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Our logo

The Ohio State University logo

How it works

Ohio State’s particular model of brand architecture is known as “monolithic,” or a “branded house,” where the university’s logo is the primary identifier in all communications.

The consistent and proper use of the university logo not only strengthens recognition for Ohio State but also projects the university’s established reputation onto all of the many individual entities that make up our university.

To reinforce the university logo – and thereby the university itself – as our foundation, our identity system prohibits the use of any additional iconography, marks, or artwork in conjunction with the university logo or any supplemental signature. Approved secondary identity elements may be used as supporting art, but they should always be clearly separated from our official marks.

Logo Elements

Elements legend

The university logo pictured above anchors the entire visual identity system. It is used on all communications, and its effectiveness relies on consistent presentation.

By adhering to a standardized use of our logo elements, we reinforce the image of Ohio State as a cohesive, powerful entity and amplify the impact of our visual communications.

  1. Block O
    Ohio State’s Block O is the visual identifier of the university and all of its colleges, offices, libraries, schools, centers, departments, programs, and other units. The Block O should be displayed with the wordmark at all times, and never by itself.
  2. The logo
    Together the Block O, signature, and baseline are known as the logo.
  3. The wordmark
    The wordmark is an adjusted letterform version of the name “The Ohio State University” combined with the baseline, which anchors and protects the integrity of the wordmark. It cannot be replicated through typesetting.
Always use official electronic artwork. The spacing and positioning of the logo elements should not be recreated or altered for any reason.

Download official logo files

Logo configurations

There are three approved configurations of the logo, of which horizontal (1) is the preferred. The vertical and stacked versions are distinct versions and should not be recreated. (Click on 1, 2, or 3 to view configurations.)


  1. Horizontal logo (preferred)
  2. Vertical logo (second choice)
    The vertical configuration may be used in circumstances where it is impractical to use the preferred horizontal version.
  3. Stacked logo (limited use)
    The stacked logo is for use in restricted spaces where neither the horizontal nor the vertical version is feasible, such as one-column ads, podium signs, or certain merchandise or apparel.
The logos must not be altered in any way, and additional configurations are not permitted. Do not attempt to recreate the logo.

Download official logo files

Clear space

“Clear space” is the protected area around the logo that maximizes its impact. This space must be kept free of all other graphics and text, including other logos. It is also the minimum distance the logo can be from the edges of an electronic document or printed piece.

To preserve the university logo’s prominence, no additional iconography, marks, or artwork may be used in conjunction with it or any secondary signature. (See Secondary signatures for more.)

Approved secondary identity elements may be used as supporting art, but they should always be clearly separated from the logo.

The minimum required amount of clear space is defined by the width of the Block O.

Minimum size

Minimum logo size example

The Block O should not appear smaller than 0.375 inches tall in print. The minimum size of the Block O on screen is 32 pixels tall, but 50 pixels tall is preferred if possible. The proportions of the Block O in relation to the wordmark and baseline should not be changed.

Special circumstances such as favicons and app icons require alternate logos that you can find in the Downloads section. If additional exceptions arise, email identity@osu.edu.

Logo color variations

Logo variations example

The preferred use of the logo is scarlet and gray (1) on a white or light background. This version should be used whenever possible. When the preferred use is not feasible, the following variations (and only these variations) may be used:

  1. Scarlet and gray (preferred)
  2. Scarlet and black
    For use when the background requires a darker representation of the wordmark.
  3. Black
    For use when ink colors are restricted or the use of scarlet creates a design conflict. (However, remember to always incorporate a presence of scarlet in your design.)
  4. Scarlet
    For use when ink colors are restricted, to achieve a particular design effect.
  5. Gray
    For use when ink colors are restricted, to achieve a particular design effect.

Download official logo files

Reverse logos

Logo reverse variations example

There are two versions of the logo designed to maximize its impact when it appears on scarlet, black, or some other dark background.

  1. One-color full reverse (preferred)
  2. Two-color reverse
    When a presence of scarlet is needed in a reverse logo situation, use the two-color reverse version.

Download official logo files

Logos with ® mark

Logos with ® mark

When the logo appears on merchandise or apparel, it should always have a registration mark (®). The registration mark is not needed on stationery, marketing collateral or interactive communications.

Download logos with ®

The wordmark

Logo wordmark example

In cases where the logo (i.e., Block O + wordmark) isn't feasible, the wordmark may be used without the Block O. It can be used in a horizontal or stacked configuration as shown.

  1. Horizontal wordmark (preferred)
  2. Stacked wordmark (second choice)

Preferred use of the wordmark is gray on white, but the same color variations allowed for the logo may be used for the wordmark.

Wordmarks are available in the Downloads section. Questions about appropriate use of wordmarks? Contact the brand team at identity@osu.edu.

Wordmark clear space and minimum size

Logo wordmark clear space example

Like our logo, the wordmark deserves a protected clear space, indicated here. This space is defined as twice the height of the “O” in “Ohio.”

In print, the wordmark should not appear smaller than 0.185 inches tall in the horizontal configuration and .35 inches tall in the stacked configuration. The minimum size of the horizontal wordmark on screen is 15 pixels tall, 25 pixels tall preferred. The minimum size for the digital stacked wordmark is 30 pixels tall, 50 pixels preferred.

Accommodations may be made for special circumstances; if exceptions arise, contact the brand team (identity@osu.edu).

Logo placement

Logo placement is important, especially when paired with a unit identifier.

Appropriate placements for each logo configuration are illustrated below. Although there is flexibility for alignment within these areas, the placements shown are optimal. The highlighted quadrants show the preferred position for each configuration.

These placements also apply to secondary signatures.

Logo placement

Cobranding

Cobranding allows us to establish a visual association with our partners while leveraging the brand recognition of Ohio State. When cobranding, use all established guidelines for the standard use of our logo and apply the cobranding guidelines in addition.

Appropriate cobranding placements are illustrated below.

  • Ohio State should always appear to be visually equal to the cobranding partner. Our logo should never appear subordinate in size.
  • The logos should not be positioned in such a way that creates confusion as to the relationship of the partner to Ohio State.
  • The logos should be separated by three widths of the Block O.
  • When side-by-side, the logos should be vertically center aligned. When stacked, the logos should be horizontally center aligned.
  • The partner should not incorporate any Ohio State mark into their own logo.
  • When partners are using our logo in their cobranded materials, they should observe our visual guidelines but not emulate or recreate our signature visual style.
  • Partners must submit all cobranded material to the brand team for approval prior to use (identity@osu.edu).
Do not cobrand units of the university. When more than one college, campus, or central office is represented in a single marketing communication piece, use the primary university logo or wordmark and list the college, campus, or office names in the signoff location.
Cobranding placement