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The Challenge

Every year NYU welcomes its alumni back to New York to celebrate and reminisce. The alumni department asked us to breathe new life into the event by creating a vibrant visual identity specifically for the weekend. The challenge was to make something that looked fresh but still felt like it’s a part of the NYU family.

What We Did:

  • Visual identity development
  • Logo design
  • Print design

The Solution

We immediately zeroed in on the U in NYU and played with it’s double meaning. Use of the letter “U” to represent the word “you” is common vernacular in today’s society and easily understood by generations past and present. The letter “U” also makes a nice connection – both visually and also audibly – to the “U” in “NYU.”

The simplicity of “U + NYU” also made this direction more personal. As alumni think back to their days as NYU students, when it was just ‘you and NYU,’ they will remember their closest friends, favorite hangouts, mountaintop achievements and character-shaping challenges. These are the experiences that have made each individual graduate the person he or she is today – someone who belongs to the Violet Pride Community, and always will.

The main visual mark uses the NYC skyline overlaid with icons representing the various disciplines offered at the university.

Since the NYU campus is spread out over NYC, it was hard to find a single landmark that represented the university. We settled on the iconic Washington square monument which is recognizable to both New Yorkers and alumni alike.


To help with way-finding through the multitude of events and venues throughout the day, we proposed using color combinations to represent various categories of information, e.g. different departments or graduation classes.

The aim of the annual event is to reinforce the pride alumni feel towards their university so we proposed social ads that would tap into nostalgia as well as highlight NYU’s history.

A mockup of how we proposed using Tweets to promote the event by highlighting alumni’s contribution to society.

Of course we had to show how the visual identity would look on a variety of swag. Totes, T-shirts, coffee mugs oh my.

The final mark stayed really close to our proposed design choosing only to move the “+” out of the NYU name.

We ended up creating variations with different taglines for the different audiences of the event.