Get Inspired: The Best College Logo Designs

Nicole Krosnowski

Senior Designer

Need some inspiration for your new logo design? It’s never easy to come up with logos, but the higher education sector can be especially demanding. Colleges and universities have a difficult time distinguishing themselves as it is, which leaves logos looking similar, too. College logos must also speak to a highly targeted audience and manage to be professional yet welcoming.

How do you find the right balance for your higher institution? Why not check out some of the best college logo designs and get inspiration for your next branding project! Below are a few of our favorites and why they make the list.

University of Oregon

We all know the “O” in the University of Oregon’s logo because it’s big and brightly colored. What you may not know is that the “O” has meaning beyond being the first letter in Oregon. The inside of the “O” represents the college’s track, Hayward Field, and the outside represents the school’s football field, Autzen Stadium. This logo is perfect in so many ways. It’s direct, it’s bold and it holds meaning.

Clemson University

Clemson University started its rebranding efforts in the 50s, 60s and 70s as they admitted women minorities and took other steps to grow their enrollment numbers. In 1970, the large orange paw print was introduced, representing a tiger’s jagged footprint.

In fact, if you look closely at the paw print, you’ll notice that it has a small indentation on the bottom right-hand side. This isn’t a fluke - the tiger that was the subject for the print had a scar. Another cool fact: the paw print logo is tilted at a 30-degree angle to signify the 1:00 football kickoff times.

University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame has one of the most distinguishable college logos in all of America. It’s used for both academics and athletics, fulfilling the goal of being recognizable and ubiquitous. The logo itself isn’t flashy, but that’s one of its strongest points. With its straight lines and a solid blue color, it’s practically effortless. Even the Fighting Irish logo is well-designed. It’s traditional and cartoonish, yet manages to remain charming.

University of Texas

The University of Texas’ logo was launched in 1961. It’s one of the most well-known logos thanks to its simplistic design, “hook ‘em horns” and burnt orange color. Like other famous logos, the Longhorn shape ties in specifics from the school such as the Wild West setting and even the rumor that the burnt orange jerseys would better hide the football. True or not, we can all agree that the Longhorn silhouette is a remarkable representation of a great school.


What are some of the elements that these logos share? They are memorable, concise and uncluttered. They hold significance for the school and the community and work with simple but profound color palettes. No matter how you personally feel about these designs, we can all agree that they are some of the most widely recognized logos in the country. We hope they've filled you with inspiration, too!

About the Author: Nicole Krosnowski

Nicole is a Designer at SEMGeeks. She is a Jersey girl who loves to “go down the shore” and spend her time at the beach. Nicole is a creative thinker, fueled by iced coffee and innovation. She loves to stay up to date with the latest trends in fashion and technology and uses this as design inspiration. With experience in web design, digital design and advertising, she approaches each project with a designer’s careful eye and a marketer’s strategic thought process.

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