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Mansfield College quad, Oxford

Mansfield College, Oxford

Creating a brand for an inclusive, dynamic Oxford College


Mansfield College is a part of the University of Oxford. Established in 1886, it welcomes the highest state sector intake of all the Oxford Colleges and has a forward-thinking, inclusive approach to educating the brightest minds.

Aligned Design Co. were engaged to create a brand identity to help it flourish in today’s digital and print communications – and make a compelling connection with its audiences by homing in on what makes the College the vibrant, open place it is.

The College, Archives + Crest

We spent time in discovery sessions with staff, exploring the site, and an afternoon in the College archives, diving into the origins of Mansfield, its architecture, and the design of the College crest.

mixed image of Mansfield College archives and discovery for the brand identity design

A College crest is weighted with history and significance, as well as identity for its students, and so the evolution of the logo and crest was approached with careful consideration. The original essence is retained, while the style is updated with strong typography and a more streamlined design.

Mansfield College, Oxford, logo and crest before and after brand refresh

The new crest design includes a versatile single-colour version that can be used against the varied brand colours, giving lots of flexibility.

Mansfield College, Oxford redesigned logo on different coloured backgrounds

Colour + Shapes

Mansfield College embodies a dynamic attitude, world-class teaching and a supportive, diverse community. We wanted the brand’s colour palette to embrace this, so we chose warm, vibrant colours with a wide variety of shades.

We also took inspiration from the architectural features around the College buildings to create a series of illustrated shapes. Together with the colour palette, there are almost endless combinations and possibilities.

Shape illustrations for Mansfield College, Oxford, referencing the architectural features around the College buildings
Brand identity design for Mansfield College, Oxford, showing notebook, headed paper, envelope and cup

The simplicity of the shapes gives them flexibility across digital and physical applications, their repetition and familiarity creating a feeling of home.


We selected Domaine Display and DM Sans for for the brand typefaces. They’re a combination with a lot of versatility and a balance of style that fits perfectly with the blend of old and new at Mansfield College.

Brand typefaces for Mansfield College showing DM Sans and Domaine Display

Tone of voice

We created a tone of voice guide to help staff write about their diverse community authentically. We collaborated to develop a range of inclusive phrases, tips and language style guidance – to inspire their future content creation and help the team to write consistently as Mansfield College.

View the Mansfield College website (website by The Web Kitchen).

“Aligned Design have been a joy to work with on this project. They really got under the skin of what the College is about, what makes it special, and how best to tell its amazing story through an inspired elevation of our brand identity. I LOVE what we’ve achieved together. The thoughtful and creative use of colour and architectural shapes in the new brand both evoke memories of being at Mansfield for our alumni, and make visitors and new students feel as though they’ve arrived at a familiar place helping them immediately feel part of the Mansfield community.

Jane Waghorn, head of communications