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The University of Otago is an institution of deserved international repute. Its position is earned through the prowess of its members. Our mission statement declares that we are committed to scholarship through excellence in teaching, research and service to local, regional, national and international communities.

It is important that in communicating with those communities we project ourselves as members of a strong, efficient, professional and integrated organisation. Every interaction between the University and any organisation or member of the public has impact on how we are perceived.

Control over the visual expression of the University of Otago brand is vested in the Vice-Chancellor.

Purpose and aims

The purpose of the Brand Guide is to provide a clear guide to ensure that the University's visual image and impact is as strong as possible and is seen to have integrity and meaning. For this purpose, the Guide outlines clearly the requirement for stationery, promotional publications and advertising.

Appropriately applied, the Brand Guide will enable us to communicate clearly the values and status of the University to the wider community, both nationally and internationally.

Control over the visual expression of the University of Otago brand is vested in the Vice-Chancellor. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Division of External Engagement,  manages the use of the Brand on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor.

Master logo

Logos - both. The origins of the University of Otago logo can be traced back as far as 1870 when it was first used as part of the University's seal. Now as the University's most recognisable symbol, the logo plays a significant role in how the University is perceived. The value of the logo to the University cannot be overstated, nor can the need to maintain its integrity.

Consistent presentation of the logo strengthens the perception of academic excellence and reinforces the University's international reputation.

Coat of Arms

The University's coat of arms was granted by the Lord Lyon King of Arms (Scotland's premier officer of arms) on 21 January 1948. Its design is based on that of the unauthorised arms which appeared on the University's seal in use by September 1870.

The blazon (technical description) of the arms is: Azure, on a saltire cantoned between four mullets of six points Or, a book, gilt-edged and bound in a cover Gules charged with a mullet of six points of the second [i.e. Or] and a book-marker of the third [i.e. Gules] issuant from the page-foot, and in an Escrol under the same this Motto “Sapere Aude”. (Lyon Register vol.36, p.102)

In ordinary language, the shield is blue, with a gold saltire (Saint Andrew's cross) between four gold six-pointed stars. On the centre of the saltire there is a closed red book, gilt-edged and with a red book-marker protruding, bearing another gold six-pointed star on its cover.

The motto may be translated as 'dare to be wise' or 'have courage to be wise'.

Minimum size

The minimum size that the University of Otago logo can appear is 25mm in height for the portrait logo and 30mm in width for the landscape logo. This is to ensure that all text within the logo is legible.

minimum size logo

Clear space

Logo - white space. The minimum clear space around the logo must be the width of the crest. To help the logo be legible and visible, no other logos or other graphic elements are to appear within this space.


Logo - colour and bwThe University of Otago logo is best represented in full colour, and is the recommended usage. However, where colour cannot be achieved there is a black and white version available.

Colour values


BluePantone 294 C 2945 U
GoldPantone 130 C
RedPantone 485 CVC
BlueC: 100, M: 60, Y: 0, K: 25
GoldC: 0, M: 25, Y: 100, K: 0
RedC: 0, M: 95, Y: 90, K: 0
BlackC: 0, M: 0, Y: 0, K: 100


BlueR: 0, G: 80, B: 143
GoldR: 250, G: 198, B: 0
RedR: 198, G: 53, B: 29
BlackR: 0, G: 0, B: 0


All versions of the University of Otago logo are bordered by a black outline and have a white background, so there is no requirement for a reversed logo.

The blue and black backgrounds below are not to be used together with the logo, but are there to illustrate how the logo appears on light and dark backgrounds.

Logo - background colour

Do not…

A. Remove or replace any of the elements, including typefaces

Logo - font change

B. Change the colours of the logo

Logo - colour change

C. Skew, bend, stretch or squash the logo in any way

Logo - stretched

D. Use the crest on its own

Coat of Arms

E. Remove the black outline or the white background

Logo - background colour change

F. Place the logo too close to other elements

Logo - 2nd logo


1. Full use of University of Otago branding
If the Department is owned, managed and staffed by the University, or run by funding won under the auspices of the University, it is to be branded as follows:

Logo - sub-branding

2. Full use of University of Otago branding, together with the logo of joint-venture collaborator/s
If a University Research Centre/Group/Unit/Company has been set up in full collaboration with an external institution on a 50/50 joint-venture basis, it is to be branded as follows:

Logo - sub-branding 2

3. The Centre is a separate legal entity within the ownership structure of the University of Otago
If the Centre is a separate legal entity, but within the ownership structure of the University of Otago (such as Otago Innovation), there is a need to recognise the Centre is independent, but at the same time, within the University framework. Such instances will be dealt with on a case-by- case basis.

Logo - sub-branding 3

It is very important that the Marketing Office be involved at the start of a Centre being set up and be part of the process to produce an identifier/logo. A formal signoff process needs to be followed and the final logo must be signed off by the the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Division of External Engagement.

Motor vehicle fleet branding

All fleet vehicles are to be identified as University vehicles with signage that reflects the current standard University branding. The Motor Vehicle Fleet Brand Guide and application examples can be viewed in the following document: Motor Vehicle Fleet Brand Guide and application examples (PDF format)


The University uses fonts from the Open Sans family of fonts in the following way:

  • Headings - Open Sans light
  • Sub Headings - Open Sans Semi-bold
  • Pull quotes - Open Sans light italic

Open Sans is available as a free download from Google.

Download Open Sans from Google

Body copy

The University uses Minion Pro regular at 8.5pt for the majority of its body copy. Open Sans is occasionally used as body copy for advertising and print collateral where the amount of copy is limited. Minion Pro is a licensed font and is not available to download for free.  If you don't have a license for Minion Pro you can purchase one.

Purchase a Minion Pro license
Use a free alternative

Open sans light

Open sans light.

Minion Pro

Minion Pro.

Requesting a copy of the University's logo

To request a copy of the logo, contact the Marketing Services Design team:


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