PACIFIC LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY BRAND GUIDELINES

PLU has a powerful collective story to tell.

THE INTRO

At PLU, caring means more than kindness and consideration. It means a bold commitment to expanding well-being, opportunity, and justice. It’s a community-wide commitment to care for each other and for our neighbors both down the street and around the world. The PLU experience allows students’ ambition to blossom into purpose, their skills to sharpen into tools, and their caring to become a transformative force.

In today’s world, with so many colleges and universities competing for prospective students’ attention, it is more critical than ever that we present our values and offerings in a distinctive way by clearly positioning ourselves as a unique, relevant higher education institution.

Learn more about the brand story and find tips about how to use it.

OUR STORY

The brand story is the narrative that conveys the spirit of the PLU community to existing and new audiences. It affirms the important emotional connection that helps our reputation leave a lasting impression. The language is inspired by our mission as well as the experiences and outcomes of attending PLU.

The future is unpredictable, which is why higher education should equip you with the ability to be flexible and innovate. It must instill the determination needed to understand a problem, and explore solutions. Education should nurture creativity, so you can find new ways to turn smart ideas into reality. But these traits and skills, while valuable, can only be set into motion by one thing: transformative care. 

 

Pacific Lutheran University is the small, private college where caring means more than kindness and consideration — it means a bold commitment to expanding well-being, opportunity, and justice. This commitment derives from our Lutheran heritage, and it defines our faculty and staff who work to create an environment where learners feel heard, and valued. It characterizes our student body, who aren’t afraid to do things differently to leave the world better than they found it. Caring motivates us to question paradigms and draw new connections in pursuit of truth, constantly challenging ourselves and the world we love to be better for our neighbors — those down the street, and thousands of miles away. PLU is more than a campus full of individuals pursuing their dreams — we’re a community of seekers, trailblazers, creators, and reformers who know we can accomplish more together than apart. 

 

With an eye towards what’s possible and our feet on the ground, we see a future where care lies at the heart of every beneficial technological innovation, policy reform, and social movement that changes the way we live. The students we nurture and inspire become the minds and hearts driving that future. The PLU experience allows their ambition to blossom into purpose, their skills to sharpen into tools, and their caring to become a transformative force.

OUR MISSION

Our mission statement has long been at the heart of the story we tell about PLU and it remains an important element of our core brand. Use the mission statement, in particular, when you are describing PLU’s purpose.

“PLU seeks to educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care — for other people, for their communities and for the Earth.”

The traits all Lutes — students, faculty, staff, alumni — embody every day.

THE ATTRIBUTES

Use this language in campus signage, new student materials, and anywhere else you want to share what it means to be a Lute.

LUTES ASK TOUGH QUESTIONS.

We seek opportunities in the present to improve the future, asking “why are things the way they are — could they be better?” We then listen hard for unexpected answers that turn into just and sustainable solutions.

LUTES MAKE IT HAPPEN.

From the classroom to the workforce, we’re doers who investigate, teach, create, serve, and play — with and for our neighbors down the street and those around the globe.

LUTES CENTER COMMUNITY.

We foster belonging by engaging in meaningful dialogue, seeking authenticity, building connections, and opening minds to see community in new, expansive ways.

LUTES EMBRACE COMPLEXITY.

The challenges of our lifetime are complicated — and so are the people surrounding them. We bring our whole, imperfect selves to the table every day, dedicating our passions and skills to finding innovative ways to meet the moment.

LUTES OPEN DOORS.

We know that nothing worth doing is done alone. When we build something new, we open the door for others to join us. And when we flourish, we hold the door open for those who come after us.

ATTRIBUTES

ATTRIBUTES IN ACTION!

The five attributes and their descriptions can be used directly in our marketing and communications, but also should guide the choices we make about what stories to tell about PLU. For example, The Marketing & Communications will be using the attributes as brand loadstars to help inform our social media curation choices.

ATTRIBUTE:

Lutes Ask Tough Questions

View Post on Instagram

ATTRIBUTE:

Lutes Make It Happen

View Post on Twitter

ATTRIBUTE:

Lutes Open Doors

View Post on PLU News

ATTRIBUTE:

Lutes Center Community

View Post on Twitter

ATTRIBUTE:

Lutes Make It Happen

View Post on Instagram

INTERCONNECTED

STATEMENTS & PLANS

For more on the roots of PLU's identity and messaging, check out the following values and plans that inform our work.

Academic Identity Statement

Core Elements in Lutheran Higher Education

Diversity & Inclusion

University Strategic Plan

The visual identity we’ve developed stands out in the higher education landscape

VISUAL IDENTITY

Updates to our logo make it easier for us to leave our mark across platforms and materials.

This is the primary set of logos for the PLU brand. The “supportive L” communicates the caring and welcoming community that the university seeks to foster, as the L cradles the letter U.

VISUAL IDENTITY

TYPOGRAPHY

Using the same fonts throughout all materials is a critical element of building a consistent visual style. When creating PLU materials for print or web, always use Gotham and Aleo.

VISUAL IDENTITY

COLOR PALETTE

Color captures attention and what is most memorable about a brand’s visual identity. Black and gold will always be the first two colors of our brand and these are the specific color codes we’ll use for our brand.

VISUAL IDENTITY

“SENSE OF PLACE” TAPESTRY

To communicate the new brand attributes and the “sense of place” that makes PLU unique use a tapestry of iconic elements. It is a mix of whimsical, such as tree rings and raindrops, and literal elements seen around campus, such as the clock tower and Mt. Rainier.

 

The main use of the tapestry is to add texture over top photos or color backgrounds. Each element may be pulled out and used on its own.

VISUAL IDENTITY

SAMPLE APPLICATIONS

To illustrate how the various elements come together here is a variety of sample applications.

BROCHURES
BANNERS
LOCKERS
T-SHIRTS
HATS

Style Guide

For additional details about tips about all of these elements please download the new PLU brand style guide.

Get the PDF