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University of Western Sydney
The University of Western Sydney formed in 1989 from a group of tertiary educational institutions in the Western regions of Sydney, New South Wales. The original circular logo was created to represent arrowheads, joining to make the shape of an bigger arrowhead pointing west. The blue of the logo symbolises the Blue Mountains on the outskirts of Sydney, close to where the university is based. The U-shaped cutout of the individual arrowheads harkens to the shield commonly found in university emblems. All the triangles are connected by bars symbolising the university's network structure across multiple campuses. The middle three triangles represent the three founding members as shown in the individual campus logos.
The current logo takes on a more minimalist look that's different from most university logos. A darker shade of blue is employed and a new symbol shows a set of sails similar in shape to the Sydney Opera House and the negative space of a bird's head. This forms a simplified stylisation of a bird mid-flight. The motto 'Bringing knowledge to life' is also normally shown with the logo.
Western Sydney University
The university brand changed at the end of August 2015 from the University of Western Sydney to Western Sydney University. This change is accompanied by a new logo which is the letter W on a maroon shield. The change was teased within the university and through social media with the hashtag #NewWS.
This brand change came about according to the University because of Western Sydney becoming one of Australia's fastest growing regions and recreated the brand to better suite and represent the area. Unofficially, the brand was likely changed to ward off the idea of UWS being a 'safety net' university. The new brand was made to be more in-line with other universities in Sydney and be seen as a more professional institution as opposed to the bird which tended to stick out.
The sudden change in branding quickly caused anger amongst much of the student body. This is because not only was the new design deemed bland and uninspired, but the student body was not involved with the redesign at any point. A change.org petition was placed to pursude the university administration to keep it's current brand accumulating in 2000 signatures as well as another hashtag #SaveTheBird. However, the changeover went ahead as scheduled and the new brand was officially introduced on August 30th, the university's open day.