Overview of The University of Akron’s brand

It’s important for The University of Akron to consistently communicate who we are and what we believe to our key constituents. That consistent communication fosters credibility, allowing each of our colleges, schools and departments to gain tremendous value from their association with the UA brand.

Keep Rising is our master brand creative platform, speaking to the never-ending upward trajectory of UA. It’s more than a stand-alone tagline. It’s a motivational and inspirational call to action that shapes the rest of the creative. It’s flexible enough to tee up different headlines and copy that match the tone and intent of our message, whether admission- or advancement-focused.

University Communications and Marketing is responsible for disseminating and overseeing the UA brand guidelines (PDF, 10MB), and we will gladly assist you as we move forward under a single strong brand.

What does our brand look like?

A unified visual identity is crucial to building brand recognition and shaping a strong UA brand in the communities we serve, communicating important attributes of our institution to our students, parents, research partners and donors. It encompasses names, logos, type fonts and color palettes, allowing individual UA entities that comply with our style to instantly leverage our brand value.

Used properly in all UA communication materials, our visual style will ensure a powerful presentation of the University’s brand.

  • It allows all entities to communicate with one voice rather than diluting our brand with multiple, conflicting brand interpretations.
  • It gives each entity instant recognition as a UA unit.
  • It consistently communicates our brand attributes to each entity’s audiences.
  • It saves the time and expense of creating multiple visual solutions, allowing each entity to save valuable resources.
  • It protects not only the University’s brand equity but that of each entity as well.

Colleges and departments are required to follow these visual standards in all communications.

Student groups are not required to follow these standards in their internal communications. However, they are encouraged to do so when communicating to off-campus audiences in an official capacity on behalf of UA.

We invite you to read more about our visual style and how your unit fits within the UA brand hierarchy. If you have questions about print or web applications, please refer to our online Visual Identity Standards (PDF, 10MB).

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What does our brand sound like?

UA is built for the stories it continues to power. Stories that elevate the lives of others and reverberate far beyond the city of Akron. As Zips, we are determined to lead lives of significance. We are united by our tenacity and grit. And we know that the education we receive at The University of Akron is one with unmatched real-world application. The Brand Guidelines (PDF, 10MB) capture it all: how we tell our story, how we convey who we are, and how we share the work we’re doing with others.

Our story is grounded in three things:

  1. A commitment to the future. We realize the many opportunities, here and now, to achieve incredible outcomes.
  2. Forward momentum. We are willing to reinvent our futures. We are always on the move, onward and upward.
  3. A relentless pursuit. We better ourselves, our university and our city. All of this is made possible by our innate grit and institutional support.

And at its highest level, our story takes the form of a brand narrative — which is an anthem of sorts for our brand.

The UA brand hierarchy

Like many universities, UA follows a hierarchical brand architecture that features a core brand for communicating the institution as a whole, followed by brand extensions and sub-brands for our individual entities. The four tiers of the UA brand hierarchy are:

Core Brand

The top tier of our brand hierarchy is UA brand. Used to represent the entire institution, it consists of UA logotype and UA symbol. It is to be used on projects that encompass the University as a whole, such as annual reports, the website, TV commercials and strategic plans.


UA sub-brands are our colleges, schools, administrative offices, support units and academic departments. They closely align with the core UA brand.

Brand Extension

Brand extension entities are linked to the core brand for strategic and economic reasons. These include the UA Alumni Association or alumni groups for individual schools or colleges. They may include element of the core brand such as the block UA or official fonts or color palettes; however, they are allowed to follow a more independent visual style.

Independent Brand

These entities include those that exist through an equal partnership among multiple universities or other organizations outside our core brand such as the UA Research Foundation. Their connection to the UA core brand is presented in an understated manner.