Vanderbilt University Logo

Vanderbilt University LogoVanderbilt University Logo PNG

The knowledge gained in the institution remains in the student’s memory forever. The Vanderbilt University logo is a special approach to learning and a careful selection of students. Only the strongest and most literate students can be honored to enter a university.

Vanderbilt University: Brand overview

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

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.

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.

Meaning and History

Vanderbilt University Logo History


The symbol of Vanderbilt University is the white oak (the Latin name is Quercus alba). Therefore, the logo of the educational institution for some time depicted an acorn and a leaf, which personified prosperity and strength. By the way, there is an arboretum on campus – a quiet forest oasis in a noisy city. Given the total number of trees (almost 6000), there are relatively few white oaks in it – only about 50. There is a much more large-flowered magnolia, but it did not make it to the emblem.

The fact is that the acorn and oak leaves were taken from the Vanderbilt family coat of arms. This is a kind of tribute to the person who had a hand in creating the university. However, in 2022, it was decided to remove a reminder of the glorious history of the university from the logo. Thus, the floral patterns disappeared, giving way to a practical and modern letter “V.”

What is Vanderbilt University?

Vanderbilt University is a research university named after the American business magnate. It is considered an elite educational institution, as it is among the top 20 universities in the United States. There are famous athletes, scientists, writers, politicians, and other figures among its graduates.

before 2022

Vanderbilt University Logo before 2022

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.

2022 – today

Vanderbilt University Logo

On March 22, 2022, it became known that Vanderbilt University was going to update its identity and abandon the logo with the usual floral ornament. It was decided to use the strict “V” sign, developed by the Boston studio Upstatement. According to the management, he successfully united all departments of the educational institution, including sports teams that used to use their unique symbol.

The letter seems voluminous because each of its sides is divided into two color blocks: dark and light. At the same time, the gradient further enhances the feeling of three-dimensionality. “V” combines classicism and modernism and embodies courage, confidence, and leadership. The full version of the logo is complemented by a two-level inscription, “VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY,” aligned to the left. All glyphs are black and capitalized. The font is a contrasting serif with long thin serifs.


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.

Font and Colors

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.

Vanderbilt University Emblem

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.

Vanderbilt University color codes

VanillaHex color:#f2dfa4
RGB:242 223 164
CMYK:0 8 32 5
Pantone:PMS 7401 C
b49248Hex color:#b49248
RGB:180 146 72
CMYK:0 19 60 29
Pantone:PMS 7407 C
BlackHex color:#000000
RGB:0 0 0
CMYK:0 0 0 100
Pantone:PMS Process Black C