University visual identity

In other languages

Emblem, logotype, and university color

The emblem, logotype, and university color displayed on this page constitute Kyoto University's visual identity elements.

Visual identity elements

Use of these digital assets is subject to the rules specified in the Kyoto University Visual Identity Guidebook (link below).


The emblem combines a picture of Kyoto University's symbolic camphor tree, standing in front of the Clock Tower, with a logotype element featuring the Chinese characters for "university". The latter dates to before World War II (when the institution was known as Kyoto Imperial University).

The original emblem design was created circa 1950 by a KyotoU employee, Rokuro Ogawa, of the General Affairs Division. It was adopted as the symbol of the University administration, and used primarily on printed materials and stationary, such as letterhead.

Later, as Kyoto University's increasingly active international engagement underscored the need for an official symbol representing the entire institution, a team of design specialists worked on an emblem based on Ogawa's work, resulting in a design that was approved in November 1990 by the University Council and has since been widely used in the institution's public relations materials.

The present emblem reflects two subsequent minor revisions, one in 2009 and the other 2018, both involving changes in shape and color.


Kanji (vertical)

Kanji (horizontal)


The English logotype was designed in consideration of readability and balance when used in combination with the kanji logotype. The sans-serif-like typeface — characterized by strong vertical lines, and sharp, elegant serifs — is meant to evoke Kyoto University's distinctive culture of academic freedom and research excellence, in addition to being aesthetically compatible with the Japanese logotypes' Mincho typeface.

University color

In 1920, then Kyoto Imperial University and the Imperial University of Tokyo competed in their first regatta on the Seta River. As with Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England, Kyoto and Tokyo chose dark and light blue for their team colors. The KyotoU team's dark blue, chosen by drawing lots, is called nousei (濃青), and to this day has served to represent the University and its sports associations.

Kyoto University Visual Identity Guidebook

Click here to download the PDF version:
Kyoto University Visual Identity Guidebook (First Edition, published 1 October 2018)

Resources for KyotoU employees (in Japanese)

  • Downloadable visual elements
    On the above page, click on "PNG", "SVG", or "Illustrator形式" to start a download. All files are compressed. Usage must be approved by Kyoto University.
  • Usage examples and templates
    This page contains examples and templates for using the visual elements on name cards and letterheads, as well as a link to "アプリケーションデザインカタログ", or Kyoto University Visual Identity Design Examples (PDF, in Japanese and English).


Public Relations Division, External Affairs Department, Kyoto University
Email: kohho52* (replace * with @)

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