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UCD Visual Identity

Q&A regarding UCD’s new crest

Questions about the new UCD Crest

Questions about the university’s naming

Questions regarding individual Colleges, Schools, Centres, Institutes & Department Branding and that of Partner organisations

Questions regarding implementation of UCD’s new branding

The new UCD Crest

What is UCD’s new name?
UCD. The university is to be referred to as ‘UCD’ on all occasions except when the full legal usage of the name ‘University College Dublin’ is required.

Why is ‘Dublin’ included in the new UCD crest?
The university’s name remains unchanged and in the future it will be known as ‘UCD’. The word ‘Dublin’ is incorporated within the crest in order to reinforce the status of the university and its sense of place. The use of the word Dublin also overcomes confusion with other universities internationally.

Is this the final version of the crest? Are any further changes possible?
This is the final version of the crest that is to be adopted university-wide by 1st September 2005.

Why has the harp been used in the crest?
Very few organisations have permission to use the harp, which is the official symbol of Ireland. The harp on the green background in the crest represents UCD’s historical and continuing role in shaping Ireland’s economic and cultural success.

Can the flames on top of the castles be made more flame-like?
During the design process we considering omitting the flames, however they have important significance as a Dublin symbol. Various versions of the flames were tested as part of the design process, and this version was the preferred variant.

Why has such an iconic treatment of the crest been used?
The university undertook market research among students, staff, graduates and the general community on their perceptions of the university and its identity. The research showed that the idea of a crest for UCD was liked but that there was low association between the crest and the name of the university. The research also showed that people had a strong affection and affiliation with the name “UCD” and that there would be a value in incorporating the name into the crest. The revised crest focuses on the strong and powerful images that match the perceptions of the university. The redrawn crest reflects a forward-looking confidence while including iconic images representing the university’s heritage and influence.

Why not replace ‘Dublin’ with ‘Ireland’ and have ‘UCD Ireland’ in the crest?
UCD is located within one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, Dublin. Many of the top international universities associate themselves with major cities. Market research clearly demonstrated that UCD’s location in Dublin is of enormous benefit to the university, and that this will play a key role in the university’s future in becoming one of Europe’s leading universities.

Will UCD’s mottos (Ad Astra and Comhtrom Féinne) continue to be used?
The mottos will continue to appear on the 1911 crest, which will be used for ceremonial purposes and on prestigious and formal occasions.

In what circumstances should the 1911 crest be used?
The existing UCD crest was drawn in the 1940s and is based on the original heraldic crest bestowed on the university in 1911. This 1911 original crest will be reintroduced and used for ceremonial purposes. The mottos appear on this crest and will continue to be used on these and other occasions. All other material should carry the new UCD crest. A full list with details of when the 1911 crest must be used will be drawn up shortly. If you have any queries, please contact UCD Communications at 716 1447.

Questions about the university’s naming

Is the word ‘university’ used in the naming? Will ‘University College Dublin be used?
The crest is to be used on all stationery and publications. As the crest incorporates the university’s naming ‘UCD’, it may be used on its own without the words ‘University College Dublin’. The full university name ‘University College Dublin’ should be used as explained in the Brand Identity Guidelines.

What is the legal relationship between UCD and NUI?
The legal status of UCD’s relationship within the National University of Ireland (NUI) remains unaffected by this re-branding. University stationery and marketing material does not need to refer to NUI.

Should there be a bi-lingual articulation of all school names?
The Official Languages Act requires equal prominence of both English and Irish nomenclatures. See the Brand Guidelines for further information.

How must staff associated with a particular school but based in a different research institute state their address?
Such staff members should list their primary association first. For assistance, please contact UCD Communications at 716 1447.

When should UCD's full official title be used: University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Dublin. Can 'University College Dublin' and its Irish translation be used on their own?
The legal official title of the university: University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Dublin need only be used in legal documents. In all other cases (e.g. letter heads, business cards) it is appropriate to use ‘University College Dublin’ and the translation ‘An Coláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath’.

Questions regarding individual Colleges, Schools, Centres, Institutes & Department Branding and that of Partner organisations

Can individual schools/ colleges use their own branding?
No. All schools, colleges and individual academic and administrative units must only use the new UCD crest in combination with their official name. The guidelines for usage of the crest and naming are clearly outlined in the brand identity guidelines.

