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Ascend at Colorado State University

Sparked by the Colorado State University System Venture Capital Fund and sponsored by the CSU Board of Governors, the university wanted to put a twist on traditional higher education. As opposed to individual students, this new arm would cater to private corporations, government units, and other entities, allowing them to purchase comprehensive suites of educational services to train and develop their workforce.
CSU needed us to build the brand around this revolutionary concept. As a division of Colorado State University, it needed to adhere to already established design guidelines, but also required it’s own icon and brand name to exist outside of the university.
Hinting at both the Colorado mountains and the organization’s focus on professional enrichment, we conceived the brand name Ascend. CSU instantly adopted the new name, incorporating it into their process (Affiliate, Assess, Ascend). A suggestive “A” was used as a throwback to the CSU Aggies that also symbolized the upward path of Ascend clients. We utilized and expanded upon the CSU color palette to craft a mark that perfectly aligned with the university’s brand standards but also gave the new organization its own life.

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