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Communications and Public Affairs


Our widely recognizable family of logos reflects the tradition, focus and spirit of the University of South Carolina.

A Refreshed Approach for a Historic Identity
The university's refreshed brand platform will begin to be rolled out in the spring of 2019. Big updates in message development, visual identity, brand tools and more are currently in production and will come online in the toolbox throughout the semester.

In order for the University of South Carolina to compete successfully for students, faculty members and support, we have built a strong identity that distinguishes us from other institutions and projects our stature as South Carolina's flagship university. When used appropriately, the university logo graphically represents our characteristics and builds brand awareness and brand equity.

For those reasons it is critical that the four primary logos used by the university — the academic logo, tail feathers, seal and athletic logo — be used properly and within accepted guidelines. University logos should never be modified, altered, stretched or distorted in any way. What's more, permission to use the University of South Carolina's athletic and spirit symbols must be approved through the university's Office of Trademarks and Licensing. Private vendors wishing to use logos on salable merchandise must contact Collegiate Licensing for rights and terms of use.

Academic Logo

  • Color Variations

The symbolic elements of our logo relate to the heritage and statewide impact of our eight-campus university system. The gates represent the opportunities provided by higher education and are a direct architectural link to the original campus Horseshoe. The tree represents knowledge and stability and ties the school closely to the state of South Carolina to underscore our position as the state's flagship institution.

Learn about accepted variations of the logo. »

Download the logo [zip]


Academic Companion Logos

  • Companion Logos

To express their leadership within the system, Columbia campus colleges and schools, senior and regional campuses, and universitywide centers and upper administrative units each have their own companion logo. Companion logos include the name of the campus, college, school or center typeset below the University of South Carolina.

These logos should not be re-created or modified. Additional logos are not permitted. Other campus entities are encouraged to use typeset treatments to identify themselves within the university brand and visual identity guidelines.


  • Tail feathers

    Recognized all over the country for its tenacity, the Fighting Gamecock embodies the never-give-up spirit of Gamecock Nation. The Gamecock’s dynamic feathers are used as a graphic element to symbolize USC’s passion and reflect the vitality in all we do.

    Learn about usage of the logo »

    Download the graphic [zip]

  • tail feathers


The university seal, which dates back to 1803, quotes the Latin poet Ovid, "Emollit Mores Nec Sinit Esse Feros," which is translated as "Learning humanizes character and does not permit it to be cruel." Beneath the words are Liberty and the goddess of wisdom, Minerva, who bears a shield decorated with the South Carolina state seal. The words and image remind us that a university education builds both intellect and character. The Latin inscription below the figures is the school name and founding year of 1801.

The seal identifies formal university occasions such as commencement and board matters. Use of the seal requires permission from the secretary of the Board of Trustees. 

Spirit Logos

The university has three spirit logos that are frequently used in material related to student activities, athletic teams and events. The Gamecock is the symbol for University of South Carolina athletics. The Gamecock may appear alone or in combination with the traditional Block C. Use of the Block C and Gamecock logo must be approved by the Office of Trademarks and Licensing. If you have a non-athletic use, consider using the tail feathers graphic. Last but not least, the university's official and very popular mascot is Cocky