It is common to find the extensive use of modernist type space in corporate branding: across visual designs of documents; in images that show clean airy spaces; and in building design. In this paper, we look at this use of space as a communicative tool in the rebranding of Örebro University in Sweden, as it was reorganized around marketized principles. By drawing on the perspective of Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis, we examine the semiotic use of space in externally and internally targeted documents, with a view to showing how this plays an important role in connoting, both to the publi and internally to staff, a very specific set of priorities, processes and employee identities. By using Bakhtin’s (1981) concept of the chronotope we show how space is fused with time. In these documents time tends to be highly compressed and erases the more complex and inter-related details of long-term, and deeply inter-connected activities both within the university and in society at large. While this might ultimately be detrimental to the core mission of a research/education institution, it serves the purpose of communicating the effectiveness of the university brand’s transition.
2015. Vol. 3, 19-38 p.