Visual Identity


Maintaining a strong, consistent brand is a vital part of maintaining GW’s strength as an institution. Every day, GW communicates with thousands of people, from high school students to heads of state. Everything that the Office of Communications and Marketing creates for the university shares elements that are consistent, unified and recognizable. Whether you’re promoting your school’s accomplishments or recruiting new students, your materials should clearly be a part of GW.

We worked closely with the university community and experts to create GW’s Identity Standards and Guidelines (PDF), a guide in creating a distinct look for your materials. We are responsible for maintaining and enforcing GW’s Identity Standards and Guidelines. Our team can advise you on ensuring your materials adhere.

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Primary Identity Elements




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System Overview

GW's Identity Standards and Guidelines takes into account that a one-size-fits-all approach would not work for the university because our community speaks to a wide variety of audiences in different tones.

We developed a system that is flexible and supports a broad range of applications. Elements such as color palette, fonts, tone and graphic features can support different purposes and audiences, but still represent a cohesive GW brand.

Before starting a project, it is best to determine what category works best for your piece. If you need more details about the identity elements, refer to the full Identity Standards and Guidelines (PDF).


Overview Outlines
Fixed Systems

Applications within the fixed system category include items that have a long shelf life or are permanent fixtures. For example, building signage, flags, rugs, stationery or identification, such as a GWorld card.


Any materials or items that are related to formal university events or important documents that represent the university or its units are considered part of the institutional category. For example, university financial reports or other materials of a serious and dignified nature.


Materials or items that are issued to educate or alert the university community about important information related to experience as a student, staff member, faculty member or alumnus/alumnae fall into the informational category. For example, updates from the Safety and Security, general information related to housing or class registration and facility maintenance notices.


Materials or items that are used to promote the university, a school or program internally or externally fall into the marketing category. Materials in this category generally appear as the fullest expression of the GW brand, with bold and engaging visuals and sharp, edgy and emotion-evoking copy. For example, undergraduate and graduate recruitment pieces or advertisements for academic programs.

Events and Programming

Since events and programming are largely theme-driven, applications in this category have the most flexibility. Materials in the events and programming category must be related to time-limited university, school or administrative department initiatives. For example, materials related to Inside GW, Alumni & Families Weekend, and Midnight Breakfast.