Stewarding the resources with which we’ve been entrusted and helping future generations are part of what we stand for as Buckeyes, and like the university itself, Ohio State’s sustainability efforts are expansive and diverse. Myriad colleges, offices and departments, student groups, volunteers and others contribute in their own creative ways to minimizing waste and our impact on the environment. With driving support from the President and Provost’s Council on Sustainability, this attention to the future underlies everything we do.

The following guidelines are designed to accurately convey our institution-wide commitment to sustainability and amplify our collective efforts.

There's a lot going on at Ohio State! Learn more about sustainability efforts university-wide.


To highlight the value of our commitment to the long-term, the word “sustainability” should be used in reference to programs, initiatives and activities designed to minimize consumption, waste or environmental impact. While our efforts may differ in the details, “sustainability” is the umbrella term that we rally around.

Digital First

While printed materials have their use, digital formats use fewer natural resources and often result in less waste. In the spirit of "Buckeyes consider the environment before printing" in our university email signature, consider the environment when producing print collateral anytime--and particularly when promoting sustainability efforts. Discarded flyers about reducing waste are sad.


We are all Ohio State to the audiences that matter most, and branding our sustainability efforts as the university’s first and foremost elevates our work as a whole. Sustainability efforts should speak to audiences as Ohio State, rather than as an individual office or department, so that they reinforce and amplify each other.

Keeping that in mind, if department identification is needed, the kicker location should be used for the name of the office or department supporting the initiative. If the supporter is a college or other unit with a secondary signature, the word “sustainability” should appear as the kicker.

Elements for visual consistency

The collaborative nature of our otherwise decentralized sustainability efforts can be communicated with a consistent visual approach. Designed to be clean and convey forward-thinking progress, the sustainability look and feel is flexible, customizable and able to integrate into other systems as needed.

A light background
Sustainability materials should be on white (preferred) or light gray whenever possible to convey a sense of fresh, open airiness and room to breathe--and to save toner, which is especially appropriate in the sustainability context. If a darker background is needed, use charcoal.

When “sustainability” appears as the header, use Proxima Nova Thin in all caps and PMS 429. When it appears as the kicker, use PMS 200.

Grid pattern
The geographic grid pattern created for sustainability branding can be arranged, colored and shaded to create countless secondary graphic elements that convey positive progress and momentum. Components of the grid can be isolated to form an “S” for “sustainability,” forward-facing triangles or arrows, cubes, or hexagons. They can also be pointed up and colored green to represent trees that in design terms are considered “adorable.”

The geographic pattern may not be used to create a “logo” or mark or to replace university identifiers, however. Secondary graphic elements only.

The sustainability palette embraces environmental greens from our primary palette, in addition to our iconic scarlet and gray. Shades and tints allow for varying degrees of vibrancy, including more-subdued options appropriate for more formal contexts.

Options for secondary graphic elements also include icons. Any icons used must be simple and reversed out of the grid elements. They may not be used to create a “logo” or mark.


Have questions about sustainability programs? Leadership groups on campus sustainability can be contacted at the links below.

Athletics Sustainability

Business and Finance Sustainability

Facilities Operations and Development, Energy Services and Sustainability

Sustainability Institute

Office of Student Life Energy Management and Sustainability

President and Provost's Council on Sustainability

Have questions about branding sustainability? Contact

Sustainability resources

  • 'S' element
  • Grid elements
  • Grid patterns
  • Grid icons
Extended color palette