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Brand and Identity System

Brand and Identity System


 

CU Denver branding

Our identity is invaluable


CU Denver's brand is not its logo, tagline, colors, websites or design direction.

Our brand defines our reputation and how we are perceived. It’s the sum of each person’s individual experiences and impressions—what they think, feel, and respond to—when they interact with us. It speaks to the level of satisfaction and emotional connection we provide to our stakeholders. And it is strengthened—or weakened—by everything our audience sees, hears and believes.

Branding is the intentional process of shaping that perception, based on our shared vision, innate qualities and long-term goals.


The value of a strong brand

Our brand is the most valuable intangible asset we own. CU Denver’s brand:

  • Communicates clearly who we are and what we stand for
  • Is credible and relevant, reflecting our current reality and our aspirational goals
  • Resonates with our audiences on an emotional level, and motivates them to take action
  • Builds long-term engagement and loyalty

Why we need a brand

Higher education is a competitive and crowded environment. To the average viewer, most universities have more in common than they do apart. Intentional, relevant and consistent branding helps us distinguish ourselves from the competition and makes us more attractive and memorable.

Our brand has tremendous influence, locally, nationally and globally. By actively strengthening and shepherding our brand, we positively shape the way people think and feel about us, ultimately impacting:

  • Student recruitment and enrollment
  • Faculty recruitment
  • Alumni participation
  • Fundraising and philanthropy
  • Word of mouth and social engagement
  • Partnerships
  • Stakeholder pride
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Full name / first reference:

University of Colorado Denver


Short name / secondary reference:

CU Denver



Unacceptable use

UCD, UC Denver, CUD, Denver Campus, Downtown Campus, Downtown Denver Campus, any use of commas, hyphens or "at" before Denver


School and college names

  • College of Architecture and Planning
  • College of Arts & Media
  • Business School
  • School of Education & Human Development
  • College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Graduate School
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • School of Public Affairs

Unit names

Whenever possible, the terms "Office of" and "Department of" should be excluded from unit names. For example:

  • University Communications
  • Student Affairs
  • International Admissions
  • Academic Technology and Extended Learning

For more information on using our name correctly, please download the latest CU Denver Brand and Identity Guide.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The CU Denver logo is our primary visual identifier, and the cornerstone​ of our id​entity system.​

CU Denver logo


Alternate configurations​​

To accommodate a wide range of applications and uses, four alternate configurations of our logo are available. Custom configurations or alterations of any kind are not permitted.

CU Denver logo variations


Unit logos


In select cases, CU De​nver​ sc​hools, colleges and units may require further differentiation from the primary logo. In these cases, a unit-specific logo may be employed.


CU Denver unit logos

Use unit logos sparingly, and only when the need to communicate the unit identity is greater than that of the university. When in doubt, use the CU Denver logo.




Custom logos

The development or use of custom-designed logos or graphic symbols for identification are expressly prohibited for all CU academic, administrative, research and clinical units and groups. Requests for exceptions to this may be presented, as outlined in the CU System Brand Identity Standards Guide, to the CU System Brand Identity Standards Board for consideration.

More information can be found in CU Administrative Policy Statement 2025, "University Brand Identity and Trademarks."



Using our logo


clear space and minimum size

Our logos were created as single, unified graphics. Do not separate, retype, recolor, replace, reposition, alter, distort or add elements to them.

For more detailed information, download the latest Brand and Identity Guide.


Logo downloads

Faculty and staff: official logo artwork is available in the Downloads section.

External users: For external access​s to logos and other brand elements, email brand@ucdenver.edu

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CU Denver's official colors are Black and Gold. They provide a clear visual connection to our brand, personality and heritage, ​and should be displayed proudly in CU Denver communications and expressions.

 

CU Black

Pantone Professional Black C
CMYK 0/0/0/100
RGB 0/0/0
Hex #000000

CU Gold

Pantone 466 C
CMYK 0/10/48/22
RGB 207/184/124​
Hex #CFB87C
Thread/Fabric: Vegas Gold



CU Denver's official colors are a mandatory element in all visual​ communications and expressions.

To maintain brand coherence, it is essential to reproduce our colors accurately. Please reproduce our colors using only the official color values shown above.

Download an Adobe Swatch Exchange file containing our official colors in the Downloads section.




For more information on our color system—including accent color use, examples and best practices—download the latest Brand and Identity Guide.

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Our official typeface is Helvetica Neue (pronounced "noy-a" or "new"). It is available in more than 50 type-weights and styles via fonts.co​m, and is the featured typeface throughout the University of Colorado System.

font sample


The preferred web-alternative to Neue Helvetica is Muli, offered by Google Fonts.

