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June 26, 2014

New versions of University seal adopted

The University’s institutional identity is about to become clearer.

University Communications designers have developed new versions of the University seal, optimized for print and online applications.

In addition to accommodating new communications formats, “We want to make sure the materials that represent the University are consistent in quality and appearance,” said Ken Service, vice chancellor for Communications.

The new print version of the University seal

The new print version of the University seal

Pitt’s academic seal — its most formal logo — isn’t changing. Reserved for diplomas and official documents, the seal adopted in 1993 features a shield and crest based on William Pitt’s family coat of arms; a banner with the Latin words “Veritas, Virtus” (Truth, Virtue) and 1787, the year of the University’s founding, and a “University of Pittsburgh” name circle that includes leaf sprigs symbolic of achievement and strength.

The standard print seal (for use in publications, stationery, advertisements, displays, marketing materials, premiums, reports, signage and videos), is a simplified version of the academic seal.

An even simpler online seal is available for websites, e-publications, online presentations and social media. The most noticeable difference in the online version is the lack of vertical lines in the shield, to increase clarity when viewed on peripheral devices. “Most people won’t notice a great deal of difference,” Service said.

Along with the streamlined logos come more than 100 pages of graphic standards ( with do’s and don’ts for properly representing Pitt’s institutional identity. According to the standards, graphics designed by University Communications will be grandfathered in, but independent unit graphics that were created elsewhere will need to be reviewed and approved in order to continue to be used.

The new seals will be available for download in July via links at

—Kimberly K. Barlow