On This Page: Strategic Drivers | Brand Essence | Brand Pillars | NYU’s Personality | NYU Brand Guidelines | NYU Content Strategy | Inclusion and Accessibility

Our brand strategy is the cornerstone for all verbal and visual guidance for NYU, and it is the result of delving into what sets the university apart. NYU has a strong set of values that, while foundational, are not unique. What is unique is how we express and act upon these values. Research was conducted to better understand the perception of NYU, and distinguishing insights were used to inform a set of strategic drivers, our brand essence, pillars, and personality. The resulting strategy can be used to communicate to internal and external audiences of all kinds.

Strategic Drivers

We distilled the research findings into four distinguishing insights—strategic drivers—to drive the university narrative and messaging platform.

  1. Leverage the power and benefits of NYU’s vibrant urban locations to enhance academic prestige.
  2. Increase associations with academic rigor and impact.
  3. Lean into the archetype of the independent, driven intellectual.
  4. Continue to accentuate NYU’s strength and reputation as a global institution.

Brand Essence

Our brand essence is a phrase that captures the heart of the messaging platform in one thought. It is the concept from which the rest of our thinking stems. The brand essence is never explicitly articulated in communications but our audiences should feel it.

Owning Our Place at the Center of Everything

“Owning our place...”

In reputation the research shows NYU is near the top of many people’s lists, clustered with just a few other prestigious liberal arts universities. Forging a distinctive space of its own within this set is NYU’s goal. Much like the people who make up the NYU community, the institution values embracing diverse backgrounds and perspectives and taking an independent stance in the world.

“...at the center of everything”

From its heart in New York City, NYU has built its presence in more than a dozen cities worldwide that possess similar traits: action, energy, strength, opportunity, and thought leadership. This unmatched urban network means NYU and its people are always where the world’s big ideas are being discussed, fostering innovation. Incomparable challenges exist alongside unrivaled opportunities here, but like our cities, our people have the unique resolve and fortitude to surmount anything.

Brand Pillars

Our brand pillars are the three core essential points of differentiation that set us apart from our competitors and tie our narratives back to our NYU brand essence, which is why we use these pillars to guide our communications.

They reflect our strengths, what we represent, and what sets us apart from our competition.

For the full explanation of our brand pillars, download the NYU Brand Guidelines.

  1. Fueling ambition and fostering connection to transform lives
    Founded with a mission to be open to all, we imbue an unparalleled education with resources that grant opportunity and agency to a diverse, global university community.

  2. Creating ideas with impact
    More than a global collection of places, NYU is an electric network of exceptionally smart, intensely curious people devoted to creating novel ideas and solutions in rigorous academic environments.

  3. Elevated by the intensity of great cities
    Founded in New York City, one of the world’s most dynamic cities, we embrace and embody the spirit, strength, and vibrancy of great cities around the world, reflecting the intellectual energy derived from engaging with a complex range of people, ideas, and disciplines.

NYU’s Personality

Our personality is composed of the traits and characteristics that set us apart from other institutions.

It represents how we embody and promote our core values and institutional position and attitudes. We can express our personality both verbally (how we sound) and visually (how we look).

A student welding.

Independent and Driven

Satisfied in no one’s shadow

A student in a lab holding a test tube.

Curious and Courageous

Unafraid to ask hard questions

A student smiling, with New York City behind them.

Cosmopolitan and Vibrant

Infusing our cities with new energy

An NYU campus security officer, wearing a mask.

Tenacious and Resilient

Possessing the grit to persevere

NYU Brand Guidelines

Consistent brand expression reinforces our collective commitment to the academic mission we support as well as the perception of NYU as a global and connected institution.

These guidelines explain how the NYU brand identity was created. At its foundation, it is built out of our values and the things that make us unique. It brings together our verbal expression (how we sound) and visual expression (how we look) to showcase a consistent NYU identity that generates awareness and reinforces the strength of our reputation. It also scales our ability to draw in and engage our many audiences, from our students, faculty, and staff to our alumni, prospective students, peer institutions, and beyond.

NYU Content Strategy  

The goal of this guide is to provide guidance and resources for all NYU communicators so they can create content that ties back to our larger institutional narrative while also maintaining the freedom to explore new content ideas and stories distinctive to their school or unit.

Rather than prescribing the stories we tell, we firmly believe we are all responsible as communicators for telling the most accurate and compelling NYU story and identifying the commonalities we all share regarding what it means to be part of NYU in our own unique ways.

Inclusion and Accessibility

The NYU community is a reflection of the global community. While individual communicators may not represent every aspect of who we are, when we communicate about or on behalf of NYU, it is critical we create content for all of us. Inclusion and accessibility are incorporated into our brand guidelines at every stage, and when it comes to starting new projects, the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation has created guiding questions for thoughtful communications.