by Stacy Raivich | September 7, 2016

What’s IGNITE?

IGNITE is a student-run organization that takes care of all Humber and Guelph-Humber students. We stand up for empowerment, advocacy, discovery, and openness. We want to give you the power to shape your world and your experience in college and university.

Why the rebrand? What was wrong with HSF?

We heard from students that the name Humber Students’ Federation was not inclusive to Guelph-Humber students. The name and logo also did not leave a strong impression with students. The name and logo were viewed as outdated and did not encompass all that our organization does for students. A rebrand was essential in order to align our brand with the goals and vision of the organization.

Why was the name IGNITE chosen? Who picked it?

Get ready for a long answer.

Once we identified that HSF was no longer the identity and brand that students wanted to identify with we began searching for a new identity that would encompass our values of empowerment, advocacy, discovery, and openness. We wanted to have a name and brand identity that unites the Humber and Guelph-Humber family with a common voice, and a modern design that reflects the students in our community.

Humber students group at winter frosh event

The timeline:

In June of 2015, the preliminary research stage began. At this point, we held interviews with executives, part-time student staff, and a representative sample of Humber and Guelph-Humber students. We wanted to understand how the people that interact with our organization most see us and our brand.

In October of 2015, we sent out a survey to several hundred Humber and Guelph-Humber students. This was to get a better idea of what values and big-umbrella ideas or terms students associated with our organization.

From November 2015 to April 2016 there were many meetings, discussions and debates over what specific words resonated with our staff and students, as well as what had stood out in the research. Based on feedback, we narrowed down the list to three top contenders for our organization’s new name.

In May of 2016, a survey was sent to a representative sample of the student population with a selection of three name options to see which resonated with people most. IGNITE was the top choice by a wide margin. Students associated IGNITE with boldness, simplicity and originality. When asked to describe what came to mind with the word IGNITE, some of the student’s reactions were as follows:

  • To start something or the starting of something
  • To innovate, to take inspiration, to start reaching your potential
  • A spark that triggers a bigger reaction
  • Lighting a fire and motivating people to do something
  • Gaining momentum or inspiration

In June of 2016, we conducted a final online student focus group. This was done after the name IGNITE was identified as the most popular and most fitting name for our identity. The final survey tested the word IGNITE with a variety of different logo designs. A representative sample was selected for the survey: a proportional selection of gender identities, campuses, and programs were contacted. Through this research, our current logo design was chosen.

What is the logo supposed to represent?

We are not here to define what the logo represents. In our research, many students saw the design as a firefly, butterfly, staple pattern, or just an abstract shape. Associations were positive, as some felt the logo represented idea creation while others thought it stood for freedom.  We don’t want to dictate its meaning to all students but are happy to hear what it means to you!

Have your services or events changed?

Everything you know and love is still here, but we are constantly trying to improve and add more to our services and events.  If you have suggestions of how to better our existing offerings or ideas about new ones that we should offer, please email info@ignitestudentlife.com.

Is the new site accessible?

As of September 9, 2016, ignitestudentlife.com is AODA level A compliant. Our goal is to be level AA compliant by the end of this year. We will be working with student leaders on campus to ensure our site meets their accessibility needs. If you are a student having trouble accessing any areas of our site, please email stephen@ignitestudentlife.com.

Were students involved in the rebrand?

Yes! All of our decisions are made by students and for students. Student opinions and feedback were the driving force behind our rebrand and students were involved every single step of the way. Participation in the rebrand wasn’t just from our student union but from Humber and GH students both known and unknown to our organization. From preliminary research to final decisions, to logo design, and branding colours, students led the way for our rebrand.

Okay, but I’m a student, how come I wasn’t contacted?

Frosh paint party black light blue students

In a school of 30,000 students, it would be nearly impossible (and extremely expensive) to talk to every single one. However, we made sure there were representative samples of students to govern our decisions every step of the way.

I’m still seeing and hearing HSF around campus, what’s the deal?

A rebrand is a lengthy process and a lot of people are involved in taking down the old signage and putting up the new. We are working on rebranding everything as quickly as possible, but it still takes some time; so expect to see the changes over the next few days, weeks, and months.  Being known as HSF for sixteen years also makes for a habit that can be tough to break! With time our brand will become more integrated around campus and in conversation.

What did this cost?

Panorama of a presentation in a dark auditorium

The Board of Directors (comprised entirely of elected students) approved a $400,000 budget for the entire rebrand at a Board meeting in February 2016, which was then approved by the student membership at the March 2016 AGM.  We’re very proud of the way we manage your fees and have not raised your student activity fee for the past 7 years, even as we continue to increase our offerings for students.  This funding came from modest surpluses over the past ten years and was not paid for by student fees for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Absolutely no services, events or programming were reduced or affected for the allocation of this budget.  We may not end up spending the entire budget but we will not exceed it.

As of Aug 31st, we have spent $116,721.  This has covered costs for the following items:

  • Research, brand discovery, positioning and articulation
  • Brand ideation and creative design
  • Third Party Testing, name direction, name, tagline and logo
  • Student honorarium for participating in testing
  • Website design, development, testing
  • Email design and copy
  • Replacement of materials: tents and tablecloths
  • Removal of HSF signage across North and Lakeshore campus
  • Athletics Best Seats in the House
  • Trade show-style booths

Items still required:

  • Launch event
  • Videos
  • Signage across North and Lakeshore campus (interior and exterior, office signage, IGNITE spaces, labs) creation and installation
  • Student Centers and offices branding
  • Stage backdrops
  • Promotions booths
  • Events listing boards
  • Clubs listing boards
  • Brochures/Postcards
  • Pull-up banners, wall banners
  • Business cards