Center and Institute Signatures

Getting a signature made

To request a mark for your center or instutute, contact the Repro Graphics design unit.

Centers and institutes are important to the images of research institutions since they serve as outward-facing units serving policy makers, industry leaders, donors, partners and other high profile audiences.

This system of marks is a flexible, yet uniform approach to logo signatures that allows for customization while maintaining a consistent reflection of the UC Davis visual identity. 

Center and Institute Signatures include a graphic symbol in addition to the unit name and UC Davis Wordmark. These are the only approved marks to be used to identify centers and institutes. Aside from the School and College Signatures, no other marks can attach a custom graphic symbol to the UC Davis Wordmark. 

All unit signatures for centers and institutes have set templates. All fonts, colors, size and spatial relationships are uniform and cannot be altered.

Do's and don'ts


  • Include one or two organizational levels below the UC Davis Wordmark, as with the Standard Unit Signatures. 
  • Follow the guidelines found here, under Color and Contrast in Unit Signatures for treatment of the wordmark and unit name.
  • Include a custom graphic icon in the mark if you wish. Marks and icons not created by Repro Graphics must be approved by Jay Leek.
  • If an icon is to be used, keep the design simple, clean and readable at small sizes.
  • Adhere to the UC Davis primary palette in creating the custom graphic icon, using the secondary palette as accent if necessary. Some icons may suggest using the secondary palette in a dominant role. Such instances will be taken under advisement when Strategic Communications reviews for approval.
  • Icons should reflect the activity of the unit they represent logically, but not necessarily literally. Metaphorical and symbolic icons are often more successful than literal ones, but the relationship should be easy to explain and understand.
  • Contact Repro Graphics about having a signature created. 


  • Ampersands (&) shall NOT be used in unit signatures.
  • Alter size relationships or aspect ratios of the type or UC Davis Wordmark.
  • Icons, if used, should not contain words or characters.

Options and hierarchy

Layout options for Center and Institute Signatures include:

  • Flush-left or centered
  • One to two levels of hierarchy beneath the UC Davis Wordmark
  • Flexible area to the left of flush-left marks and above centered marks in which to incorporate a graphic symbol of any shape. Rectangular and circular shapes are pictured, but there are no specific shape requirements beyond relative size and simplicity.

examples of Center and Institute Signatures

Notes on hierarchy: 

Centers and institutes, like other units, can use a flexible hierarchy. In this fictitious scenario, the Center for Clarity and Comprehension exists within the Institute for Audience-first Design. These two units could be represented in a number of ways:

They can have separate identities without reference to their organizational relationship.

examples showing hierarchy options in Center and Institute Signatures

Or, with an inverted hierarchy, a sub-unit can have its own identity but reference its parent unit to provide the audience with context.

examples showing hierarchy options in Center and Institute Signatures

Parent and sub-units can also share a single identity. They retain discrete names, but they can still cross-reference in the third line. This approach is helpful when units want an audience to identify them as related, OR when an audience may expect that there is a relationship. In the latter instance, not referencing the relationship could create confusion.

examples showing hierarchy options in Center and Institute Signatures