New Brand, New Look: Universities of Wisconsin

We have launched a new “Universities of Wisconsin” brand in place of “University of Wisconsin System” as the preferred way to describe our universities. This new brand reinforces the role our Universities of Wisconsin have in providing a network of opportunities to make a difference.

We have provided new Visual Identity elements (including a logo, mark, map, and fonts), as well as an updated Writing Style Guide, to support this new brand. Additional changes will be released as they are approved, and these pages will change frequently.

If you have questions, please email the Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

To help strategically manage a visual and brand identity system, institutions of higher education often use something called a brand architecture model. This model provides a brand hierarchy, which includes:

  • The top-level or “core” brand for the institution as a whole;
  • The sub-brand, which addresses other entities, from projects and initiatives to support offices and affiliated organizations; and
  • Endorsed or sponsoring brands, which can include brand hybrids and modifiers.

Universities of Wisconsin Core Brand

The core brand is the top tier of the brand hierarchy and represents all our institutions as a whole. The visual identity for the core brand is the Universities of Wisconsin logo (or mark), color palette, fonts, and graphic elements.

The Universities of Wisconsin Administration is the Universities of Wisconsin

While our role is administration, we are the Universities of Wisconsin and symbolize the value of our core brand to our campuses and to the state of Wisconsin. Any part of the Universities of Wisconsin should use the core brand’s identity when communicating with universities and to the public.

Situations when the core brand is used:

  • The unit (project, office, department, or initiative) is organizationally part of the Universities of Wisconsin Administration.
  • The primary source of funding comes from the Universities of Wisconsin Administration.
  • The audience is internal to administration, systemwide, or external.
  • Association will benefit the core mission of the Universities of Wisconsin.


We strive to be a branded house. With the exception of our campuses, sub-brands should be used sparingly and have a defined marketing purpose for adopting an additional identity. All sub-brands must maintain elements of the core brand and be reviewed and approved by the Office of Public Affairs & Communications.

Some examples of when to use a sub-brand:

  • The audience is most likely to be internal to administration or systemwide.
  • The product or event is produced by UW System Administration.
  • Customers are already involved with UW System Administration in some way (enrolled, employed).
  • The sub-brand has a common value to the core brand.
  • Sub-branding would support brand equity.
  • The sub-brand is funded in part by the UW System.

Endorsed/Sponsoring Brands, Hybrid, and Brand Modifiers

A hybrid or modified brand can develop in specialized circumstances and may occur within separate and distinct arms of the organization. These modified brands have a very clear purpose that would benefit both the Universities of Wisconsin and the entity to show distinction with its brand.

Brand modifiers can be very confusing both internally and externally and should only be used when all stakeholders are aligned, very specific parameters are met, and communications leadership has reviewed and approved the modifier(s). Situations where brand modifiers are used have:

  • A very clear and specific purpose and audience.
  • Multiple funding sources.
  • Multiple campuses and/or have external stakeholders.
  • A budget for creating a professional graphic identity and marketing strategy.
  • Goals abstractly related to Universities of Wisconsin’s value and mission.

Where does my project fit?

This page is intended as an overview of Universities of Wisconsin brand architecture. All branding that extends beyond the core brand requires working with the Office of Public Affairs and Communications. For inquiries, please fill out our communications request form.

Communications Request