Living Our Brand


It’s more than a logo, a slogan, a mascot, or an ad campaign. A brand is an enduring platform that articulates an organization’s unique identity and point of view. It helps an organization connect with many broad, diverse communities through informed and relevant interactions. At Pitt, our brand focuses on an authentic and memorable platform that captures the beautiful grit of our city, which is reflected in the drive of our students. This document defines each component of our brand to illustrate who The University of Pittsburgh is and why we matter to the world. This is how we tell our story.


  • The promise we make to our audiences
  • The essence of our organization
  • The experience we create
  • The personality we convey
  • The message we deliver
  • The identity we express


As humans, our opinions form very quickly—and they lend heavy influence to the decisions we make. This is why it’s critical for Pitt to have positive and meaningful interactions with our audiences as often as possible. The elements in this document work together to ensure that every interaction conveys a consistent and compelling story about Pitt. The principles apply to all of us, and to every interaction, and to every piece of communication.

This document is designed to help you make decisions in support of our story. There’s a deeply informed rationale to everything included—every visual and verbal decision. It reflects the thought process that went into creating the brand and offers guidance for making the brand work to help you achieve even greater success.


Pitt people are brand ambassadors. They live and tell the stories that bring the University of Pittsburgh to life. Student experiences, faculty thought leadership, staff strength, alumni legacies – all of our people have a unique story to tell. Campus communicators are well positioned to gather those stories and find compelling ways to share broadly. The Office of University Communications wants to promote Pitt through our stories in a cohesive way. After all, a rising tide raises all ships.


This work started with research with you – Pitt staff, faculty, students and alumni. Then we expanded our reach into markets outside Pittsburgh. Through all of this research, which included interviews, surveys, and focus groups, we spoke to more than 5,000 people. And what we learned is that we have a strong personality and if we speak with one cohesive voice, we will rise to the top of minds and rankings alike.