Buckeye art

To broaden our options when creating visual communications, a series of secondary graphics has been created that taps into our history and the traditions that resonate most with our audiences. Consistent use of this art across our communications will visually amplify our unique Ohio State identity and personality.

Not sure if your ideas are in line with our brand guidelines? The university’s brand team is here to help. Email identity@osu.edu for an art review, samples, or advice.

Block O

The Block O is by far the most recognizable visual identifier of Ohio State with every one of our key audiences.

While the university logo — i.e., the Block O combined with the wordmark — should be used to represent the university in every communication, the Block O alone has great value as a secondary element. Extra care is needed, however, to protect our special icon.

Always include a registration designation (®) when using the Block O by itself, to reflect the fact that it is the legally protected property of Ohio State. Special accommodations are permitted for small identifiers in digital media where the mark may be illegible. Only use the block O in the color variation shown. 


  • The Block O by itself may be:
    • screened
    • tilted (turned less than 45˚ clockwise or counterclockwise)
    • used in a cluster or pattern
    • used as a watermark
  • The Block O should never be:
    • used in lieu of a logo
    • used to replace a letter
    • used in any color other than our primary palette and the combinations shown above
    • mirrored or rotated (turned 45˚ or more in either direction)
    • combined with type or other art elements

Questions? Contact Trademark & Licensing at 614-292-1562 or trademarklicensing.osu.edu

Buckeye nut

William Henry Harrison introduced the nation to his home state’s native tree during his successful presidential campaign in 1840, and Ohioans have been nuts ever since. Known for its resilience, the buckeye today is a proud symbol of The Ohio State University, our state, and the citizens we serve.

Our catalog of approved secondary art includes two versions of the buckeye fruit: the hull (above left), which houses the nut until it ripens, and the nut itself (above right). To build recognition and consistency, these are the only versions of buckeyes permitted.

Always include a registration designation (™) with the buckeye to reflect the fact that it is the legally protected property of Ohio State.

Do feel free to tilt, rotate and mirror the nut graphic and to use it in clusters or patterns.

Do use PMS 7532, PMS 1205, and their tints and shades (from our secondary color palette) to represent the buckeye in its “natural” color.

Do use black, scarlet, gray and white if you wish. Secondary palette colors besides PMS 7532 and PMS 1205 are acceptable too, but keep in mind that buckeyes are uniquely Ohio State and lose some of their impact when the visual connection to the university identity is lessened.

Don’t stretch, squish or otherwise alter our buckeye’s proportions.

And never present a buckeye in a competitor’s colors. Our fans wouldn't like it. Neither would theirs, for that matter.

Buckeye leaf

The two stylized buckeye leaves shown above — one with veins and one without — replace all other buckeye leaves in our visual communications.

Always include a registration designation (™) with the leaf to reflect the fact that it is the legally protected property of Ohio State.

Do feel free to tilt, rotate and mirror the leaf graphic and to use it in clusters or patterns.

Do use PMS 391, PMS 380, and their tints and shades (from our secondary color palette) to represent the leaf in its “natural” color.

Do use black, scarlet, gray and white if you wish. Secondary palette colors besides PMS 391 and PMS 380 are acceptable too, but keep in mind that the buckeye leaf loses some of its impact when the visual connection to Ohio State is lessened.

Don’t stretch, squish or otherwise alter the leaf’s proportions.

And never present a buckeye leaf in a competitor’s colors.

Athletic leaves

In 1968, trainer Ernie Biggs suggested rewarding players with stickers that could be displayed on their helmets. Coach Woody Hayes liked the idea, and a tradition was born. Ohio State was the first, but now this reward system is used by a number of college football teams.

In keeping with its rich history, this particular visual representation of the buckeye leaf is reserved for athletics use only. It should never be used in any marketing communications materials.

Buckeye nut and leaf combo

Call us biased, but we think buckeye nuts and leaves are one of nature’s nicest pairings. When combining one buckeye and one leaf, placement and size relationship shown above are preferred.

Always include a registration designation (™) with the buckeye to reflect the fact that this iconic graphic is the legally protected property of Ohio State.

Do feel free to tilt, rotate and mirror the combo and to use it in clusters or patterns.

Do use the colors from our secondary and primary palettes that are recommended for the nut and leaf.

Don’t stretch, squish, or otherwise alter the proportions of the individual nut or leaf.

Never present a nut/leaf pairing in a competitor’s colors.

And be mindful of unintended visual effects, particularly when using the buckeye fruit in pairs.

State of Ohio silhouette

The state of Ohio is essential to our university’s identity, and its shape makes an excellent graphic to boot. The silhouette shown above is the official representation of Ohio for use in university communications and it should replace all other representations. The Ohio graphic does not need a registration designation.

Do feel free to tilt the Ohio graphic, combine it with other art and use it in patterns.

Do use scarlet, gray, black and white to maximize the impact of our state silhouette, though any color from the secondary palette is acceptable. Do keep in mind, however, that other universities in Ohio can use a state graphic, so we should make sure ours looks like it’s ours.

Do not mirror the Ohio graphic.

Do not change the proportions or otherwise alter our state silhouette.

The Ohio graphic does not require a registration designation (™).

Combining Buckeye art

Secondary graphics can be combined in countless ways to help make your communications uniquely Ohio State — have fun with them! Be sure that combinations of elements are used to create a signature look, but not a logo.

Combined artwork should have a clean feel; the “less is more” approach is always a good rule of thumb. Use minimal components to maximize visual effect.

Always be sure to include a registration designation (™) with each combined unit of art.

Always observe the rules concerning the individual graphic components.

Never combine art elements with the block O.

Questions? Contact Trademark & Licensing or the brand team.

Art resources

  • Block O graphic
  • Buckeye shell
  • Buckeye smooth
  • Leaf
  • Leaf with veins
  • Ohio silhouette
Downloads
Extended color palette
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