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A note about logos

We see hundreds of logos in the course of a day, each representing a different business entity, product, or service. The result of this barrage is that many of us assume that every program, product, or service of Yale must also have its own logo—its own “brand.”

This is not so. Despite the vast array of Yale’s activities and “products,” the strongest, most recognizable brand—to borrow a term from the world of marketing—that Yale organizations can project is the brand of Yale University itself. That brand is outlined in this Web site.

These guidelines allow considerable discretion in expressing the unique qualities of Yale’s many entities to their many audiences. The use of the Yale logo, the Yale typeface, and Yale colors provides a foundation for organizational identity—along with a strong connection to Yale University—without constraining the range of graphic possibilities.

With this in mind, it is seldom necessary for Yale departments to create new logos or stand-alone graphic identities apart from those suggested by the following guidelines.

Logo design

Logos often appear to be the result of a moment’s effort. However, the best, most memorable ones are almost invariably the result of a process of research, professional design, administrative review, and implementation. This process can be expensive and time consuming, and it should be reserved for situations in which having a distinct logo warrants the investment.

New logos should be undertaken in consultation with the Office of the University Printer and the Vice President for Global and Strategic Initiatives.

In what instances might it be appropriate to create and use nonstandard logos?

  • To delineate temporary initiatives—for instance, fund-raising campaigns or institutional celebrations.
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  • To distinguish for legal and organizational purposes Yale-affiliated commercial initiatives from the activities of the University per se.
  • To “brand” projects or organizations that comprise alliances of a Yale organization and one or more non-Yale organizations, such as the International Alliance of Research Universities.
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