University Policies
Policy Contact
Marketing Communications Office of University Communications Office Hours: 8:30 to 5:00 Email (401) 863-6262

Visual Identity Policy and Strategy


The Brown University Visual Identity Policy and Strategy establishes the approved visual elements that represent the University. Brown officially adopted its current visual identity after significant study in 2003. Creating a formal policy for University identification included updating the Coat of Arms that has been part of the University’s seal since 1834 and adding the Brown name to more clearly and consistently identify the University.

The latest update of the “Brown Visual Identity Policy and Strategy,” formally launched for the 2016-17 academic year, has continued the evolution of standards for clarifying use of the identity in communications that include print and a broad spectrum of digital media.

The identity standards represent the approved visual elements of Brown’s identity, how to use them, in what media and when. Given the evolving nature of multimedia communications, cases may arise that are not covered by the policy and strategy.

Graphic designers, licensees and individuals producing communications or products for or on behalf of Brown employees, units, programs or initiatives are expected to follow the policy.

Policy Statement

Brown’s logo is trademarked and is permitted for use by members of the Brown community for communications and marketing purposes. Affiliates or affinity groups must secure official permission from the University for use of Brown’s trademarked identity.

The full Visual Identity Policy and Strategy document must be accessed on the University’s visual identity website.

The Visual Identity Policy and Strategy provides specifications and instruction for:

  • Logo, color, and typeface applications
  • Department and affinity identities and logos
  • Accessing logos files
  • Best practices for use

The document provides standards for adhering to the University’s visual identity for all of Brown’s print and digital communications. Use of the identity on manufactured goods or products falls under additional guidelines.

Suppliers who manufacture and/or sell items imprinted with elements of the Brown University visual identity or other Brown indicia (to the public, Brown University departments, or student organizations) are required to be licensed by the University. Accordingly, Brown departments and student groups are required to purchase emblematic merchandise from officially licensed vendors.

All products and designs must be approved through the University’s designated partner, Learfield Licensing Partners (formerly Licensing Resource Group).


Brown departments and offices and members of the community who haven't updated logo files since July 15, 2016, may have file versions of the University's logo with incorrect color and slight distortions in the layout. To ensure that you have the correct logo files going forward, all Brown community members or vendors communicating on behalf of Brown with logos obtained before July 15, 2016, should delete any existing files and requisition new files from Marketing Communication in the Office of University Communications.

To obtain a Brown University license for imprinting the Brown name or marks on manufactured goods or products, or to get more information about licensing, please contact the Brown Bookstore at

Policy Owner

Approved By
Office of University Communications
Contact Info
Marketing Communications Office of University Communications Office Hours: 8:30 to 5:00 Email (401) 863-6262

Policy Last Reviewed