NYU Logo


The torch of knowledge can be seen on the university’s emblem. NYU’s emblem shows that the institution is leading students by helping them navigate the amount of scientific information accumulated over the centuries. The torch burns brightly and is passed from one generation of students to the next.

NYU: Brand overview

New York University was created for those who wanted an education but did not have a high social status. It was founded by merchants and bankers led by former finance minister Albert Gallatin. This happened in 1831 when young people from low-income families had no prospects in American society. Now NYU is thriving: it is included in the list of the most successful universities according to US News, and as of 2018, a record number of students – almost 60 thousand people – were studying within its walls.

Meaning and History

New York University Logo

Having received the status of the largest educational institution in the United States, NYU continued to develop. It consists of many faculties, with two campuses located very far from each other, and the offices and classrooms of the university are sometimes located in the same buildings where stores or business centers are open. In such a situation, the university needs a clear system of graphic symbols in order not to get lost in the urbanized landscape. The NYU seal and logo, the foundation of NYU’s visual identity, have become such symbols.

The round seal is used as a stamp on documents and represents the university at official events. The center depicts four runners rushing to place a laurel wreath on a pedestal. The images of the ancient athletes represent the pursuit of knowledge, and the wreath represents victory. Above the athletes’ heads is a hand holding a torch, a symbol of progress and education.

What is NYU?

It is New York University, a private institution with many campuses and academic centers. It owns the NYU Violets sports teams.

The text on the print also has deep meaning. Above is the full name of the institution, “NEW YORK UNIVERSITY.” Below that is the Latin motto “PERSTARE ET PRAESTARE,” affirming the need for “perseverance and prosperity.” Beneath this concise phrase, Roman numerals indicate the year of New York University’s founding. All inscriptions and graphic elements are framed by a large laurel wreath.

The university logo is not as old as the seal, but it appeared quite a long time ago – in 1965, it was designed by the man who created the basis of the visual identity of Xerox and Chase Manhattan Bank – the famous Tom Geismar. At the time, he represented his branding studio, Chermayeff & Geismar.

NYU Violets Logo

He was tasked with coming up with a unique symbol that could connect NYU’s disparate buildings and reflect the university’s identity. The torch image proved to be the best solution as it was taken from the press. The torch, as before, represents the fire of knowledge. At first, the artist wanted to abstract it but then chose a more clear geometric design. The white silhouette of the torch is formed by negative space. It is depicted inside a purple square, and next to it is the abbreviated name of New York University. The placement of the abbreviation depends on whether it is an abbreviated version of the logo (“NYU” on the right) or a collapsed version (the inscription below).

The Seal

NYU Seal Logo

The official seal dates back to the university’s founding and reflects its ambition to become a world leader. Tom Geismar linked it to the logo using the image of a torch radiating the light of knowledge. Both graphic symbols reflect the spirit of progress and, at the same time, look very laconic. By the way, the torch unites the emblems of all NYU faculties but is combined with different names of faculties. It is depicted in the ancient style because, in Athens, fire was identified with enlightenment.

NYU Violets Logo

NYU Violets Logo

The athletics department at New York University has long been known as the “Violets” because of the purple uniforms it has always worn. Because of this, its teams are unspokenly referred to as the “Violets.” To avoid this nickname, the management decided to choose the lynx, a native species of predator found in North American forests, as the mascot. This happened in the 1980s. In addition, representatives of the university were directly involved in the formation of the NCAA and were among the first to play American soccer (in 1873). However, the university subsequently lost the culture of the sport. Now, hockey, water polo, rowing, lacrosse, and other disciplines prevail for it.

There is no bobcat (mascot) in the NYU Violets student team logo because the iconic color is paramount to it. Violet is an acronym formed from the name of New York University. The letters are massive, capitalized, and antique. The serifs are in the form of large trapezoids resembling bricks with one-sided diagonal cuts. The printed characters are surrounded around the perimeter by a gray frame, which unites them in a common composition. Inside, the glyphs are supplemented with light purple stripes, creating the effect of light reflection on the dark purple surface.

NYU: Interesting Facts

New York University (NYU), a distinguished private university, stands out for its challenging academics, dynamic campus atmosphere, and significant research achievements. Established in 1831, NYU has evolved into one of the US’s biggest private educational institutions.

  1. Worldwide Presence: NYU’s global footprint includes campuses in New York City, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai, alongside academic centers in major cities like London and Sydney, providing students with exceptional international learning experiences.
  2. Extensive Enrollment: Home to over 50,000 students across undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels, NYU ranks among the largest private universities in the US by student population.
  3. Distinguished Alumni and Professors: The university is proud of its alumni and faculty, comprising Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize recipients, and luminaries in various fields, such as Alan Greenspan, Martin Scorsese, and Lady Gaga.
  4. Tisch School of the Arts: Globally recognized, the Tisch School has significantly influenced the arts, nurturing talents who have become integral to the entertainment industry and arts culture worldwide.
  5. Iconic Greenwich Village Location: NYU’s main hub surrounds Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, a neighborhood known for its energy and historical significance. This neighborhood provides a lively center for the university community.
  6. Research Excellence: NYU is classified among the top research universities. It is celebrated for pioneering research across disciplines and is supported annually by substantial research funding.
  7. NYU Langone Health: This integrated academic medical center ranks as one of the US’s top institutions for clinical care, biomedical research, and medical education.
  8. Active Student Life: With over 300 student organizations, NYU fosters a vibrant student community, offering various clubs, sports, and volunteer opportunities for comprehensive student engagement.
  9. Innovative Programs: Beyond conventional departments, NYU features unique schools and programs like the Stern School of Business, the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and the School of Professional Studies, catering to diverse academic and professional aspirations.

NYU’s dedication to academic rigor, global perspective, and community involvement solidifies its position as a premier educational institution, mirroring the vibrancy and diversity of New York City.

Font and Colors

NYU Emblem

NYU’s trademark is very minimalistic, featuring bold letters with serifs. It uses Gotham Bold, the official font of the university. It is easily adaptable to any design and is timeless. With its clean design, Gotham allows you to focus on the name of the university.

The lettering on the stamps looks completely different. The designers chose a thin serif font for them – Mercury Text Roman. This is NYU’s secondary font, designed for a formal style.

NYU Symbol

NYU has not only official typography but also its own color scheme. Its base is NYU Violet (# 57068C). The rich purple shade is present in all graphic symbols of the university and is combined with the classic white color. In ancient Greece, it was associated with Athens, where the most developed educational institutions were located.

NYU color codes

VioletHex color:#57068c
RGB:87 6 140
CMYK:38 96 0 45
Pantone:PMS 2597 C


What does the NYU logo stand for?

The main element of the logo is the lit torch. It symbolizes NYU’s connection to its hometown, as the torch is held inspirationally by the Statue of Liberty.

What shade of purple is NYU’s official color?

The official color of New York University is NYU Violet. It is categorized under HEX: # 57068C and PMS: 2597.

Can I use the NYU logo?

Reproduction of the NYU logo is permitted in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the branding guidelines and only in the university’s external and internal communications.

Who founded NYU?

The initiator of NYU’s founding was the Secretary of the Treasury, Abraham Alphonse Albert Gallatin. The investors were merchants, bankers, and traders from New York City.