Freie Universität Unveils New Corporate Design

Replaces previous logo from 2005 / Developed by the university’s design team

Freie Universität Berlin has unveiled its new corporate design, just in time for its seventy-fifth anniversary. The design and new logo were revealed on Thursday during the official ceremony to kick off Freie Universität Berlin’s seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations. "Taking inspiration from ’freedom’ as an integral part of our university culture, the new design aims to visually express our dedication to free thought, as well as to translate our central activities of learning, teaching, researching, and experimenting into the very form of our logo," said Professor Günter M. Ziegler, president of Freie Universität Berlin, during the event, which was attended by around 1,000 guests from across politics, culture, business, and academia. The new logo and corporate design were developed collectively by colleagues from the design team at the University Library. The same team was responsible for designing the previous logo back in 2005.

The new logo and corporate design make use of the open-source font Source Sans Pro, reflecting the university’s commitment to making knowledge freely available to all. While much is new, the logo does retain some familiar elements, for example the color green - ensuring that Freie Universität’s visual appearance remains recognizable. The green line that featured in the former logo has been given new life as a series of abstract shapes in the new logo’s background. These will be randomly generated by an algorithm, with a new combination created each time. "These randomly-generated shapes aim to visually depict the boundary-spanning interaction between people and different content areas. In doing so, we make reference to a flexible platform for academic work in the form of an image - one that is distinctive yet flexible at the same time," said Gösta Röver, coordinator of the design team. The foreground of the new logo depicts the letters "F" and "U," reduced into individual fragments to create an iconic image. Combined, these elements serve to make the new logo particularly well-suited to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by digital media.

The historic seal of Freie Universität Berlin, featuring the words Veritas, Justitia, Libertas ("truth," "justice," "freedom") and Berlin’s iconic bear, bearing the torch of truth, will continue to be used on degree certificates, transcripts, selected publications, and merchandise. The university’s coat of arms and core values can be traced back to a sketch made by Edwin Redslob (1884-1973), co-initiator of the founding of Freie Universität and its second rector.