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The La Jolla Project

Brand Story

Why Brand Matters

Brand is more than a visual system with logos, colors and typography. It’s a reflection of campus essence and how UC San Diego stakeholders feel about the institution. What is UC San Diego? What comes to mind when you think about it?

A consistent brand for UC San Diego helps define and reinforce who we are. It supports the story of why we're different and why what we do matters. We communicate the brand by how we position the campus, create consistent message platforms for our broad publics and deploy the graphic system across print and online channels.

The brand guidelines are intended as a resource tool. They won't answer all questions, but instead provide a framework for you to shape your communications.


At UC San Diego our most cherished tradition is challenging tradition.

There are a lot of universities that have been around longer than we have. And, while they may be steeped in tradition, we prefer not to be too anchored to the past. The mindset and approaches that differentiate us from traditional institutions are the very same things that we see as an advantage—allowing us to break rules, experiment and stare setbacks in the face without flinching. To us, these are the stepping stones on the path toward groundbreaking.

What we do

We provide fresh thinking that drives innovation far beyond the walls of our campus, and we do it in ways that other universities can’t.

How we do it

We push boundaries, challenge expectations and redefine conventional wisdom. We do not settle. And we’re not afraid to learn from our mistakes along the way.

Why we do it

We care deeply about our community, our nation and the world—and we believe that the best way to make them better is to apply our inquisitive, passionate, and progressive approaches to education, research, and healthcare.

Key Strengths: Who We Are

We’re a member of a storied university system, but we’re a prestigious and distinctive powerhouse in our own right.

We are rebellious

Our campus is different. Our culture is different. Our faculty is different. So it’s no wonder that so many of our students become standouts in their chosen fields.

We are nimble

Our entrepreneurial attitude, edgy creativity, and high energy keep us ahead of trends in education—providing truly unique opportunities for our students, staff and faculty.

We are the future

The world is tired of too much tradition, and so is UC San Diego. It’s no wonder we look to our innovators and disruptors, and pride ourselves in fresh, results-oriented thinking.

We are brave

We don’t fear failure. We embrace it as a necessary byproduct of innovation. We believe that when we empower our students with the courage to create, they’ll end up shocking the world.

About UC San Diego

At the University of California San Diego, a culture of risk-taking, collaboration and innovation emerged early on. Established in 1960, UC San Diego has been shaped by exceptional scholars who aren't afraid to push boundaries, challenge expectations and redefine conventional wisdom in order to make our world better. The only criterion our founders had for their campus was that it must be distinctive—and being experimental has been the norm since day one.

First and foremost, we are a university devoted to exceptional education. We recruit the best scholars to give the highest quality learning to the most academically talented and inquisitive students in the world. This emphasis on excellence results in passionate and well-rounded graduates, many of whom go on to become leading experts and contributors in their fields.

We are also passionate about a people- and service-oriented culture. This applies to every venture we undertake, but on the most basic level, it applies to our campus. Everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed. That is why our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and interdisciplinary collaboration informs and shapes our thinking and actions across the board.

But above all, we are risk-takers. It’s infused in our institutional DNA. We were founded as an experimental campus and, in the most important ways, that is exactly what we have remained. As a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public institution accessible to all, UC San Diego empowers all in our community with the courage to create and the tools to transform.