Visual Branding Guide

When it comes to branding, let visuals do the heavy lifting

Indiana University has always had a solid brand. It’s an influential and meaningful one that hundreds of thousands of people around the world come into contact with. We alumni are so familiar with the IU brand that we recognize it in less than a second. Instantly, we know the IU trident and it tugs at our heart. When we see red, we see IU.

And some of us even recognize the typography. No words needed—the visuals do all the heavy lifting.

As communicators, it’s important that we use the brand to gain instant recognition from IU alumni. As IU messengers, it’s important that we present IU in a similar way to continue strengthening IU’s brand recognition.

Use this style guide for presenting your messages to IU alumni. If possible, stick to templates and use assets provided. And for the full IU brand story, visit

The basics

Our brand personality

Our brand personality consists of the traits and characteristics that are reflected in the way we present the alumni association. Like the editorial voice, the IU Alumni Association’s visual brand personality is described in a series of key words, including positive, welcoming, confident, savvy, and friendly. To achieve a look that conveys these key words, we use a variety of visual elements.


A new aspect to IU’s identity

In 2015, IU Studios introduced a new aspect to IU’s identity. Called a lockup, this new format was created to reproduce well digitally and on specialty items. IU Studios offers loose guidelines for using the new lockups versus the traditional IU signature. Generally, it recommends using the signature on printed letterhead and business cards; use the lockup on digital and specialty items.

» IUAA recommends that charter groups use the signature on printed letterhead and business cards and the lockups on everything else.

The lockup is a red IU tab combined with the name of our organization (or org name plus charter group name). The lockup is different than a logo because the trident is reversed out of a red box, and the font is sans serif. The font, especially, is easier to read in situations where thin lines disappear, such as on websites, presentations, or when silk-screened or embroidered on hats or shirts.

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Use the IUAA logo on formal communications such as stationary. IU Communications
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Use the IUAA lockup on digital communications, merchandise, signs, and other information communciations IU Communications

Rules and guidelines

When using the lockup, we have one rule and a few guidelines to follow. We’ll start with the rule: Use the lockup as supplied through your OneDrive account. Do not change the artwork or create a new identity.

The rest are guidelines: