Visual identity


Our visual identity is designed to reflect the principles of our brand strategy. Our brand has been built from the bottom-up with a focus on the people working and studying here. At the University of Dundee our interdisciplinary approach to learning and teaching means inspiration comes from multiple sources, and our design system reflects the many voices and options that shape each individual.

In terms of visuals this translates into a system that has motion and energy and evokes progression, but not in an obvious A to B way. Progression is non-linear and comes from many directions. Overlaps, images that bleed off the page and stacked layers of content are all used to give an impression of progress, action and multiple influences.


There are no superfluous design features - the system uses only photography (mainly featuring people within the University) and typography (often featuring quotes directly from people within the University). Personality and mood come from the types of images and text featured, and the way they are arranged together.

Visual identity principles

  • The identity reflects our interdisciplinary approach and the multiple voices and options that shape our students and staff; influences come from a range of sources
  • Always in-motion and moving forward; we are a young and future-focused university
  • Progression is non-linear (not simply A to B)
  • Content is stacked and overlayed, featuring bleed, blurs and multiple layers
  • No superfluous design - all content comes from real people
  • Personality and mood is developed using curated imagery, quotes and composition

Content layers

The visual identity is built up using layered stacks of content to give an impression of progress, action and multiple influences from different directions. Images and text do not always need to be fully interpretable, often bleeding off the page or being partially obscured by layers above them.

1. Video ident


2. Website hero


3. Brochure


4. Environment


Working with content layers

You are encouraged to explore different ways to further the visual identity principles of overlap and multiple layers. Interesting folds, different page sizes within documents and embossing and debossing are all methods of physically ‘stacking’ content. On digital applications layers can animate over one another to build up compositions.

  • Overlayed various page sizes (figure 5)
  • Multiple folds (figure 6)
  • Digitaly animated layer stacks (figure 7)

5. Overlayed pages

Overlayed pages

6. Folds


7. Animated stacks

Animated stacks

Layout elements

Layout elements
  • 1. Shield and header text

    The shield should always be rendered in Core Blue, Highlight Colour 3 or white, the header text should be rendered in a tint of approximately 60% (exact value can vary at designers discretion).

  • 2. Focal image

    Every design should feature a main ‘focal image’, that serves as the focal point of the composition. This image should feature primary photography where possible (see section 5) and is never fully coloured with a gradient map (although it can be partially coloured if desired).

  • 3. Title layer

    The title layer sits above all other content. This is the area that contains document titles, headings, calls to action etc; the title layer must be rendered in the same colour as the background.

  • 4. Drop shadow

    Drop shadowing has been introduced to give the impression of depth. Drop shadows can be applied to any layer but should always be used sparingly. A specific drop shadow file has been supplied for use.

  • 5. Secondary images

    The secondary images can be fully coloured with gradient maps if desired. Often secondary images are used to introduce more colour or texture. Secondary images convey a sense of activity and do not need to be easily interpreted.

  • 6. Background

    The background of the design can be rendered in the background colour or any of the block colours (see section 4). If there are no images present the background can also be rendered in core blue.

Real and authentic


Captions make it clear that all our content is authentic and reinforces our peer-to-peer strategy. For this to work effectively, key information should be identified at every shoot, interview of filming session. Typical information will include (but is not limited to):

  • name
  • course / school
  • nationality
  • age
  • undergraduate / postgraduate
  • event / occasion / venue / location
  • any other relevant information that can help define the scene

Design support

For more in-depth support and guidance, please contact Creative Services.

Contact Creative Services