Building the visual identity of St Bede’s

How does the spirit of an 8th century English monk provide meaning to the community of a contemporary Australian Catholic school?

After almost six months of consultation and development, the visual identity of the diocese’s newest secondary college, St Bede’s Catholic College, has been unveiled to the community. From the school crest, motto, uniform colours and stationery design to sports house colours and names, everything was developed with purpose and meaning.

Opening its doors in January 2018, St Bede’s will be a vibrant community where a real sense of belonging and spirit is fostered in an environment that inspires students to excel in their learning across all fields of endeavour. How does one channel this vision into a school’s visual identity?

Visual Communications specialist, Katie Todd, spent days researching the Venerable Bede, the community of Chisholm, traditional owners of the land, Morpeth’s Immaculate Conception Parish, local flora and fauna and the contemporary learning environment envisaged for future students. This research paved the way for the new College’s identity.

In the development of the crest, a colour and symbolism study was performed to identify the palette and icons that would feature in the crest and later in the school uniforms. The colours black/grey, violet and gold/yellow were selected as the key palette due to their association with St Bede, flora and fauna native to the Maitland area and the vision for the future school. Violet is the liturgical colour of Advent and Lent which were the subjects of forty of Bede’s homilies. The violet is a species native to the Maitland area and was an indigenous food.

Another key visual feature were the symbols featured in the crest. The dynamic and symmetrical design reflects a combination of symbols and layering of meaning. Each element – book, light from heaven/sun, cross and circle (eternity) was inspired by Bede’s life. The outermost ring features bursts of light emanating from the book at the centre. This exemplifies how learning and knowledge are at the heart of education.

Finally, nine mottos were proposed, arising from Bede’s works and commentaries on his contribution. Bede’s prayer, “Christ our morning star”, was ultimately selected as the inspiration for “Shine with Christ’s Glory”.

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Alyssa Faith Image
Alyssa Faith

Alyssa Faith was the Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle from 2016 - 2017 and a regular contributor to Aurora and

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