For more information on our typeface, download the latest Brand and Identity Guide.​​​​​​​​​​

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Whenever possible, we use a documentary / editorial approach for our visual storytelling, to engage the viewer, suppor​t our brand, and capture the authenticity and uniqueness that is CU Denver.

sample image sample image sample image sample image sample image sample image sample image sample image sample image

In general, our still and video imagery should feature:

  • Strong points of focus
  • Narrow depth of field
  • Natural lighing
  • Real-world settings and people
  • Genuine action and spirit
  • Honest, authentic moments

To view and download official CU Denver imagery, visit photos.ucdenver.edu.​​​​​​​​​​​​

University stationery—including business cards, letterhead and envelopes—is available to current university faculty, staff and researchers.

Design

The University of Colorado system utilizes a single design and layout for all stationery and business correspondence. Deviations from the accepted format of any kind—including custom layouts, designs, changes in type size or font, or the addition/replacement of logos and graphic elements—are expressly prohibited.

Business cards
business card​​​​
Letterhead
letterhead​​​​​
Envelopes
envelope​​​​ ​

Ordering stationery

Printing Services is the authorized vendor for all CU Denver stationery. Use of outside vendors for official stationery is not permitted.

To order stationery, visit ucdenver.edu/printingservices or call (303) 724-6414.​​​​

Electronic letterhead

Users may download an electronic version of our letterhead in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

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CU Denver Lynx spirit identity

The CU Denver Lynx spirit identity was introduced in 2013, after a multi-year initiative on behalf of the student body.

CU Denver's spirit identity includes our mascot, Milo the Lynx, as well as a set of approved graphics (known as spirit marks). Together, they serve as expressions of CU Denver pride and enthusiasm, and informal symbols of our values and personality.

Eligibility and use

Use of the CU Denver Lynx spirit identity is limited to CU Denver only. Other CU campuses—including Boulder, Colorado Springs and the Anschutz Medical Campus—may not incorporate the CU Denver spirit identity or Lynx mascot as part of their identification, communications or promotions. The CU Denver spirit identity is reserved for marketing, activities and events that promote school spirit. It should never be used as a substitute for the university's academic identity or logo.

Milo the LynxCU Denver's spirit identity is embodied by our mascot, Milo the Lynx. Through he serves as head cheerleader for our club sports teams, he is also charged with rallying support and building awareness for all things CU Denver.

Full Name/First Use:

  1. University of Colorado Denver Lynx
  2. Milo the Lynx

Short Name/Subsequent Use:

  1. CU Denver Lynx
  2. the Lynx
  3. Milo

Capitalization:

  • When referring to our university mascot, use a capital “L.”
  • When referring to the wild animal, use a lowercase “l.”

Spirit marks

CU Denver spirit marks

CU Denver Lynx spirit marks have limited application, and MAY NOT be used for:

  • Academic group identification (e.g., university, campus, schools, departments, offices, units or programs)
  • Administrative unit identification
  • University business cards or letterhead (with the exception of official Club Sports)
  • Email signatures

The following usage types MAY incorporate mascot visuals (upon receiving prior approval from the university brand manager and the offices of Student Life and University Communications):

  • Marketing and promotion of school spirit-focused events (new student orientation, move-in day, homecoming, block party, Spring Fling/Fall Fest, senior sendoff, etc.)
  • Signage, sculptures and other public display elements (permanent installations require appproval from the Chancellor and CU Design Review Board)
  • Select admissions and recruitment-focused communications
  • Official student clubs and organizations

Custom-designed mascot visuals—including alternate logos, wordmarks or other graphic treatments—are not permitted.

For more information on the CU Denver mascot's identity—or to request access to spirit mark artwork—contact brand@ucdenver.edu.

Other CU spirit identities and mascots

All CU mascots, athletic and spirit marks should only be used in accordance with their parent organizations' guidelines and/or trademark limitations, and may not be used by other campus or university groups or affiliates without prior written consent from the campus brand manager or identity standards boards specific to the mark(s) being requested.

For more information on other CU mascots, athletic and spirit marks:

Spirit identity-related naming

All names associated with our spirit identity—including Milo the Lynx, the Lynx and the CU Denver Lynx—are reserved for select spirit-focused promotions and elements. Derivations of the spirit identity or mascot name (Links, Linx, Lynk, etc.), are not permitted.

All uses of spirit identity-related naming to identify with academic or administrative departments, units, offices or programs must receive prior approval from the university brand manager, as well as the offices of Student Life and University Communications.

In the case of permanent naming and signage—the Chancellor and/or the CU Design Review Board must also provide approval.​



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Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.