The Brand

Western Washington University's brand identity defines who we are. It's a dynamic force, propelling us to make waves of positive change in the world.

The brand serves as a powerful tool for communicating WWU's unique identity, values, and offerings to a range of audiences, engaging prospective students, faculty, and donors.

We urge you to utilize the valuable tips, guidelines, and resources provided on this website to maintain the strength and consistency of our brand.


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The brand of an organization—as represented by specific images and words intended to signify implicit values, ideas and personality—represents a particular experience or impression.

Sub Brand

A sub-brand is a complementary set of visual identity assets that represents a distinct group that exists as part of a larger entity.


A logo is a symbol or other design that represents an organization or brand. It communicates the brand even when it stands alone.

Identity Mark

A unique mark used for subbrands that enables them to use the organizations logo in their own brand identity.

Visual Identity

Visual identity is a collection of visual elements that serve to represent and differentiate a brand, such as a logo, brand colors, or typography.

Brand Messaging

Brand messaging is the set of practices that define how a company will deliver its value proposition and communicate its values and strengths. 

Visual Identity

Bellingham Bay surrounded by trees and buildings
Student with long, dark hair writing in a notebook in Red Square.

Brand Templates

University Marketing has developed a number of brand templates for use.

The creative services team within University Marketing can also provide design services for institution-wide efforts, initiatives, and events. To request a consultation, email

The University Seal

The university seal is used for only the most formal occasions, appearing on diplomas, formal invitations, and ceremonial documents deemed appropriate by the Office of the President.

The seal is not downloadable and may not be used as a graphic element. It should not be recreated or acquired from a web page. All uses must be reviewed and approved by University Relations and Marketing.

Brand Messaging

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Positioning Statement

For curious problem solvers, Western is a catalyst for progress that delivers transformative learning through a genuine focus on students. Western offers a collaborative of independent minds creating a better future.


"Make Waves" is our institutional tagline, used to inspire students, alumni, donors, and faculty to make their mark on the world—and give the institution a bold voice.

Western’s tagline, "Make Waves.," is to be used only with the logo lockup.

Brand Attributes

  • Academic excellence
  • Refreshingly original
  • Forward thinking
  • Versatile
  • Collaborative

The Athletics Brand

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Western students playing soccer

The Western Washington University athletics brand is designed to build a positive image for WWU Athletics that is consistent, recognizable, and respected.

Athletics is the only university program that is permitted to have its own brand standards. University Marketing and Athletics work together to ensure our institutional and athletic identities are aligned.

Learn more about the athletics brand


The athletics assets are to be used solely by WWU Athletics Department. They are not intended to be used in academic or administrative communications.

In the rare instance that an Athletics asset could be considered for use by an academic or administrative entity, that entity must first request use of the branding elements by contacting Athletics.

Frequently Asked Questions

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University offices units should not create unique logos or visual identities but follow the guidelines of this website to maintain a clear visual association with the university.

Distinct unit-level identities and differentiators are best highlighted in content and messaging, not a logo that differs from these guidelines. 

Western's offices and units, such as colleges and departments, have been authorized to use a sub-branded identity mark, and external-facing institutes may be eligible for a unique illustrative mark. Visit the logos and marks page or email for more information.

No. However, to ensure the connection to the university is clear, organizations that fall under Associated Students (AS) must follow the AS brand guidelines. The AS Communications Office is responsible for the Associated Students' organizational promotion, marketing, and public relations. For more information, visit the AS website.

Western business cards, letterhead, envelopes, notepads and stationery can be ordered through the Print and Copy Center. There are quick access, one-time use, downloadable versions on our Microsoft Office Templates page.

Promotional items (or swag) can be created and ordered by various university departments and units incorporating the WWU brand.

All entities intending to create and distribute promotional items that use the university's trademarks or brand must go through WWU’s Trademark Licensing Program, even if the proposed use does not involve the sale of the product. This includes but is not limited to apparel, promotional items, uniforms, jerseys, and marketing materials.If the marks are to be on products used for giveaways or for internal use, it is recommended that departments, offices, or programs use a licensed vendor to produce the item.

All use of WWU logos marks on licensed merchandise must follow brand guidelines as outlined in our brand guide. University Marketing cannot order promotional items on behalf of a department, but we can review your order to ensure that it meets brand standards. Email for a consultation.