Harvard Logo

Harvard LogoHarvard Logo PNG

“The University defends the truth,” reads Harvard’s emblem. The emblem shows respect for science, the use of only proven facts within the walls of the university, and a willingness to stand up for the truth. There is a lot of nobility and valor in the mark.

Harvard: Brand overview

Harvard, the oldest university in existence since 1636, is known as the most influential and elite university in the world. It is part of the prestigious Ivy League group and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was founded by local authorities and named in honor of the first philanthropist, patron, and philanthropist, John Harvard.

Meaning and History

Harvard Logo History

The famous Harvard shield appeared much later than the university itself – in 1836. On September 8, the day of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the educational institution, it was first presented to the public. At that time, students stretched a white banner on a large tent, on which this element of knightly equipment was depicted.

However, its prototype appeared much earlier. As the story goes, Josiah Quincy, as a student, was studying the university archives and accidentally found a sketch that had lain unclaimed for many years. On it was drawn a shield, which later became the basis of the coat of arms.

What is Harvard?

The oldest American university was opened in 1636 and named after the priest John Harvard, the first philanthropist. Today, Harvard is one of the world’s leading institutions of higher education and is part of the Ivy League group.

The emblem received the red color even later – in 1910, under universal student suffrage. At that time, 1,800 people spoke in favor of it. The impetus for the idea was an act by graduate student Charles William Elliott. In 1858, to distinguish the university team at a traditional regatta, he gave the athletes red armbands. At the next competition, the head of the university did the same. Thus, the classic purple tie. It is this color that became the basis of the logo.

The symbol of Harvard University is a strict dark red shield, surrounded on all sides by a large laurel wreath. In the center are three open books of white color. Each of them has four latch locks – 2 on each side. In total, there are 12 of them – according to the number of schools (directions) that make up the university.

On the pages are fragmentarily written VE, RI, and TAS. This is the motto of the university in Latin, which in translation means “Truth.” The first two syllables are in the two books of the upper row, the last – in the third, located just below, in the narrow part of the shield.

Under the wreath of laurel leaves is a wide white ribbon with the word Harvard. It is executed in thin capital letters. The font, as in the previous inscription, is Garamond. The color of the laurel and book covers is dark gold. All components of the logo are outlined with a thin black line.

The shield image is also used as the individual emblem of each of the 12 student campuses – the so-called houses. They differ only in color and set of central elements.

Harvard: Interesting Facts

Harvard University is one of the top educational names, known worldwide for its rich history and academic achievements.

  1. Early Days: Harvard, the oldest higher education institution in the U.S., started in 1636. It was named after John Harvard, who gave his library and half his estate to the school, helping it grow early on.
  2. Ivy League: It’s a founding member of the Ivy League, a group of eight prestigious universities in the Northeast U.S. They’re known for their high academic standards and strong sports competitions.
  3. Huge Library: With over 20 million items, Harvard’s library is the biggest academic library in the world, making it a goldmine for research and study.
  4. Wide Range of Programs: Harvard has many schools offering all kinds of programs, from undergraduate to professional degrees in business, law, public health, and more.
  5. Influential Alumni: Its alumni include U.S. presidents, world leaders, Nobel Laureates, and Pulitzer Prize winners, showing the impact Harvard graduates have around the globe.
  6. Breakthroughs: Harvard has been the site of many important discoveries, such as the first iron lung, law school curriculum, and advances in DNA sequencing.
  7. Big Endowment: It has the largest academic endowment in the world, helping fund research, teaching, and financial aid so students from all walks of life can attend.
  8. Harvard Yard is the heart of the campus, known for its historic buildings and the famous, but inaccurately inscribed, statue of John Harvard.
  9. Green Efforts: Harvard is working hard to be sustainable, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote green building practices.
  10. Modern Learning: Always adapting, Harvard offers online courses and uses technology to improve education, making learning accessible to people everywhere through HarvardX.

Harvard’s mix of tradition, academic strength, and innovation keeps it at the forefront of global education, training leaders and innovators across all fields.

Font and Colors

Harvard Emblem

Harvard’s emblem is in the Garamond font. Thin, elongated letters with serifs look very harmoniously against the background of the heraldic shield and unwound ribbon. The letter “R” has a gracefully exposed foot, and the letter “V” repeats the Latin sign of victory.

Harvard Symbol

For the logo of the famous educational institution, a combination of red (shield), black (lettering, frames, border), and gold (laurel wreath, book covers) colors was chosen almost from the beginning. The color, as well as the font, has never changed since the university’s symbolism was approved.

Harvard color codes

Japanese CarmineHex color:#a51c30
RGB:165 28 48
CMYK:0 83 71 35
Pantone:PMS 200 C
Eerie BlackHex color:#1e1e1e
RGB:30 30 30
CMYK:0 0 0 68
Pantone:PMS Neutral Black C


What does the Harvard logo mean?

The emblem signifies a connection to the university’s historical roots, as the knight’s shield depicted on it first appeared on a sketch in 1643-1644 and was not discovered until many years later. It has been in use since 1836, the 200th anniversary of the university’s founding.

Why is Harvard’s color crimson?

In 1858, at an intercollegiate regatta, Charles William Elliott issued crimson armbands to the Harvard team to distinguish them from their opponents from afar. The color was officially adopted at a student assembly in 1910.

Can I use the Harvard logo?

The right to use the logo belongs to its owner, a private university. This is spelled out in the Identity Policy. Other individuals, organizations, and companies may use it only in its original form without any additions or adjustments.

What does Ve Ri Tas mean in translation from Harvard?

It is not just a syllable but the three-syllable Latin word “VERITAS,” which means “truth.” It is now the university’s motto and an element of its official coat of arms.