The M S Ramaiah Group, recognised for its trusted, quality education and healthcare, is currently in its 6th decade. Spread across a sprawling 80-acre campus in the heart of the city, the Group runs 21 institutions, including 18 educational institutes and 3 hospitals, each operating under a unique identity and with reasonable autonomy.
Decoding the Brand
The Group, led by Dr. Jayaram, draws its strength from a shared commitment to furthering the cause of Education and Healthcare. This driving spirit of the Group has been perfectly captured in the Sanskrit mantra ‘Gyanam Vijnanam Cha Bhakti Samhitam’ which in essence means ‘Devotion to Enlightenment.’
My oars of curiosity
Propel forward my boat of knowledge
On the river of wisdom
Towards the horizon of enlightenment
The energy of this universe is devotion
Devotion to my Guru, my teacher
Devotion to the quest
Devotion to the unreachable horizon
I may never arrive
Yet I forever move forward
For the loftiest goal
Is the journey itself
The Ramaiah Group is strongly associated with legacy and trust. However, this impression was clouded by the perceived lack of modernity and progressiveness.
Despite several new-age initiatives by the Group, the associations with Ramaiah were primarily lifestyle driven and not expertise and excellence driven.
An important insight we gathered from the research was the recall value of the name ‘Ramaiah.' Despite ‘M S Ramaiah’ preceding the name of the Group’s institutions people used only ‘Ramaiah’ when referring to them.
The 21 institutions, although part of the same Group and driven by the same core values, were operating as singular units, pulling in different directions. While some embodied the Group’s rich legacy, others were marching forward into a new, progressive era. Drawing from our research with both internal and external stakeholders, we distilled the Ramaiah Group’s positioning as ‘Inclusive Progressiveness.’
Influenced by the inherent spirituality that the Group embodies, the new logo is a contemporary take on a timeless icon. While the shield is a reminder of the heritage of the Group, its shape is crafted by incorporating a bold and inspired swan, the symbol of knowledge.
The swan is depicted in pursuit of enlightenment, which is symbolised by the asterisk-shaped sun. The future facing confident swan is the vehicle of Saraswati, the Goddess of Wisdom in Hindu mythology.
For the group, a monolithic brand architecture was the obvious choice. With the initials MS being dropped, the Ramaiah name itself was made more prominent and visible.
To ensure each of these institutions retains their uniqueness, we designed a visual strategy, one that extends the logo into elements and shapes that represent their particular offering, while still retaining the ‘Ramaiah’ look and feel.
The brand was internally launched on 31st May, 2016. To ensure that every member of the Group embraced the identity change, we conducted a series of workshops for all staff members.
In a landmark event on 21st May, 2017, the Ramaiah Group of Institutions formally unveiled the new identity and an upgraded infrastructure. The event was accompanied by the unveiling of the statue of the Late Honorable Founder Chairman, Dr. M S Ramaiah. Conceptualised by us, the entire experience of the event was centred on the Group’s mantra: ‘Gyanam Vijnanam Cha Bhakti Samhitam,’ or Devotion to Enlightenment.
This distinctive and powerful theme was extended into an overarching design language for all collaterals related to the event. It was expressed through specific symbolism, derived from the logo. The symbol is a metaphorical representation of the sun, grounded in spirituality, and depicts wisdom and enlightenment. The colour and design of the logo was also extended into the backdrop and décor, campus livery, the invite, take-aways, Press Kits and two short films on the evolution of the Group.
To ensure consistency, we worked closely with the Group for 6 months, templatising all the key collaterals including visiting cards, letterheads, envelopes, certificates, brochure/prospectus designs, identity cards for students and staff, etc.
We compiled three completed brand manuals in which we detailed the significance of the logo, its elements, Do’s & Don’ts, and templates of all the basic collaterals, taking into account the complexity, sub-branding initiatives and the partnerships of various institutes.
The Group, as an entity, needed its own website – one that unified all its offerings while also showcasing the Group’s breadth of expertise.
For a publicity-shy Group like Ramaiah, the 80-acre campus holds high potential for branding. With this context and a well-trodden view of the campus, we began our journey into setting up a coherent, cohesive wayfinding system for the Ramaiah campus.
The wayfinding system focuses on 6 main parameters:
- Orients people and helps them navigate the campus
- Is informationally comprehensive
- Visually consistent
- Creates an identity that unifies the multiple architecture styles
- Helps create a distinctive image for the campus
- Presents and reinforces the brand Ramaiah in an impactful manner