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Design Inspiration

The Unbreakable Comeback

The design of the new site was inspired by NYU's history, which is marked by resilience and resurgence.

"NYU has been able to position itself as one of the leading institutions in the world…[coming back] from the brink of bankruptcy…to reassemble, find a mission, [and] be able to convince a lot of people…[to] join the march. I don't know how many institutions have…big dreams, and then…execute."
–Anthony Welters, NYU LAW '77, NYU TRUSTEE

We listened to the way that the NYU community described itself and found a vernacular that suited that story: language like gritty, scrappy, tenacious, disciplined, and daring. The new design reflects this outlook, with a strong connection to where we came from and a clear vision of where we are going.

Inspiration Words

Graphic Design and Photography

Color Palette and Photography

New shades of NYU's distinctive violet have been introduced to create a focused, clear, and unified color palette. The color violet was likely drawn from the violet patches planted beneath the buttresses of the old buildings on the original Washington Square Campus some 180 years ago. Our research revealed that most members of the NYU community remember the color violet over the torch as the most recognizable element of NYU's visual presence.

Color Palette and Photography

The urban spaces that NYU comprises are bustling and vibrant—full of opportunity and inspiration. To capture that energy, images on will emphasize movement and depth.


gotham typeface

Mercury Typeface

Gotham is an assertive typeface, lacking embellishment but not sophistication. Inspired by the lettering above Port Authority Bus Terminal, it is anchored to the past, but still evokes a modernist spirit of striving toward improvement and the reshaping of one's environment. It will be used for headlines, titles, and paragraph text.

Mercury is a serif typeface that is elegant but also hard-working and space-efficient. It will be introduced for call-out text and some page subheadings.