Arranging the deckchairs – university branding and campus furniture

Summer is almost at an end but there is something perennial about one particular aspect of university branding which is normally associated with seaside holidays.

We’ve covered branding and estates issues here before but this development has rather sneaked in under the Wonkhe radar.

This is something of a surprising phenomenon, a bit like the fashion some 20 years ago for every entrance to a university and every building to have a large monolith or ‘tombstone’ with the exciting university logo and list of THE and Guardian awards won. Of course we are talking about nothing less than what some are already calling the great university deckchair epidemic.

Both large and small, it seems like every university now has a set of deckchairs which are rolled out for graduations, open days and other big university events at the drop of a sunhat.

See for example these:

Highly mobile, eminently instagrammable, seaside connotations, family holiday recollections, nostalgic overtones – these deckchairs large and small offer everything to campus branding efforts as well as being extremely practical.

Here are a few more examples

And then some more…

So, what do we think, delightfully quaint and splendid addition to any university event or irritatingly twee and just another example of copycat approaches to university marketing? And which is the best example?

(With many thanks to Jo Webb @jwebbery for identifying this remarkable phenomenon.)

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