Brand Identity & Visual Standards

Guidelines for creating UofL-branded marketing materials and websites

Secondary Logos (Sub-brands)

Any large public organization is comprised of smaller sub-units. As such, the question arises of how to identify those units. Sub-brands in our context are organizational entities whose character and value are distinct from, but related to, our master brand. They present an opportunity to represent the master brand to a specific audience, but at the same time benefit from the public familiarity of our master brand.

We must be careful, though, to not dilute the core brand by extending it too far. Endorsed sub-brands (and their identities, which we call secondary logos) can reduce the impact and effectiveness of the university’s master brand if not used appropriately. Within the university there are hundreds of offices, departments, clinics and other sub-units that— if each were granted a sub-brand identity—would weaken the overall master brand of the university since each sub-unit, to a certain degree, is in competition with, and has the ability to dilute, the master brand. Additionally, the resources needed to build, promote, maintain and grow each of these sub-brands is unsustainable. Because of this, most large brands choose to find a balance where sub-branding extends to a certain organizational point, but not beyond.

Our use of sub-branding is within a branded house endorsed-parent system, and is limited to a manageable number of approved units that extend the core UofL brand. Their custom logos, which were granted and created by OCM (the only unit authorized to do so), represent the unique identity needs of the units and their audiences while maintaining a strong relationship to the central university brand, and may be used in lieu of a traditional UofL logo on any marketing or advertising.

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Who Is Eligible?

Colleges, schools and board-approved centers/institutes are permitted to have an official sub-brand as long as the mark adheres strictly to the design specifications shown on the following pages.

Eligibility does not indicate permission to create ad hoc sub-brand identities.

Who Is Not Eligible?

  • Academic or administrative departments (e.g. Information Technology)
  • Academic or administrative divisions (e.g. Career Center)
  • Academic or administrative positions (e.g. University Provost)
  • Academic programs (e.g. MBA)
  • Student groups or organizations
  • Administrative offices (e.g. Office of Communication & Marketing)
  • Non-board approved centers or institutes
  • Committees
  • Grants, labs, research projects or academic endeavors
  • Campuses or physical locations (e.g. clinics)
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Criteria for Review

Departments, programs, offices, committees, organizations and most other campus units are not eligible for a sub-brand. However, consideration will be made if a unit is found to meet one of the following criteria:

  • The unit’s basic role must not be linked to the mission of the University of Louisville; AND/OR
  • The unit must operate in a retail environment and have a storefront; AND/OR
  • The unit has multiple funding sources and operates as a true consortium.

The eligibility of a campus organization to be awarded a sub-brand identity is determined exclusively by the Office of Communication & Marketing. For more information contact

Limits of Inclusion

If a non-eligible campus unit is awarded a sub-brand based on the criteria listed above, official copyrighted and license-managed artwork will be created and delivered for use in all promotional and advertising materials with the same rights and restrictions bestowed on naturally eligible campus units.

Criteria-based qualification (e.g. multiple funding sources) does not grant the campus unit permission to deviate from the University of Louisville brand standards in any way.

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General Use Guidelines

Any of the mark configurations below may be used interchangeably, however context and audience should be taken into account. Since the Primary Signature sub-brand lockup utilizes the primary athletic mark in conjunction with our wordmark, there are times when using this is not as appropriate given its more illustrative and athletic nature. In other instances, use of the Primary Signature sub-brand lockup may be beneficial due to the audience's relationship to UofL Athletics.

Alternate style sub-brand marks extend the university’s identity while also adapting to specific design constraints. Colleges, schools and other UofL entities that qualify for a sub-brand mark have the option to use an alternate signature if the design or layout necessitates. It is best employed in situations (e.g. billboards, website headers, etc) where a more strict horizontal orientation is required, as it increases the legibility of the sub-brand identifier's name substantially at smaller sizes.

Color combination examples (some of which are shown below) follow the same setup as the Primary Signature and Primary Logo. In order to maximize brand impact, full-color is preferred when possible. At all times, it is imperative the logo be clear and visible. On darker backgrounds, using the all-white version is often the safest.

The UofL logo should never be recreated or typeset. Official logo files should be used in all communications.


Information on obtaining our logos can be found on the download page.


Any printed materials or merchandise that include our secondary logos must be produced by vendors specifically licensed to reproduce our trademarks. For more information can be found in this section or by contacting

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Clear Space

Always observe the protected area around the logo. Nothing should intrude into this specified clear space when employing the logo in any application.

Regardless of scale, the minimum size of the clear zone for the sub-brand lockups and alternate sub-brand signature must equal the size of a box represented in the yellow box labeled “X” (left, equaling the height of the word “Louisville,” right, equaling half the height of the monogram).

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Minimum Size

At a certain size, our secondary logos become illegible. To ensure the integrity of these marks, do not reproduce them at a size less than 1.5˝ (108px) wide (including clear space).

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The preferred placement for the logo (in print applications) is in the corners of the layout. For example, in an advertisement or the cover of a publication, the logo should be in the top right of left corner ideally.

On desktop websites and mobile websites/apps, the alternate style secondary logos should be used, as the sub-unit identifier (entity name) is more legible at small sizes.

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Communications & Marketing

University of Louisville

2323 S. Brook St.

Louisville, KY 40208

(502) 852-6171