AMID the backlash to the bombshell that Kingâ€™s is to rebrand as â€œKingâ€™s London,â€ Roar received a phonecall from the university this afternoon, saying the Principal fancied a chat.
We agreed, and headed over to Waterloo to put your concerns to Ed Byrne (the principal, not the comedian).
He was visibly uncomfortable when we pressed him for his personal thoughts on the rebrand.
On the third attempt, he said: â€œDo I like it? I like it more than the current brand.â€
â€œIâ€™m still thinking about it, you know, it could grow on me,â€ he laughed.
Ed reveals all on money and the fate of the rebrand in part two, live at 00:00
â€œNo thatâ€™s not fair,â€ he added hurriedly. â€œNo, I think its got a zing to it.â€
â€œ[Kingâ€™s London] is not good grammar, you know, because I like that slightly raw edge, you know.
â€œKingâ€™s London, what is it, you know? Kingâ€™s London. No, but then the strap line, you know, ‘one of the worldâ€™s greatest universities,’ and then instantly, you know, KCL, the link comes in. And youâ€™re building layer on layer of the story.â€
On the loss of prestige
He said the university were â€œtotally embracing the historyâ€ of Kingâ€™s, and â€œbuildingâ€ on it. â€œWeâ€™re not getting rid of any prestige at all, weâ€™re growing.â€
On international students
On being recognised on a global stage Ed claimed: â€œItâ€™s not fully understood outside the cognoscenti who know the UK system well, what Kingâ€™s is.
When asked whether the removal of â€œCollegeâ€ was patronising or insulting to students, he said: â€œItâ€™s not patronising or insulting at all.â€
â€œMost people in other countries know very little about university systems in other countries.â€
On the lack of grammar
When asked whether it was an issue that the new brand lacked grammatical sense, he said: â€œDo brands always make grammatical sense?â€
When pushed, he said: â€œNo I donâ€™t see it as an issue at all because thatâ€™s not the way the visual world works.â€
On the universityâ€™s legal name
He stressed: â€œOur name, our official name, will remain KCL. Thatâ€™s the name that appears on peopleâ€™s degrees. That is our name. But that we brand ourselves as a university rather than a College, thatâ€™s what all this is about.â€
â€œSurely people can understand the difference between a name and how you brand over a period,â€ he added.
On University of London
Ed assured that the rebrand was not signalling their disaffiliation from the University of London.
On the Strand windows and other signage
The Strand windows will change to the reflect the new brand, â€œbut not in any immediate wayâ€.
â€œThereâ€™s no plan in the near future to redo signage,â€ Ed said, and that Kingâ€™s would incorporate the new brand â€œorganicallyâ€ as signs wear out.