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The Top 5 College Logo Designs: What Makes Them Stand Out?

Logo design is such an important aspect of branding. Ideally, your logo should be able to immediately connect consumers’ minds with your business without the need to see the name of your business. Your organization’s logo design should not only communicate what your brand is all about, but also be memorable and help your company stand apart from the competition.
All of this talk about great logo design got us thinking about college logo design. When looking back at your own alma mater, are you able to easily recall its logo? Is the logo recognizable and does it still seem to resonate with you? Do you anticipate that your college will continue to use this logo design 50 years down the road?

If you find yourself answering yes to all of these questions, your college has an effective logo design. Keep in mind the qualities that make up a great logo design: simple, memorable, versatile, relevant, and able to withstand the time.

With the start of the college football season, we’re going to see a lot of college logos over the next few months, and some of these will stand out more to you than others. However, be sure to keep an eye out for these 5 colleges with exceptional logo design:

University of Texas Logo

1. University of Texas
Even if you’re not a college sports fan, you would probably be able to connect the orange longhorn silhouette that has been used by the university since 1961 to the University of Texas. The simplicity of this logo design and the fact that it is just one single color is what makes it a strong logo. It also ties in extremely well to the famous “hook ’em horns” hand symbol used by Texas fans and players alike.
University of North Carolina Logo

2. University of North Carolina
There are two defining aspects of the University of North Carolina’s logo design: the interlocking “NC” and the use of the Carolina Blue color. Naturally, Carolina Blue is the official school color, which has been used since the late eighteenth century. Not only is the logo design itself classic, but the use of color offers very powerful branding.
University of Notre Dame Logo

3. University of Notre Dame
The “ND” monogram that the university uses for both athletic and academics is not only extremely recognizable, but also represents the brand well as a prestigious institution. It’s “old school” and straight forward, which definitely helps the logo to withstand the time.

Notre Dame also has one of the most recognizable mascots, which is a leprechaun with his fists up and goes perfectly with the school’s trademarked “Fighting Irish” logo. This famous mascot design has been used by the school since the 1960s, and the use of the vintage design only makes the branding stronger.

University of Miami Logo

4. University of Miami
Of all of the college and universities in the country, only one gets to be “The U,” and that is the University of Miami. The logo design is very simple and features a split U in the school’s colors. This brilliant, minimalist design has since inspired several famous school slogans, such as “U gotta believe.” Also, similar to the University of Texas, fans and athletes from the University of Miami alike have both embraced the “U” hand symbol.
Clemson University Logo

5. Clemson University
Upon seeing the famous orange tiger paw logo, most people immediately think of Clemson, and rightfully so. An actual tiger paw print was used to make this logo, which is evidenced by the rough edges around the design. Something else that is unique about this logo is that the paw print faces a 30 degree angle, which was representative of the 1pm kickoff time for football games when the logo design was introduced in the 1970s.

So, as you can see, there is a lot that you can learn from these famous college logo designs about what works and really seems to resonate with an audience. Can you think of another exceptional college logo design that should make this list? What is it about the logo’s design that really makes it stand out in your mind?

Logos are trademarks of respective companies and do not imply endorsement.

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