Stanford Logo


Stanford Logo

Leland Stanford Junior University has several primary marks, including two wordmarks, the seal, and the Block “S” with a tree. In addition to the main version, each of the marks has secondary variations.

Stanford logo meaning and history (university seal)

Stanford Logo history

The central part of the seal is occupied by the so-called Stanford tree. One of the reasons for choosing this symbol was that trees, especially coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) are one of the symbols of Palo Alto, CA, where Stanford is situated.

Contrary to a popular belief, the Stanford tree has never been the university’s official mascot. It is the official mascot of the Stanford Band, the student marching band representing university and its athletic teams.

Old wordmark Stanford Logo

Old Stanford Logo

The previous version of the signature was given in capital letters in the Sabon font. The glyphs were thinner in comparison with the current wordmark. This was the reason why the emblem was replaced – it was too thin and fine to work well digitally. The update was made by Bright, a design firm of Marina del Rey.

Current wordmark emblem Stanford

emblem Stanford

There are two basic versions of the signature: one featuring the word “Stanford” only, the other featuring the text “Stanford University.” The wordmarks are typically given in white against the red background, but a reverse and a black-and-white color scheme are also possible.

Athletic symbol Stanford

symbol Stanford

The name of the athletic teams playing for the university is Stanford Cardinal. As the name suggests, the team logo makes extensive use of cardinal – a noble shade of red (the same color as in the primary wordmark). The Stanford Cardinal logo features the block “S” that serves as the background for the Stanford tree. In the primary version of the emblem, the tree is given in green with a white outline, but there also other possible color schemes (red and white; black and white; red, black, green, and white).

Font of the Stanford Logo

The official brand guidelines state that the Stanford logo can’t be accurately reproduced with any of the existing fonts, so it is probably a hand-drawn lettering.