Vanderbilt University Logo

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Vanderbilt University Logo
Vanderbilt University Logo PNG

Vanderbilt University (VU) is a private educational and research institution awarded the highest level of major activity (R1). It is distinguished by a very selective selection of applicants and offers a choice of 70 fields of study. It is now the 10th most innovative university in the world. It is located in Nashville, Tennessee. The year of its opening was 1873.

Meaning and History

Vanderbilt University Symbol

The founder of this institution of higher learning was the philanthropist, railroad, and maritime magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, after whom the college is named. The wealthy businessman donated one million dollars to support the local school, turning it into Central University. The donor was very hopeful that his gift and the active work of the university would eliminate the devastation of the Civil War in the region.

The Methodist Episcopal Church South was the school’s ideological organizer and considered opening a regional educational institution where church ministers would be educated. In 1872 the leadership even voted to establish its university in Nashville. But a lack of funds for development hindered the realization of the idea. Then it was decided to attract investors.

The choice fell on the richest man in the United States at that time – Cornelius Vanderbilt. He wanted to establish his university on Staten Island in New York State. But he was persuaded to invest in the opening of Vanderbilt University, which he did, adding another 500,000 dollars to the planned sum. Although the benefactor never intended for the institution of higher learning to bear his surname, the board of trustees decided so. It is a very developed and advanced academic center, ranking 10th in the country in terms of innovation.

The university-wide emblem is a harmonious symbiosis of graphics, text, and the historical roots of Vanderbilt University. On the left is an icon formed from the first letter of the university’s name and the city it is located in. The “V” aperture is in the shape of an oak leaf with an acorn, which is beautiful and very symbolic. The fact is that the oldest campus was recognized as a national arboretum in 1988. There are almost 190 species of shrubs and trees on its territory. One of them is a 200-year-old oak tree from the time of the Revolution. Hence such a close relationship with historical symbolism.

On the right side is the name of the high school. It takes two lines. The upper word is “Vanderbilt” in classical bold type with small serifs. The lower inscription is “University.” It is the opposite of the first text, as it is typed in a thin sans serif typeface. In both cases, the letters are capitalized, which serves as a unifying factor.

Seal

Vanderbilt University Seal Logo

The VU seal depicts its creator, Cornelius Vanderbilt. The patron’s image was approved by the governing board and has always been present in the identity. This structure of the main university sign gives the right to speak about a two-part basis: graphic and text. The former occupies the central part, the latter the outline. The donator is represented in the form of a bas-relief, turned in profile. Around it is a free white space, surrounded by two lines of different widths.

Next is a band with the phrase in Latin “SIGILLIUM UNIVERSITATIS VANDERBILTIAE.” And the last two letters are connected in a ligature. At the very bottom is the year of the university’s foundation, which is indicated in Roman numerals separated from the main text by miniature oval ornaments. A ring in the form of a twisted rope and a simple dark line serves as a frame for the seal.

Vanderbilt Commodores Logo

Vanderbilt Commodores Logo History
Evolution of the Vanderbilt Commodores Logo

The athletic department is a founding member of the Southeastern Conference and is the only private organization. It has a total of 16 teams, including ten women’s teams and six men’s teams. Fourteen of them compete in NCAA Division I. In addition, there is one member of the Southland Bowling League and one member of the American Athletic Conference. The club got its name from the nickname Cornelius Vanderbilt, a shipping man who had the rank of Commodore. Until the end of the 19th century, this was the name given to those lower in rank than an admiral but higher than captains. Its modern equivalent was Rear Admiral. While the sports club had only one name, the logos are much more: there are seven of them.

1969 – 1983

Vanderbilt Commodores Logo 1969

The star immediately appeared in the VU identity. It adorned sports paraphernalia and uniforms, standing out spectacularly in black and gold. The logo was in the form of a single element on a white background. The edges of the figure had a double border and in the middle was a capital “V.” It was bold and looked more like a Roman numeral five than a text mark.

1984 – 1985

Vanderbilt Commodores Logo 1984

The designers used even strokes and disproportionate parts to add dynamics to the emblem. As a result, the star has a slight slope and two large lower beams. To its left (side) were three dark lines. Next to it was a large “V” whose serifs looked like sharp triangles.

1986 – 1990

Vanderbilt Commodores Logo 1986

In 1986, after an experiment with dynamism and disproportion, the leadership of the sports department again approved the debut version of the logo. It was adopted without changes.

1991 – 1998

Vanderbilt Commodores Logo 1991

For a long time, university teams used the logo as an enlarged “V.” Throughout the letter, the inscription “Vanderbilt” ran horizontally. It was essentially a transcription of a single symbol painted black. The name of the university and the name of its chief patron were in gold.

1999 – 2003

Vanderbilt Commodores Logo 1999

To emphasize its Commodores nickname, the teams adopted a modernized logo with a naval officer. At the same time, the letter through which he peered was updated. In the hands of the Commodore, dressed in uniform and triangle, was a saber. The developers made the “V” more compact and supplemented it with rectangular serifs. They curved the inscription in the form of an arch, so it repeated the curve of the saber blade. The dark golden color was lightened. There was a black border around the edge of the sign.

2004 – 2007

Vanderbilt Commodores Logo 2004

Everything was retained in the updated logo except for the Commodore going through the intra-letter “V” gap. The athletic department abandoned this image because of the difficulty in conveying it to the media.

2008 – today

Vanderbilt Commodores Logo 2008

After the transformation of the emblem, the varsity teams again have a black star in a gold frame with a “V” in the middle. But it is not an identical repetition of the earlier version of the logo: it uses light gold and white colors.

Font and Colors of the Emblem

Vanderbilt University Emblem

If we draw parallels between the similarities and differences between the visual marks of the Vanderbilt University identity, we can note the commonality of the color scheme. In both the university-wide symbolism and the athletic logo, they are identical. But the VU seal is black and white and is not related to modernity – it reflects the university’s history.

The university has two official fonts: sans serif – EB Garamond (it’s alternative to Times), sans serif – Source Sans Pro (replaceable with Arial). The main color scheme is a combination of black and gold.