Our University logo

A ‘one University’ approach

Our ‘one University’ approach was agreed by USG in December 2009. This means that we present a single over-arching brand and in general, use of sub-brands and associated logos is not allowed. This is so that nothing eclipses the University of Essex ‘parent brand’ and we can maximise and leverage our brand equity.

Faculties, schools, departments, services, centres or institutes should always be clearly identified as being part of the University of Essex and so do not have their own logos.

Within our system, there is the flexibility to allow for individual expression of identity without different logos or visual identities.

In any promotional materials, names are always shown in plain, stylised text.

Using the University of Essex logo

Our logo requires size limits and safe areas to guard it from being poorly reproduced, unrecognisable, illegible or obscured.

To ensure you are using the University logo correctly, here are some key things to remember.

1) Logo should appear in black or white, whichever is higher contrast to background

The full colour scarlet/violet logo was retired in 2017 and should not be used.

A gold logo is used for Graduation only. We also have a Mandarin version.

Four examples of the University of Essex logo


2) Position logo correctly

Top left to introduce the reader that this piece is from the University of Essex, or bottom right to signify the call to action is to get in touch with the University of Essex.

The only exception is on a video end frame, where the logo should be positioned centrally.

Example of University of Essex logo in top left and bottom right of page


4) Logo artwork must not be recreated or the two elements separated

With the exception of www.essex.ac.uk only.

University of Essex logo elements must not be separated.


5) Logo sized correctly ensuring all proportions remain the same

  • The standard size of the logo is 20mm high for A4 and digital equivalents.
  • 15mm high for A5/key publications.
  • It should not be used any smaller than 10mm.
  • For digital/video, the recommended size of the logo (when at 100% zoom) is 237x100px.

Where space is limited (eg digital media, merchandise, University photocopiers and the ESA scoreboard) there is an exceptional use version of the logo which stacks the text.

Permission for use outside these parameters should be obtained from the Brand team.

University of Essex logo stacked


6) Our coat of arms

Our coat of arms is only used for ceremonial occasions and items (eg Graduation). It is not to be used on merchandise for student societies.

University of Essex coat of arms


7) Third-party marketing materials and suppliers

We generally do not approve the use of our logo in third-party marketing materials or endorse our suppliers’ services.

If the University of Essex logo is used in an uncontrolled manner, we risk suggesting endorsement or ‘seal of approval’ where the connection to Essex may be minimal.

8) Use of logo alongside other logos

When any additional logos are used, they must not exceed the size of the University logo or overshadow it visually, so the University logo is the main focus.

Getting approved logo files

If you are creating promotional material, this should be done by our design and print supplier CDS who hold all our logo files. Alternatively, our branded templates already include our logo.

Sending to third-parties

If you need the logo to send to a third party/institution you are collaborating with, we can issue the logo (along with associated guidelines for use) direct to that institution. Please contact the Brand team, by emailing branding@essex.ac.uk.

Can I have my own logo?

Having your own logo will never be as recognisable as the University of Essex brand. The reality is that a new logo can often add more confusion than any benefit it provided, diluting the connection to the University of Essex.

Here is some guidance on how to emphasise a unit of the University without a separate logo.

Our logo lock-up

We recognise that in some cases, it may be appropriate for a particular unit to be more identifiable within the University structure. Our logo lock-up can also link the University with other organisations in a partnership or relationship connected to a common product/service.

Logo lock-ups are an exception, not the rule.

As specific context and approval is required, contact the Brand team branding@essex.ac.uk before commissioning any work on a logo lock-up.

If you are suggesting the University logo alone is not enough, an assessment will be made about whether any advantages of having your own logo lock-up can compare favourably to the disadvantages of loss of identity when the link with the University is less clear.

Logo lock-ups will not be approved when:

  • Essex leads the commercial offer, largely academic
  • entity is fully or majority funded by Essex
  • entity is core business for Essex eg teaching or research
  • audience expects and values Essex input more than the entity or Essex adds value, more value than the entity

Partnerships and co-branding

Essex works with many partners and organisations in a number of ways. From research projects and collaborations, to events and campaigns. It is in the interests of all parties to be represented properly and for the relationship to be clear in the minds of our audiences.

Working with partners

When working with partners, the way we use our combined branding depends on the weight of balance in the relationship.

A partner should only use University branding if a formal partnership agreement, sponsorship agreement, Memorandum of Understanding or equivalent formal agreement exists.

