SPS Brand Standards

Visual and editorial guidlines and resources for SPS staff

Logo Usage

The SPS graphic identity is the visual representation of the SPS brand. The objective of the SPS graphic identity is to present SPS in a consistent and professional manner that reinforces our position as a part of Northwestern University and that also is well-suited to our audience of working professionals who are pursuing higher education in order to advance their careers. The graphic identity consists of the SPS logo, color, typography and visual style.

The graphics in this guide are registered trademarks and should only be used as detailed here. The graphic system represents the identity of Northwestern University and should not be diluted through substitution or revision, or altered in any way.

Northwestern Wordmark

Our wordmark is the primary identifier for the University, relating all entities within our institution. It’s a symbol of what we stand for, and should be treated with respect.

By freeing the wordmark from the University seal, we have more flexibility in using our name. Although there are three versions of our wordmark, in most cases, our heritage and reputation allow the Northwestern name to stand on its own. This is the preferred version of our wordmark. In most cases, our reputation precedes us and the word “University” is not needed.

Northwestern wordmark


Sometimes we need to be more specific. Use these wordmarks when our audience may not be familiar with Northwestern as an institution, such as in international advertising or admissions materials. This lockup can be used in either a stacked or horizontal configuration. Use the version that is most appropriate.

Northwestern University wordmark

Northwestern University wordmark

Download wordmarks.

Formal Lockup

In the formal lockup, the wordmark is paired with the official University seal. By reserving the seal for formal, high-profile, and sophisticated communications, we can elevate it to a place of honor and importance. The seal is best reserved for instances such as diplomas, commencement and convocation, formal events, and engravings and architectural etchings.

The formal lockup can be used in either a stacked or horizontal configuration. Use the version most appropriate for the format at hand.

Northwestern formal vertical                                         Northwestern formal horizontal

The seal must always be used in conjunction with the wordmark in one of these lockups. The spacing between the wordmark and seal is fixed. Please note that the spacing for the vertical and horizontal configurations are slightly different.

Download Northwestern lockups.

Identity Lockup System

The lockup system is used University-wide and is based on a simple idea: choose the most essential part of your organization’s name and make it the most prominent element in the lockup. This allows complex information to be communicated within a simple hierarchy. In horizontal lockups, this essential element appears on a primary line; in vertical lockups, it’s set in heavier type. In certain cases, type scale is used to create the correct hierarchy within the lockup.

SPS LOCKUPS

Horizontal Basic Lockup
The SPS horizontal basic lockup use ones primary line, with secondary line above the primary.

SPS horizontal lockup

Vertical Basic Lockup
Vertical lockups are constructed using the same grid as their horizontal counterparts.

SPS vertical lockup


Horizontal Shorthand Lockup
Shorthand lockups are simplified constructions that use only the Northwestern wordmark and primary line text. The shorthand lockup uses the primary line from the horizontal lockup without the secondary line above. Use this lockup in informal applications or when space constraints create readability problems for secondary lines.

SPS horizontal shorthand lockup

Vertical Shorthand Lockup
Use these lockups in informal applications, when space constraints create readability problems for secondary lines, or as part of a shorthand combination lockup.

SPS vertical shorthand lockup

Download SPS lockups.