University of Southern California (USC) Logo


The University of Southern California logo contains an element from the seal: a large coat of arms adorned with three burning torches against the rising sun. The light should not be taken literally – it is rather the light of knowledge that students receive. And the sun rising on the horizon symbolizes the beginning of something new.

University of Southern California: Brand overview

Founded:October 6, 1880
Los Angeles, California, United States
The University of Southern California leads in the number of Oscar-winning alumni. Also, among his former students, there are many politicians, musicians, scientists, athletes, and other prominent personalities. USC has been providing education since 1880, accepting everyone regardless of gender or race. His intercollegiate sports teams are called USC Trojans. They played in the Pac-12 Conference and deservedly received the status of the most successful sports department in the world.

Meaning and History

University of Southern California Logo

Antivirus software, IP telephony, digital image compression, and DNA computing – were all invented within the walls of the University of Southern California. The main mission of the educational institution is research. Especially for these purposes, he has opened several dozen schools, which cover different areas. A common identity system unites them. It dates back to the 1880s when the newly created university needed insignia.

For official documents, USC uses a round seal featuring a shield and three torches. These elements were not present in the original version: they were replaced by a palm tree (symbol of victory) and a scroll with the year the university was founded. The first seal was developed in 1884 because the graduation class of three was to receive diplomas.

USC Logo Seal

A new variant appeared in 1908. Jesse Ray Miller added a triangular shield inside the ring and a band with the words “PALMAM QUI MERUIT FERAT” written on it. This is the university’s Latin motto, which is still used today and is translated as “Let whoever earns the palm bear it.” The shield showed three burning torches and a setting sun. At the bottom of the ring were California poppy flowers.

The same elements are present in a modern print, but they are arranged in a different order. The poppies are connected to the shield, the motto is pushed down, and the ring consists of two scrolls joined together. The design changed in 1948 when the USC Board of Trustees decided to renew the school’s identity once again.

Font and Colors

University of Southern California (USC) Emblem

The California Poppy has been gracing the seal since 1908. It is the official USC flower that represents joy, hope, and memory. The setting sun symbolizes life, and the three torches symbolize philosophy, science, and art. The shield on the emblem is the traditional distinctive mark of the university.

University of Southern California (USC) Symbol

The motto at the bottom of the print is in National font, and the name of the institution in the ring is written using Adobe Caslon Pro. This is the backbone of USC’s official typography. Another important piece of corporate identity is the palette, which contains USC Gold (# FFC72C) and USC Cardinal (# 9D2235). This color scheme was adopted as early as 1895. It is featured on the Trojans sports team emblem, while the print is simply black and white.

University of Southern California Symbol

University of Southern California color codes

SunglowHex color:#ffc72c
RGB:255 199 44
CMYK:0 22 83 0
Pantone:PMS 7408 C
Vivid BurgundyHex color:#9d2235
RGB:157 34 53
CMYK:0 78 66 38
Pantone:PMS 187 C