As York University’s brand has evolved so too has its visual identity

As part of the larger brand work that was spearheaded in 2012 by the president, York University has introduced fresh visual standards that present Faculty and professional school logos in a different way.

Specifically, the York U logo is locked with the professional school logos (also referred to as sub-brands) and Faculty names to ensure a consistent look for all of the University’s communications materials, including PowerPoint presentations, websites, electronic and print publications, social media, advertising and more. For a complete reference and explanation of the changes, visit the Brand Toolbox on the Communications & Public Affairs Division website.


“The visual standards introduce the new brand hierarchy in a clear and cohesive way,” says Robin Edmison, associate director, marketing & creative services, Communications & Public Affairs Division. “Faculty and staff are York U’s brand ambassadors and it is important for everyone to become familiar with the changes.”

What you need to know about the visual standards applications:

  • Sub-brand logos will be presented in a locked format with the York U logo.
  • Faculty names will be expressed in type and locked to the logo whenever possible and will not be identified through unique icons or logos.
  • Divisions, departments and units, or initiatives, will be expressed as type only within the creative space, using the master York U logo.
  • The York U logo now appears without the “redefine the possible” tagline and there is a new colour value for the York “red”.

Workshops with Faculty communications staff have been completed and the new visual standards, which reflect the University’s evolved brand hierarchy, are now being rolled out to the greater York U community.

“To assist everyone with the new visual standards, we’ve created a series of helpful templates that show faculty and staff how to apply logos in a range of applications,” says Edmison.

The next phase of the brand effort will see remaining elements, such as stationery, secondary fonts, colour palettes and photography guidelines updated. Edmison says that the work on this next phase is expected to be completed by the spring.

What do you need to do?

Edmison advises that all faculty and staff become familiar with the new visual standards. “The standards present the University in a more cohesive visual manner. We need your support to make sure that the visual standards are applied,” says Edmison. “Take some time to understand the York U brand and its personality.”

Information about the visual standards is presented on the Brand Toolbox on the Communications & Public Affairs Division website. Included are sections highlighting key messages about York University’s core attributes, audience messages and explanations of the brand values and brand essence.

Be a brand ambassador by taking the following actions:

  • Remove the old York University logo with the “redefine the possible” tagline and replace it with the new York U logo.
  • Update your website using the new web template.
  • Investigate the stylish new templates for PowerPoint presentations.
  • Make use of the new images (with more being added at regular intervals) that are now available in the York U Image bank.

For more information on the new standards and the brand, contact Edmison at