everything from messaging to visual identity to execution is the Brand Framework. A Brand Framework generally consists of:

  • Outward-facing vision statement (a collective goal)
  • Outward-facing mission statement (the organization's role in achieving that goal)
  • Positioning statement (an internal statement of differentiation)
  • Brand characteristics (the personality of the brand)
  • Brand values (the behaviour of the brand)

For Lakehead University, a compelling and relevant Brand Framework had to begin with a vision and mission that students could be excited about and faculty, staff, and other stakeholders could believe in.

The Brand Framework also needs a believable positioning that clearly differentiates Lakehead from other universities and colleges, not only in Central and Northwestern Ontario, but across the province. Finally, rounding out the Brand Framework, key characteristics define the "spirit" of the brand while key values provide a guide to how the brand should behave as it delivers on its key value proposition. All these aspects come together as the foundation on which the brand messages and the brand visual identity rest. Perhaps most importantly, the Brand Framework provides a value road map to help all people at Lakehead University understand their collective purpose.


  • Idiosyncratic
  • Spirited
  • Adventurous
  • Curious
  • Caring
  • Confident
  • Accepting
  • Determined
  • Friendly
  • Proud


  • Commitment
  • Honesty
  • Respect
  • Acceptance
  • Effort
  • Scholarship
  • Innovation
  • Independence
  • Individuality
  • Community

At Lakehead University, we cherish the unusual and the unexpected. Students who seek out a Lakehead education are eager for adventure, motivated by their own vision of success, and uninfluenced by their peers. The tag line "Exceptional. Unconventional." is based on extensive research and captures the essence of what makes Lakehead and Lakehead students unique and valued. Our new tag line captures the four key pillars of differentiation that make Lakehead stand out:

Greater likelihood of success

  • Small classes
  • Personal attention
  • Mentorship

Unconventional scholarship

  • Unusual research
  • High success in winning research grants
  • Undergraduate involvement
  • Interdisciplinary

Independent thinking

  • Celebrate individuality
  • Teach critical thinking
  • Instill a passion for learning

Potential over credential

  • Increase opportunities for a university education
  • Support all students in realizing their dream
  • See potential beyond entrance averages and other traditional measures


Ad augusta per angusta (Achievement through effort)


To provide a transformative university experience that is far from ordinary.


To be recognized as an innovative comprehensive university that provides an education that is about how to think, not what to think.

Positioning Statement (Internal)

Lakehead is an innovative comprehensive university that values the potential in all our students and gives them the highest chance of success. For every student who knows what they want to achieve and is committed to their own success, Lakehead University provides an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community.

Belief Statement (External)

We believe our students make Lakehead University different. We believe that our students want an innovative comprehensive university where they have the highest chance of success. We believe that our students have the passion and drive to realize their dream and succeed. We believe that our students want the intellectual freedom to pursue the unconventional. We believe in the diversity that comes from our students of many cultures and many nations. We believe that our students are passionate about both their own individuality and their communities. We believe in our students.