Creating Custom Logos

Yale generally does not permit the creation of custom 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 visual 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 services, the most recognizable brand that Yale organizations can project is that of the university itself. 

Yale’s identity guidelines allow wide 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 an organizational identity—along with a strong connection to Yale University—without constraining the range of graphic possibilities that may be applied to content.

Instances where it might be appropriate to create and use nonstandard logos:

  • To delineate temporary initiatives—for instance, fundraising campaigns or institutional celebrations.
  • To distinguish for legal and organizational purposes Yale-affiliated commercial initiatives from the activities of the university per se.
  • For 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.

Logos often appear to be the result of a moment’s effort. However, the most effective and 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 those situations listed above in which having a custom logo warrants the investment.

New logos require consultation with and approval of the Office of the University Printer.