General recommendations

A university logo reflects the values, philosophy, and unique principles of the institution. The use of old devices and symbols in the emblem works well for the oldest universities. It emphasizes their “age” and status. A university is a serious educational institution. Therefore, its logo should emphasize the high quality of the education, the modernity and relevance of knowledge, and the authority of the institution itself. At the same time, creativity, lightness, and modern trends are welcome. The students are young people and the symbol should not overwhelm them with its seriousness.

Symbolic meaning

If the university is famous and recognizable for its architecture, then its body can be made the main symbol of the logo. Its element may be a subject associated with the main focus of training. For example, it can be the symbol of an atom, formula, or book. A medical university can be branded with a recognizable symbol (for example, the rod of Asclepius), while a financial university can be branded with images of money, balances, or graphs. The legal direction is symbolized by scales or the goddess Themis. Another option for a logo is to create a corporate character. Modern university logos are often stylized abbreviations for names, complemented by abstract symbols.

Who uses it?

Columbia University uses a logo with three crowns on a shield and a lion mascot. Princeton University also took a shield as a basis. It depicts an open book with a motto. Both options symbolize the power of education and the institutions’ historical value. The logo of Kendall College of Art and Design combines an artist’s symbolic scribbles with a strict font. The University of North Carolina logo combines the two capital letters of its name, while the Bloomsbury Institute for Pathogen Research uses an image resembling a view under a microscope as its symbol.

Which fonts to use?

A university logo is almost always supplemented by an inscription, i.e., the name of the institution or its motto. It is better to use non-standard fonts for that. When choosing, it is worth starting from the direction of the educational institution. Humanitarian universities, especially those related to art, should think about non-standard solutions that will reflect the flexibility and plasticity of the sciences studied within the school’s walls. However, hard science is strongly associated with a strict style and straight lines, although you can successfully combine bright colors, handwritten non-classical fonts, and original forms here. A combination of a dark, strict, notched font and a bright custom logo works well.

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