Jefferson (PhilaU + Thomas Jefferson University) - FutureBrand


Redefining education in the birthplace of disruption

With students seeking more personalized, real-world experiences as they plan their careers, drastic changes are happening in higher education—and schools across the country are struggling to differentiate themselves. Philadelphia University (PhilaU), a small private school, needed to scale its distinctive approach to education—Nexus Learning. Across town, health sciences leader Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) was pushing for national recognition.

Both universities identified an opportunity to leverage their individual strengths in architecture, business, design, fashion, engineering, health, medicine, science and textiles, as well as their shared emphasis on experiential education and the principles of design thinking, to meet their respective goals. They decided to create a single institution that would redefine and revolutionize education with collaborative, hands-on practice while fostering transdisciplinary learning.



While the two schools shared a similar teaching philosophy, the subjects their students were learning differed in many ways. TJU was a health sciences university, while PhilaU’s expertise ranged from engineering to fashion design to health sciences. As part of the merger, there were concerns about each institution maintaining its areas of specialty as a combined university.

Further complicating the merger was the possibility that one of the two schools’ set of students, faculty, alumni, and donors may lose their school’s name. It would be necessary to deliver a singular brand that these diverse groups could rally around. A brand that would capture where they had been, and where they were going.


FutureBrand realized that in order for this new higher ed institution to be accepted, each side needed to see itself in the integrated university. We united the institution under one name—Jefferson—and created a logo and visual identity that honored each school’s history while signaling a unified mission for real-world education. The resulting brand reflects the new university's vision and reinforces its multidisciplinary excellence. And the new positioning—"redefining humanly possible"—and brand architecture brings clarity to Jefferson’s vast portfolio of studies.

Today, the consolidated Jefferson fosters collaboration across disciplines with university leaders, research centers, and industry partners to address the global opportunities society is facing now and into the future. Collaboration is what had given the University its competitive advantage.


Jefferson unveiled its new name in May 2017, with plans to continue its structural rollout over the next three years. The school’s codified brand architecture, flexible visual identity, and inclusive name signal a fresh, forward-thinking vision to students who share this future-focused ethos. Jefferson is now building a global education ecosystem and in a position to contribute on an increasingly large stage.