The George Washington University Name, Logo, Seal, and Color Usage

Policy Summary

Proper usage of the George Washington University name, logos, seal, and colors is important to the image and integrity of the university.  All GW schools, departments and organizations must use the university’s logos and follow this policy and the GW Identity Standards & Guidelines to ensure that all entities at the university are presented in a unified visual style.   

Similarly, non-GW entities may only use the GW logos with permission granted by a sponsoring department and the Office of Communications and Marketing in coordination with the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel and the Office of Business Services.  These entities also are bound by the following policy and procedures for proper usage.   

The purpose of this policy is to support proper usage of the George Washington University’s name, logo, seal and colors across all media, including print, web and broadcast. 

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Students
  • Outside entities authorized to use the university’s logos with permission


The GW Identity Standards & Guidelines (the Guidelines) provide key guidance on how the university’s name, logos, and seal should be presented, as well as guidance for the university’s overall brand identity. The necessary procedures to maintain a consistent brand identity are found in the Guidelines.  

Name and Acronym:  

When writing about or referring to the university, please observe the following rules:  

  • The university’s proper name is "the George Washington University.” 
  • The "the" should only be capitalized at the beginning of a headline or sentence. In all other instances "the" can be lowercase.  
  • As an acronym always use "GW" and never "GWU." But only use “GW” when preceded by the full name of the university.  
  • "George Washington" can be used to refer to the university, but only in cases where it is clear that the reference is to the university and not the person (e.g., George Washington is a university where faculty and students not only study the world, but work to change it).  

GW Logo Usage:  

There is a full suite of the George Washington University's institutional logos. The suite is comprised of four individual logos that each serve a specific purpose.

In addition to the institutional logos, there are also school, center, institute and departmental logos that can be used by the various entities across the university. 

The role and usage of each logo is explained in the Guidelines. Using these logos consistently ensures that we build equity and recognition for our brand.  

For a full explanation of the use of the logos please refer to the Guidelines.   

Color Specifications:  

The color palette is essential to the George Washington University. Consistency and proper usage of the palette protects and strengthens the brand.  

For a full list of colors and usage, please refer to the Color Palette Section of the Guidelines.   

University Seal Usage:  

The University Seal is also a symbol that represents the institution. Use of the University Seal is very limited and should only be used for official documents or by the Office of the President. All other uses must be approved by Communications and Marketing.   

Related Information


Contact Phone Number Email Address
Communications and Marketing 202-994-1195  [email protected]


Responsible University Official: Vice President for Communications and Marketing
Responsible Office: Communications and Marketing

Noncompliance with this policy can be reported through this website.