An organization’s identity, or “brand,” is a reflection of its enduring values. The University of Chicago’s identity is based on our commitment to rigorous inquiry, a challenging and rewarding intellectual environment, a distinctive and empowering education, and partnerships in innovation and impact. These values contribute in a meaningful way to the lives of all who are affiliated with the University—current and prospective students, faculty, staff, alumni, patients, and civic partners.
An identity is how an organization defines itself as well as how it is defined by others. Our identity is the enduring perceptions of the University of Chicago that live in people’s minds—an accumulation of information, experiences, emotions, and memories. It sums up what makes us great and what sets us apart. It is who we are and how we are perceived in the world.
Our brand as an institution was not created as much as it was mined. The University of Chicago has had the same enduring values for more than a century. Our goal is to articulate that brand and help you communicate it clearly.
What we stand for is communicated in every way that we represent the University. Everything communicates, from the words we choose to the typefaces we use; from the style of our photography to the types of events we hold; from the way we respond to an email to the way we answer the phone.
This guide is intended to make those communications clearer, easier to create, more impactful, and, above all, clearly recognizable as the University of Chicago.
The more unified we are in our communications, the more we reinforce the brand. The more we reinforce the brand, the more successful we will be at recruiting students and faculty, cultivating donors, soliciting funding, and forging civic partnerships—in short, at having a real and lasting impact on our neighborhood, our city, our nation, our world.