Visual System

Building on our brand strategy, we developed a visual system to express our identity and visually strengthen the UCSF story. Our visual system is a series of building blocks, that, when used together, evoke emotions and create connections with our audience. This system of elements is designed to be flexible — so each entity can express its personality while still looking like part of the UCSF family. Consistent use of the visual system helps define and enhance the UCSF brand experience. Consistency is critical to the success of the UCSF brand.


Elements for Print and Web

The UCSF visual system is a series of building blocks, that when used together, creates a consistent look and feel that embodies the UCSF brand. Elements of the UCSF visual system include logo, type, color and direction for photography. In addition, the system offers editorial expressions that support our brand positioning, and a graphic system to put all of the building blocks together. The following sections provide guidance on how to use each element of the system. When used properly, the system provides a solid foundation for telling the UCSF story in a visually compelling way.


It is critical that all UCSF materials and communications — both print and web — look like they come from the same place. This helps our audiences recognize the full power and promise of UCSF. Consistency is the key to awareness, preference and ultimately loyalty.

related resources

NEW: Download a PDF (5.5MB) of the new UCSF Health and Benioff Children's Hospitals visual brand guidelines.

PDF icon UCSFHealth_BrandGuide_7.24.17.pdf


Updated guidelines available. Download a PDF (39MB) of the UCSF brand guidelines.

PDF iconUCSF_Brand Guidelines_v3_20170623.pdf


Download a PDF (2.2MB) of the UCSF Visual Communications Quick Guide. 

PDF iconUCSF-VisCom-QuickGuide_Jan2017_FNL.pdf


Before initiating a new communications project, please fill out a creative brief. Identifying your objective, audience, and message will help you to create stronger, more effective communications. PDF iconCreative Brief Template.pdf


The family of UCSF logos collectively represents our brand. It is made up of 3 core areas: master brand, campus and clinical.

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Typography helps to unify messaging and create familiarity.

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The new color palette is flexible and made of bold, bright colors. New: color use specific to interactive applications now available.

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Photography is a widely used and influential brand element. Our system is built upon three pillars of expression: emotion, environment and science.

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editorial expression

Editorial expressions create visual interest while highlighting key themes in our brand story and communications.

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The graphic system creates a framework for pairing multiple elements in the visual system together.

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