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Brand 101

Understanding UW branding

The UW brand is more than a soundbite, social media post or stunning visual. It embodies our vision and values. The brand represents our history, present-day and path forward. It stretches across campuses, schools and disciplines. The brand represents the diversity of the Husky community and honors its ambition, courage and compassion.

Branding allows us to cohesively express our mission. From the stories we tell to our visual identity, palette of purple and gold plus more, all content is an opportunity to positively engage audiences. Understand the UW brand and how to use it to communicate consistently and effectively. We are all bound by the UW and, together, our impact is boundless.

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Brand 101

Why brand matters

At its core, our brand is our reputation. It represents who we are as a university and stands for our aspirational goals and ideals. It embodies our values as perceived by the general public, our students, our faculty and staff, our alumni and our friends.

Brand marketing is a unified strategy that informs all levels of organizational planning and communications by compelling the organization to achieve at the highest level and to meet our own universally understood standards. Through our integrated brand marketing strategy, we seek to engage our audiences with a cohesive message about who we are and what we represent.

By presenting our brand consistently, we can positively influence how people think and feel about the UW. And that means we can amplify our potential impact, whether by raising more money to support student scholarships and programs, recruiting more high-achieving students and top faculty or securing new research dollars.

Strategic framework

Our brand strategy is built upon a strategic framework — our brand pyramid. The brand pyramid is an internal strategic framework that we build upon in all of our marketing and communications. When we use the brand pyramid as a guide, it helps unify our brand, differentiate us from other universities and solidify our audience’s understanding of our values.


Who we’re for

Before we can implement our strategy, we must be clear about what audiences we want to engage. When considering the students who will excel here, the traits of faculty and staff who will inspire and encourage those students, and the characteristics of the countless others who make up our community, we can identify core elements that represent who we’re for.

  • We’re for people who think about the greater good.
  • We’re for people who believe anything’s possible.
  • We’re for people who are achievers, collaborators and self-starters.
  • We’re for people who embody real-world authenticity.
  • We’re for people who think about “we,” not just “me.”
  • And we’re for people who are determined change creators.

We’re a community that can inspire powerful change, and we invite others who personify these traits to become active members of the UW community, too.

Our brand promise

Together, our impact is Boundless.

Our brand promise is our internal North Star. It is a succinct summation that captures the essence of who we are as a university and what we stand for as a university.

As you craft communications and engage audiences in conversations about the UW, our brand promise acts as a compass. It is not a public-facing statement to be used verbatim; rather, it helps us gauge how our messaging and interactions fit into the larger picture of the University. It is the pivot point of our strategy.

Our brand promise was developed through collaboration with people from all facets of the UW.

Our pillars

The brand pillars form our foundation. They provide a guide for your content; when creating copy or visuals, bring at least one of these pillars to life.

  • Husky Student Experience
  • Our public promise
  • Proven impact
  • Collaborative Innovation

Husky student experience

With countless universities touting their appeal to students, what sets us apart from the crowd? We believe it’s the boundless opportunities available to students here, including ways to take the learning process beyond the classroom. With access to an extensive network of top faculty, researchers, peers, alumni and the community, UW students form lasting connections. Our students are also actively engaged as campus and community leaders. They’re doing more than reading about positive changes; they’re the catalyst making change happen.

Our public promise

Our mission and vision make us public, not just our heritage. As one of the world’s preeminent public universities, advancing social equity and changing lives is integral to who we are. Through civic partnerships, service-learning opportunities and much more, students, faculty, staff, alumni and our partners play active roles in the local and global community. We’re dedicated to leading the dialogue as promoters of positive change. At our core, we believe in human potential and our role in unleashing it.

Proven impact

As one of the world’s most productive research universities, we have an unparalleled track record when it comes to research impact and excellence. For decades, our students and faculty have collaborated to turn ideas into life-changing realities, from creating vaccines to improving early education, revolutionizing global health, imagining greener technologies and so much more. In all we do, we strive to make an impact, whether it’s by touching one life or millions.

Collaborative innovation

Seattle is a global hub for innovation, and much of that spirit and mindset begins at the UW. Entrepreneurial drive is embedded in our DNA, contributing to our No. 1 ranking in commercialization. As an international epicenter for turning ideas into actions, we’re launching hundreds of companies across a wide range of fields based on UW research and technology. Our shared ethos of innovation unites us as a university and as a community.

Brand tenets

Rooted in our personality traits, our tenets celebrate the beliefs and perspectives that unite us. They are a set of principles or values that define the UW just as much as the people who choose to come here. The tenets are also a tool for bringing a bold, consistent message to the UW brand story.

The tenets below reflect our collective mindset: Together, we are boundless.

  • Undaunted
  • We > me
  • Dare to do
  • Be the first
  • Question the answer
  • Passion never rests
  • Be a world of good
  • Together we will