UW–Madison’s institutional logo, a combination of the enduring “W” crest and “Wisconsin” wordmark, has been core to the university’s visual identity since the late 1980s. The visual inspiration traces back even farther—to 1929, when the crest was first constructed as an architectural element on the Wisconsin Field House. The crest remains a familiar campus icon and a lasting symbol of the UW’s long tradition of prestige and spirit.
Over time, the institutional logo has been refined to better accommodate readability in smaller sizes and on digital screens. To allow greater flexibility, the logo has been designed in vertical and horizontal formats.
Campus units must follow standards that protect the integrity of the official UW–Madison logo. Distorting or altering the logo in any way is strictly prohibited. The logo is a graphic element that uses official type fonts and colors in specific configuration. Do not adjust the color or substitute type fonts in the logo. The logo may not be reconfigured or combined with elements of other logos. Do not include it within narrative text to replace words or attempt to recreate it in any way.
The logo should be included on all websites that are developed for university entities. The logo must only be used for official university business and is prohibited from use to promote non-university activities or imply endorsement of a non-university activity or product.
On the web, the institutional logo must always be used in full color, except when the “outline” crest is used in the footer, as in the themes and templates.
Using the “W” crest alone
In certain limited circumstances, it is acceptable to use only the “W” crest as a graphic element, but such use must be in accordance with the identity guidelines regarding official colors, typefaces, and placement. Please contact University Marketing if you have a question about appropriate use of the “W” crest.
To protect the logo’s integrity and avoid visual distractions, a minimum amount of space must be maintained between the logo and type or other graphic elements.