What happens to other brands within UCD?
All academic and administrative units within UCD must adopt the new UCD crest. This must replace current logos. The new UCD crest will appear on the top-left of all stationery and marketing material. All units must use the prefix ‘UCD’ before the name of their unit, which should be written in a blue Bliss typeface as laid out in the brand manual.

How do the PRTLI institutes fit into the new naming hierarchy?
The naming of the PRTLI institutes is to be clarified shortly.

How should UCD formal partnerships use the new branding?
Entities which have been formally constituted as partnerships between UCD and other institutions should continue to use their existing brand alongside both UCD’s new crest and the brand mark of the partner organisation(s). On letter-heads, the unit brand should be on the top of the sheet, and UCD and partners’ logos at the bottom. Where possible, UCD’s logo should appear on the bottom left of the sheet. In the case of the teaching hospitals, UCD’s old crest will simply be replaced by the new crest. The new crest will be sent to all CEOs of the teaching hospitals. Individual entities should contact UCD Communications for assistance in preparing stationery and marketing material.
Examples of partnership entities:
Institute for Corporate Governance

How should centres or institutes funded by agencies use the new UCD crest and funding agency branding?
All such centres will use the UCD crest as well as their funding agency branding. See the Brand Identity manual. Please contact UCD Communications for assistance.

What will Smurfit School be known as?
The UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business.

What naming convention should centres use? Can centres have their own headed paper? If so, how is this to be laid out?
All centres should prefix their names with the letters ‘UCD’. If centres are wholly within a school, then their address should be the name of the school. If centres are multi-disciplinary and spread across several schools, their address should include the name of the college. Centres should not have their own headed paper. They should use the headed paper of their school and college. Reference to the centre should be limited to the signature line of letters.
*Any exceptions to this rule must be agreed UCD Communications at tel: 716 1584.
Examples of Signature Lines:
Professor John Smith BSc PhD Professor John Smith BA MA PhD
UCD Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis UCD Centre for Disability Studies
Tel: Tel:
E-mail: E-mail:

What naming convention is to be used for units?
All units, academic and non-academic, including colleges, schools and centres, must prefix their names with the letters UCD.
UCD School of Physics
UCD College of Human Sciences
UCD Women’s Research & Resource Centre
UCD Archives
UCD Sport
UCD Personnel

What are the guidelines for school web addresses and email addresses?
All web addresses must adhere to the UCD convention: All school/college/centre names must be a maximum of 15 characters (e.g.

What is the convention to be used for discrete units within the remit of Officers and Vice-Presidents?
The top of the letterhead should refer only to the Office of the President, Office of the Registrar, Office of the Vice-President for XXX. Other information should be held on the signature line
Ms Mary Smith Dr Mary Smith
Admissions Officer Buildings Officer
Tel: Tel:
Email: Email:

Questions regarding implementation of UCD’s new branding

What support will be provided by UCD for updating university websites to reflect the new identity?
The first phase of the re-designed UCD website is due for completion this September. Initially the UCD Communications web unit will concentrate on the top layers of the UCD website including a new UCD homepage, new college & school webpages, new research webpages and the president's office webpages. On all other websites the existing crest must be replaced with the new UCD crest until the content can be transferred over to the new UCD website. The content transfer will take place in two stages firstly between September and December and secondly as part of a Content Management System project. The Content Management System is scheduled to be in a production environment for September 2006 and will be rolled out on a phased basis from this date.

Who bears the cost of production of new stationary and marketing material?
Individual cost centres within the university will bear the cost of production of new stationery and marketing material.

What is the final deadline when old material can no longer be used?
All stationery should carry the new branding by 1st September 2005. Marketing material stocks may be depleted during the following six months. Any new marketing material must carry the new UCD crest and adhere to the style guide.

Can UCD crest labels be produced to brand existing material?
Sticky labels have been produced by UCD Communications and may be obtained by calling tel: 716 1584

Should we continue to use the 150th anniversary branding?
The UCD 150 branding was developed to mark the university’s anniversary celebrations during the 2004-5 academic year. The branding should now no longer be used on university publications.