Jesus College Oxford

Jesus College is part of the University of Oxford and was founded by Queen Elizabeth I. Today the college is undergoing a period of radical change. The adjoining Northgate site is being developed to bring students and researchers together in a single collaborative space – a Digital Hub. The project will help Jesus College become a leading centre of learning for the 21st Century.

Apropos- are working in partnership with Allegory Agency to create a new brand identity for Jesus College Oxford. We spent 18 months researching and speaking with staff to build an appropriate and flexible language which can help the College through a period of change, speak to brand and diverse audiences, become fit for 21st century communications while respecting the history and traditions of the institution.

Part of the project has been to design a series of graphic hoardings surrounding the College’s new “Northgate” development. Northgate will house new student facilities including an innovative Digital Hub to facilitate inter-disciplinary research. More info at MICA architects.

The hoardings are a fantastic and rare opportunity – a huge evolving canvas at the centre of Oxford’s busy retail district. We have designed an expanded noticeboard; keeping the city updated with progress at the development, the exciting research taking place at Jesus College, and special events and projects with local schools. The city centre location will help Jesus College to reach new audiences and expand its community.

Our hoardings reveal the history of Jesus College which was founded by Queen Elizabeth 1st in 1571. Jesus is proud of its Welsh connections and is a centre of excellence for Celtic studies. It was also one of the first Oxford colleges to accept women students in 1974. Celebrated alumni are featured including Lawrence of Arabia and Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The designs also explain the important and ground breaking research being carried out by College fellows. 

Jesus College was keen to create a flexible, outward facing and inclusive identity that would appeal to a broad demographic – including the people of Oxford and potential students from diverse backgrounds. We worked closely with College staff, particularly Bev Saunders and Principal Sir Nigel Shadbolt – a professor of Artificial Intelligence who established the Open Data Institute with Tim Berners-Lee. Our work is now being applied across print, digital, way-finding, sports clothing, packaging and merchandise. 

Booklet of portraits found in the Dining Hall

Brochure produced for Principal's tour of Asia

‘The new hoardings for the Northgate development celebrate the future, past and present of the College and the city centre.  We are delighted to have these informative and exciting visualisations on show to reach out to the neighbours, visitors and the College community.’
Mandy Franz, Senior Associate at MICA Architects

'The redevelopment project will be continuing until 2021, meaning the hoardings will be in place for some considerable time. Given the Northgate site’s position in the centre of Oxford our intention was to make the surroundings more engaging while work is underway.'
Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Principal Jesus College Oxford

Hoardings photography ©Richard Legge