University of Wisconsin Logo

University of Wisconsin logoUniversity of Wisconsin Logo PNG

The University of Wisconsin–Madison was established in 1848. Today, it is a public research university. It is located in Madison, Wisconsin.

Meaning and history

University of Wisconsin Logo history

The university’s brand identity consists of three parts. Firstly, there is the primary UW–Madison logo (the institutional logo). Also, there are the seal and a set of athletic logos.

???? – 2000

University of Wisconsin Logo old


The old logo of the University of Wisconsin-Madison featured a composition, based on an elegant image of a burgundy building with tall columns. The drawing was placed on a plain white background and accompanied by a black three-leveled inscription in  a sophisticated font with flared sharpened ends of the bars.

2000 – 2001

University of Wisconsin Logo 2000

The redesign of 2000 has removed a graphical part from the primary version of the university’s logo, keeping only a three-leveled lettering, with the characters turning burgundy and the layers being separated from each other by thin black horizontal lines. The typeface of the inscription was adopted from the previous version of the badge.

2001 – 2005

University of Wisconsin Logo 2001

In 2001 the logo of the University of Wisconsin-Madison was redrawn again. The lettering got refined, with only the middle line staying burgundy, and the top and bottom ones turning black. The elegant cursive “Of” was placed across the thin horizontal line, bringing in sophistication and lightness. On the left from the text part of the badge, the new emblem was placed. It was an oval crest in gold and burgundy with thin black outlines and a bold white “W” in the middle.

2005 – now

University of Wisconsin logo

The redesign of 2005 has brightened up the color palette of the University of Wisconsin-Madison visual identity and reorganized the composition, placing the emblem above the lettering, which was rewritten in two lines, with the enlarged burgundy “Wisconsin” in a recognizable font, underlined by a small capitalized “University of Wisconsin-Madison” in black.

Institutional logo

The primary Wisconsin logo comprises the “W” crest, the “Wisconsin” wordmark, and the full name of the institution.

The “W” is rather long and narrow (much narrower, for instance, than the initial in the word “Wisconsin” below). Another distinctive feature of the glyph is the high central part – it’s higher than the two diagonal bars on the sides. The white glyph is placed inside a red shape vaguely reminiscent of the heart. The heart, in its turn, is housed inside a decorative brown frame.

The word “Wisconsin” features a type with subtle serifs and unique elements. The full name of the university, though, is set in a simpler, generic sans. Both are perfectly legible.

While this structure has been used since the late 1980s, you can trace the origins even farther, to 1929. It was then that the iconic “W” crest was introduced, which explains its somewhat dated style, in comparison with the minimalist modern logos. The emblem was inspired by one of the distinctive architectural elements on the Wisconsin Field House.

Of course, the university had to modify the crest to make it better legible no matter whether it is shown on digital screens or other media and no matter what size it is.

In addition to the vertical format, where the crest is placed above the lettering, there is also a horizontal version, in which the crest is placed to the left of the lettering.


University of Wisconsin Seal

The UW’s seal is nicknamed the Numen Lumen. Its use is restricted to official administrative materials, such as certificates, legal documents, awards, stationery watermarks, etc.
The seal symbolizes “the long-standing relationship between the state of Wisconsin and its public universities,” according to the UW.
The centerpiece of the seal is an open eye. The semi-circle with the rays above it resembles both the sun and an open book. In between the “rays” (or pages), there are the letters forming the university’s motto in Latin, “Numen Lumen” (“Divine light”).
The eye and the sun are encircled by the writing “University of Wisconsin-Madison” in a traditional serif typeface. The border of the circle features a rope pattern.

Athletic logos

University of Wisconsin Athletic logo

Over its long history, the Wisconsin Badgers have gone through 15-20 different designs. Eventually, in 1990, a Rayovac artist Rick Suchanek created the so-called Motion W, which features a tail at the back of the emblem.
In addition to the Motion W, the UW athletics also uses materials showcasing the official mascot, Buckingham U. Badger (better known as Bucky Badger).


The word “Wisconsin” in the main logo features a traditional serif font called Friz Quadrata. Also, the main University of Wisconsin–Madison logo, as well as secondary departmental logos, uses the sans serif Lato type.


The main colors are white and the so-called Badger red (cardinal red: CMYK: 3, 100, 66, 12; Pantone: PMS 200). You can also see brown and black in the Wisconsin logo.
In addition to the full-color version, there are also black, red, and white outline variations.