Equally, our logo should not be added to a third party/external organisation’s content as an endorsement/labelling device unless the content itself is distinctively Essex and the provider can identify this aspect to us clearly.

In keeping with our ‘one University’ approach we do not typically give prominence to other brand logos in our marketing communication materials and assets. You can add the web address of any third party organisation instead in your communication as a practical solution.

We make exceptions only when use of that logo provides a recognised shorthand – ideally globally – in our communications. The list of approved logos for third parties within this context is:

  • QAP (Queen’s Anniversary Prize)
  • TEF Gold
  • Times Higher University of the Year
  • YUFE
  • Public Health England
  • NHS
  • University of Sanctuary
  • AMBA
  • THE
  • QS
  • SU
  • UN Global Compact
  • Graduate Outcomes
  • V16

In addition, use of the key social media logos is permitted based on this principle, eg:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • TikTok

These logos must not exceed the size of the University of Essex logo or overshadow it visually, so the University of Essex logo is the main focus.

Research projects

Research is at the heart of our University and is central to our mission. Our research shapes thinking and influences policy. It helps build our reputation as one of the leading research-intensive universities in the UK.

To continue to build this research profile, the University’s logo and visual identity must be used on all assets relating to a project.

Many research projects at Essex are in partnership with other organisations. When this happens, the other organisations need to be represented on any materials or communications.

Recognising external funders

When research projects benefit from external funding, the funder’s contribution should be recognised through the use of their logo on project materials. On occasion, the funder may request that a name and/or brand is developed for the project. Since the University of Essex has such a flexible and comprehensive brand toolkit, it is easy to meet this requirement within the boundaries of the Essex brand guidelines.

Before you begin

Please contact the Brand team (branding@essex.ac.uk) to discuss the funder’s requirement, the parties involved and work out a way forward. Please do not contact external design agencies as in most cases a solution can be found and developed with our preferred supplier for design, CDS and web teams relatively quickly by applying the above guidelines for working with partners based on the nature of the relationship.

Essex as lead partner

Essex is considered the lead partner on a project when the resources and funding are primarily provided by the University.

  • The Essex brand and style should prevail.
  • Partner logo(s) should appear at the bottom, arranged on a horizontal axis.
  • Partner logos should have equal prominence.

Example of Essex logo as lead partner used on promotional materials

Equal partnerships

For joint communications acknowledging equal partnerships, we should seek to maximise our presence by proposing CDS design any artwork, utilising our key brand elements.

  • Both Essex and partner logo(s) should be used with equal prominence, size and spacing, with Essex taking the primary position.
  • Ensure logos are clearly visible against the background.

In some cases, it may not be acceptable to have Essex as the lead identity and an independent identity may need to be developed. Our in-house Brand team can help with this. Please contact branding@essex.ac.uk for guidance in the first instance. Do not commission or design any logos without contacting the Brand team first.

Example of Essex logo as equal partner used on promotional materials

Multi-partner projects

If the project is a partnership between Essex and other Universities, then depending on the weighting of contribution, it may not be appropriate to use the Essex identity.

In this situation an independent identity may be developed, with recognition given to all institutions involved in the project.

Example of Essex logo as multi partner used on promotional materials


Endorsement/sponsorship/accreditation of third parties

Where Essex has endorsed/sponsored/or given accreditation to another organisation, endorsement wording can be used to clearly define the relationship between Essex and our partners.

Choice of wording should be agreed on a case-by-case basis.

Examples of acceptable descriptions include:

  • in partnership with
  • in association with
  • sponsored by/Proud Sponsor of
  • an initiative with
  • in collaboration with

Examples of endorsed third-party logos


Expiry date for logo usage

To ensure no misrepresentation in our communications, it is important to note expiry dates for high level promotion of the following accolade:

  • Queen’s Anniversary Prize until December 2022

After these dates, we will remove this relevant logo from high-level promotional assets such as our letterheads and lamp post banners, so it no longer features as lead messaging. The accolade will, however, continue to be referenced as historical information in our 'key facts and figures' alongside other notable achievements.

Special events, initiatives and anniversaries

From time to time, we do create a badge to mark special occasions such as core institutional campaigns and anniversaries. They are only used for a short-term duration to promote and identify that particular event or initiative.

Please contact the brand team branding@essex.ac.uk before commissioning any work on a special logo for an event, initiative or anniversary.

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