Brand Identity & Visual Standards

Guidelines for creating UofL-branded marketing materials and websites


A student telling a story to classmates

When you get right down to it, the power of UofL is its people. And each of these people has a story. Telling these stories is an essential component of bringing our brand to life. Whether an article, an advertisement or a script, the assets we create need to be as compelling as possible and reward our audience for viewing it.

Find the purpose

The most important part of the storytelling process is to determine why you’re going to tell it. Think about what makes that story relevant to your audience and what you want the audience to take away from being exposed to it. What do you want your audience to think, feel and/or do after seeing your content? When looking for the purpose, use UofL’s brand pillars as a guide. If your story reflects one of them, you’re on the right track.

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Create an arc

Simply put, have a beginning, middle and end. Introduce your subject and put it into perspective. Explain the challenge or opportunity and why it matters. Then explain what happened or is happening. Be sure to include UofL’s role in the story. Finally, let the audience know the resolution of the story or the progress made.

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Make a point

Whenever possible, put the story in a broader context that relates to the university and our community. What is the impact it will make? Where will it lead? Who will benefit from it? Be direct, so your audience knows precisely what you want them to think.

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Editorial tips

Whether crafting a simple email or a lengthy article, writing is an opportunity to connect, inspire and invite others to engage with the UofL community. The idea of community is an important one. Be sure to remember you are speaking from the perspective of real people, not an institution.

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind when writing:

  • Be conversational - Write the way you would speak to a friend (but avoid slang and technical jargon)

    Like this

    At the Swain Student Activities Center, you can get a bite to eat, find a cozy place to study or just relax with your friends between classes.

    Not this

    The SAC is lit! You can grab tasty eats, hang with your peeps and even hit the books if you absolutely have to.

  • Be clear and concise - Do your best to simplify descriptions and explanations

    Like this

    Another way to be more environmentally friendly is to take advantage of the Bike Share Program. The program is offered to all UofL students, and it is entirely free.

    Not this

    Undergraduate students who wish to promote sustainable practices that limit impact on the environment may utilize the Bike Share Program. This eco-friendly mode of campus transportation is offered to all students currently attending UofL and it is available at no cost.

  • Be efficient - Avoid passive voice and eliminate redundancies

    Like this

    The University of Louisville hosts more than 400 student organizations covering a wide variety of interests.

    Not this

    More than 400 student organizations, clubs and groups are hosted by the University of Louisville that cover a wide variety of interests and passions.

  • Be helpful - Highlight the benefits and give people a reason to care

    Like this

    The Honors Program challenges students to reach their potential with thought-provoking academics and research and exclusive opportunities for personalized support,experiential learning and study abroad.

    Not this

    The Honors Program is an excellent option for motivated students who want to get the most out of their education.

  • Be engaging - Remember people “buy” with their hearts and believe in brands that mirror their values

    Like this

    When Loay Elbasyouni was a 10-year-old boy growing up on the besieged Gaza Strip in Palestine, he built his first antenna from kitchen parts and aluminum foil so he could receive TV channels.

    Not this

    Speed School of Engineering alumnus Loay Elbasyouni has been interested in science and technology since he was a child.

  • Be purposeful, get to the point quickly and don’t overwhelm the reader with too much information
  • Be assertive, choose words like “do” and “will” as opposed to “can” and “might”
  • Be flexible, use sentence variety to establish a flow for the reader
  • Be a fan, speak with pride about UofL traditions and our legacy of impact
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Communications & Marketing

University of Louisville

2323 S. Brook St.

Louisville, KY 40208

(502) 852-6171