Brand architecture

Our brand architecture dictates how units within the university relate to the main brand and each other. The architecture consists of four easy-to-follow rules. This policy is binding and in effect as of May 2019. Units with their own visual profiles, predating May 2019, that are not in line with our brand architecture and are not specified as exceptions, have a transitional period of four years to adjust. From May 2023 onwards, everyone within the organisation must follow the guidelines of this university-wide brand architecture.

The four rules:

  1. One logo for a strong brand
  2. Branding by means of good content
  3. Naming policy: logic prevails
  4. Clarify your partnerships

1. One logo for a strong brand

  • Utrecht University uses one logo; that of Utrecht University. This logo has a Dutch and an English version.
  • Personal logos for university units are not allowed.
  • All Utrecht University communication features the Utrecht University logo – the Dutch version with Dutch text, the English version with English text.
  • All communication uses the Utrecht University colour palette and typography

How do you show your unit? Not with a logo, but with a block system instead.


Use the Utrecht University colour palette and typography when setting up the block. Dependent on your layout needs, you can use a horizontal or vertical version.

Never use more than two blocks in your communication materials: one for Utrecht University and one for your unit. If there are multiple relevant units, you need to communicate this in another way. Not with three blocks, but by mentioning the units in the copy itself. You use the block system for all communication materials (printed matter, offline and online campaigns, presentations, videos, social media avatars, etc.), with three notable exceptions: do not use the block system on building exteriors and signage, correspondence materials and your website.

To set up your own block, we have Illustrator (.ai) templates available. You can download those through our logo page.

In many cases it makes most sense to communicate from Utrecht University as a whole. For instance: when we as the Brand Team design a poster to explain the brand architecture, there is no added value in putting our team name on it. After all, this is something that concerns the whole university.

Only use the block system when you communicate as a university unit and the communication concerns the unit itself. 

Don't use the block system for education programmes, events or other messages.

2. Branding by means of good content

University units have the freedom to create a distinct style, within the boundaries of the main visual identity. Through good content, choice of media, tone of voice and visual language you can effectively brand your unit. When crafting your message, keep in mind our brand identity.

Focus on your message

3. Naming policy: logic prevails

  • The name of a unit never includes the word 'Utrecht'. After all, the name is always communicated together with the Utrecht University name or logo. 
  • The English name of a unit is written in British English spelling.
  • The name of a unit is written in full and not abbreviated. The full name is more informative than an abbreviation.

4. Clarify your partnerships

When working together with external partners, always specify the type of cooperation.

Communication from the perspective of utrecht university

Use the Utrecht University visual identity. Cooperation is important to us, so always include the names of the partners and describe the nature of the cooperation.

Communication from the perspective of the  cooperation

If the cooperating organisations are equally responsible, a neutral style is possible. The logos or names of the partners are to be featured on all communication materials, separate from the neutral style.


If Utrecht University acts as a sponsor, our logo needs to be displayed with the other sponsors. In most cases, the university logo will suffice. If it is important to add the name of a unit, you can use the block system from rule no. 1.


A showcase of communication materials that use the block system and are designed in accordance with the Utrecht University visual identity.

Centre for Global Challenges flyers
Centre for Academic Teaching, Leaflet
Universiteit Utrecht | Diergeneeskunde
Diergeneeskunde infographic ontworpen door Steffie Padmos.


Want to get started right away? Here are some of the tools we have available for you: