UBC Brand Story

Who we are.

What we believe.

Our Story.

UBC Brand Story

UBC is an inspiring place, where the freedom to pursue open thinking leads to ideas that change the world.

Since 1915, UBC has evolved into a leading research university that is now ranked as one of the top 20 public universities in the world. As our influence and global community grows, so does our obligation to maintain excellent brand standards.

Our brand pillars — an inspiring place, open thinking, and freedom to be — are synonymous with who we are and what we believe.

Our brand conviction gives dimension to these values and underpins how we show up in the world.

Brand Conviction

Explore the brand conviction


Where do we come from?

We were born from an unflinching will to build a provincial university whose accomplishments would far exceed our provincial boundaries. Early efforts to establish regional BC campuses of McGill University and University of Toronto failed to take hold. This was due in large part to visionaries who wanted to create an institution unique to BC.


What are our ambitions?

To be a globally recognized and globally connected university whose research and thinking changes the world.


Where is our world going?

Universities are facing increasing pressures: Governments are scrutinizing spending and adjusting funding. A shifting demographic signals new student recruiting priorities. Disruptive technologies are impacting delivery of content and the role of the campus. Both learners’ and employers’ expectations of post-secondary institutions have never been higher. Confusion and competition reigns.


What is the tension we resolve?

UBC combines research and teaching excellence of Tier One universities with innovation and entrepreneurship generated by the discovery of new knowledge. Challenging convention at every turn, we welcome new thinking but understand the need for balance between academic responsibilities and the commercial realities of today’s economy. Whether you are joining us for an undergraduate degree, launching a start-up or pursuing postgraduate research, our unique perspective makes the difference.


Who are we for? Who are our influencers and advocates?

UBC is for people who want to pursue a new way of thinking. Our students and alumni believe in our vision and the change we’re creating in the world. The broader population of BC views us as a Tier One institution whose faculty and alumni go on to do great things in the world.


What experience do we enable?

There is no ‘one way.’ Our openness to explore thinking from all perspectives enables ideas that can change the world. Faculty and students bring their own viewpoints, building to a common vision that makes us unique in relation to other schools in our competitive set. ‘It is yours’ (Tuum Est) to make me your own. We provide the open environment to do it.


What are we like?

We embrace new thinking and innovation. We are intensively collaborative and take risks. We challenge the status quo. And we’re not afraid of the failures that might result. We’re open, bold, inspiring and globally connected.


What makes us remarkable?

We were born from ‘the youngest city on Earth’ with a decidedly West Coast point of view. We’re open to influences from all over the world and welcome different perspectives.


What do we fight for?

Freedom to pursue open thinking that can change the world.

At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world. How we tell this story across all of the touchpoints our audience has with us should connect emotionally to the heart of our pioneering history and West Coast spirit.

Our story should spark a curiosity about the world our audience wants to explore with us.

Visual Identity

Visual Identity

Our Identity Creates a Consistent Presence.

How do we Create Consistency?


A spirit of leadership. A place where visual presentation translates to a comprehensive standard of excellence. A feeling of connection and affinity that connects us around the world.

UBC’s visual identity consist of elements — a wordmark, a logo, colour and typography — that together contain an inspired mission set forth by our first president, Frank F. Wesbrook, while simultaneously promising a future of discovery and learning. How we present this identity to our internal and external audiences has remarkable significance. It serves as a ‘north star’ to those far away and as a touchstone that guides us across the many mediums we inhabit as 21st-century communicators.

The rigorous application of a set of standards and specificity of colour, shape, form and function demonstrate our commitment to excellence while strengthening our reputation as a leading university. Our visual identity tells the world who we are and what we will be.






An inspiring place, where the freedom to pursue open thinking leads to ideas that change the world. A spirit of openness to make UBC yours. A feeling of possibility and unbounded discovery.

Many stories have been told about who we are. In our earliest days, the stories were about creating a university for the people of British Columbia. Over the past century, the UBC story has grown to include a global community, where students, faculty and staff come from all over the world to study, learn and live. Yet a constant theme that runs through our stories is one of bold entrepreneurship inspired by our motto Tuum Est (it is yours).

Today, our words shape our identity, beliefs and message to the world. Our voice holds an intention that comes through in every communication we make. Through these, we tell a story that makes a difference in the world.

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A place where people have the freedom to pursue ideas that can change the world. A spirit of curiosity, learning and discovery. A feeling that anything is possible.

Our photographs reveal a university that is grounded in its traditions while reaching for and creating a better future for the world. Our photographs tell a human story that always features the people of UBC as their central character. Every photograph we take is an opportunity for our entrepreneurial spirit to shine through.

UBC is a place of stunning vistas and its campus environments routinely provide ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ moments for students, staff, faculty and visitors. But our saturated BC sunsets shouldn’t outshine our people — their exuberant energy and thoughtful introspection in relation to the environment is what sets our photographs apart. Their story is what is unique to UBC and what provides a shortcut to the heart that connects us to our audience.

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Audio & Video

Audio & Video




A spirit of curiosity, learning and discovery. A feeling that UBC is yours to create. A place where unconventional thinking leads to discoveries that change the world.

UBC videos capture stories with a global perspective but feel relaxed and modern in attitude. Our videos capture passionate, grounded people who work hard to achieve great things. Through our people, UBC is seen as a place where anything is possible.

UBC videos capture stories that feel West Coast but have a global perspective. They should explore moments in time that linger in the memory yet challenge the viewer to think in a new way.

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A spirit of creativity. A feeling of trust and tradition. A place where the UBC identity supports, inspires and delights people in their experience of our campus environments and beyond.

Communications extend into our physical environment every day. At UBC, we use the physical environment as a canvas to link our offline stories with our online community. Our external signage and environmental graphics bring dimension to the brand and help guide and organize human and vehicle traffic while imparting a feeling of trust and order in our busy campus environments.

Environmental graphics bring dimension to the brand in the physical environment in creative ways as well. We want to engage our staff, student, faculty and visitors in an animated experience when they travel through our campuses, come by our tables at conferences, participate in UBC events, or see our promotions as they commute on a bus, read a newspaper or sort their recycling.

Our story extends into the physical space and consistently exemplifies the brand identity in any physical medium.

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