Syracuse University Logo

Syracuse University LogoSyracuse University Logo PNG

The Syracuse University logo helps to identify the educational institution across various media platforms in documents, attributes, and materials. It doesn’t carry explicit symbolic meanings but conveys information about the university’s name and traditional colors, making the emblem recognizable.

Syracuse University: Brand overview

Founded:March 24, 1870
Syracuse, New York, United States
Syracuse University, also known as SU, was established in 1870. Its progressive policy from the very first days provided equal opportunities for all students, regardless of gender or race. Over the following decades, the educational institution actively expanded: it acquired new buildings, educational programs, a business school, and much more. A modest liberal arts college transformed into a university thanks to the efforts of American businessman John Dustin Archbold and board of trustees president James Roscoe Day. After World War II, SU became a large-scale research institution.

Meaning and History

Syracuse University Logo History

Syracuse University is located on a picturesque slope in the very heart of New York State. Its ancient architecture and ivy-covered walls remind us that the campus began construction in 1870. However, the wordmark of SU does not offer any obvious nods to the venerable history of the educational institution. The logo has repeatedly been criticized for its excessive “corporate” feel, as it doesn’t contain any symbolic elements – only the university’s name, which represents in various documents and graphic materials. Nevertheless, credit should be given to the Sherman font. It was designed a long time ago by American artist Frederic W. Goudy and continues to be used to this day, being an important part of the university’s cultural heritage.

The SU branding guide also states that the logo, besides the wordmark, contains Block S – an orange letter with many angles. In its standard form, it does not have a contour. This symbol not only represents sports teams but is also part of the official emblem of the educational institution.

The modern visual identity of the university was created by the New York-based design firm Pentagram. The specialists thought out a complex brand system, including diverse graphic symbols, seals, colors, and fonts, reflecting the concept of the educational institution. The development team includes Jesse Reed, Michael Bierut, Ben Feller, and Chester Jenkins.

What is Syracuse University?

Syracuse University is a private educational institution that combines teaching activities with scientific research. It was founded in the American state of New York in 1870. Since then, it has significantly expanded the list of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in various fields of knowledge. The university is famous not only for its high quality of education but also for its successful sports team, Syracuse Orange, in honor of its official color.

The logo enhances the recognition of Syracuse University and can be used in most contexts, unlike the seal, whose use is limited. One of its elements is the wordmark – the university’s full name in orange letters. Both a single-tier and two-tier arrangement of the inscription are acceptable, depending on available space.

The phrase “Syracuse University” must be typed in the proprietary font from the Sherman family. Its creator is the well-known American typographer Frederic W. Goudy, who drew over 110 typefaces, many of which have become classics. When the Pentagram firm took on updating the SU logo, designer Chester Jenkins slightly modified the font to give it a modern look.

The Seal

Syracuse University Seal Logo

The university refers to its seal as the Heritage Logo, the oldest item in its visual identity (it’s known from archives that the initial version was adopted as far back as 1871). It is used on special occasions: for instance, during academic ceremonies, and also on awards, certificates, and diplomas. The seal comprises four elements.

  1. “Suos Cultores Scientia Coronat” – a motto that translates into English as “Knowledge crowns those who seek her.” The designers placed the Latin phrase at the center to remind everyone about the importance of acquiring new knowledge and never ceasing to learn.
  2. The laurel wreath – an ancient symbol of victory and glory. In the university context, it’s associated with educational achievements, sports, and research activities. Two branches with 37 leaves frame the motto and separate it from the other inscriptions.
  3. The phrase “SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY” – is a recognizable sign that allows identification of the educational institution. The name is written at the top in an arch form.
  4. “FOUNDED 1870” – the year that marks the beginning of SU’s history. This inscription is at the bottom and curved as an inverted arch.

The composition is adorned with many small black dots. Some of them complement the laurel wreath, and others separate the name and founding year of the university.

As far as we know, the seal used to look different. The current version appeared after a rebranding carried out by the Pentagram firm. Designers redrew the leaves using modern graphic tools and updated the fonts to match the SU typography system.

Font and Colors

Syracuse University Emblem

The official typeface of this New York state university is Sherman. The entire visual identity of the educational institution is built on it. Frederic W. Goudy created the original version of the font, and almost a hundred years later, Chester Jenkins refined the design, presenting two versions of Sherman: serif and sans-serif.

Syracuse University Symbol

The color orange also holds significant historical importance. It’s used both by the educational institution itself and its sports teams. That’s why the wordmark is colored in the iconic shade known as Syracuse University Orange (#F76900; PMS 158C).