Visual Identity System

Iowa State University Visual Identity System

Iowa State University has a rich history, a dynamic present and a bright future. We champion higher learning and innovation. The Iowa State University Visual Identity System is an established system of communication that holds all our colleges, units, institutes, and centers together. This is achieved through the identification of graphic elements and standardized guideline variations of these elements for consistent use across multiple mediums. They are:

Nameplate primary identifier for the entire university. Photography draws attention to your message.
Typography gives a voice to your message. University Seal commands official recognition.
Colors create the foundation for your communication. Editorial delivers the tone of your message.

It is crucial that we use these elements wisely and responsibly, for they are our identity.

Our Visual Identity System is a focused "branded-house" strategy, where the university nameplate is the primary identifier for all units, divisions, products, and services. The Iowa State University nameplate and its configurations detailed in these guidelines are the only acceptable graphic identification for the university and its colleges, units, institutes, or centers. NO OTHER LOGOS, SYMBOLS OR TYPE TREATMENTS should be developed or used by colleges, departments, divisions, units, centers or institutes. Exceptions are granted under extreme circumstances if a unit is not central to the university's mission or competes in a retail or corporate environment. A request for an exemption must be made to the Director of University Marketing, The identity guidelines are structured to assist in targeting the right audience and providing the right tools to deliver your message strongly and effectively. Adhering to these guidelines reinforces the reputation of the whole university and all its parts. To learn more about branding terms, go to's glossary.