The Brand

The USC Upstate brand is more than a logo or a tagline. It is a promise. Our brand is a reflection of everything we do and say, in person, online, in print and in broadcast. The brand functions as a lens through which every marketing message, community activity and personal interaction is filtered. The brand embodies USC Upstate’s mission, energy, character and values. 

In today’s competitive world of higher education, strength of perception has become as critical to success as quality faculty and broad course offerings. More than ever, the first factor in attracting potential students and donors is what they think about our institution — what they clearly see and hear from us that communicates our difference. In essence, it is what they believe our brand stands for, and our ability to deliver on that promise.

"You do not build a brand by selling something. You build a brand by being something, and letting that culture shape the way you behave and communicate." -- Inside Higher Ed

As the University of South Carolina Upstate continues to grow, we have refreshed our brand identity to more effectively and consistently communicate our vision of becoming one of the Southeast’s leading comprehensive, public universities.

These guidelines were developed to ensure the University of South Carolina Upstate’s brand identity is presented in a consistent and effective manner.

Why Consistent Branding Matters

Effective branding raises awareness and leaves a lasting impression. The brand platform establishes a foundation for the institution’s identity, messaging and visual presentation and serves as a framework for all internal and external communications.

Through the brand platform, the University of South Carolina Upstate strives to:

  • Build its reputation, both in South Carolina and beyond
  • Leverage the University’s history with its bright future
  • Establish a brand that is transformational for both USC Upstate and the region

Each member of the USC Upstate community is responsible for creating the brand. Every time we contact potential donors, interact with prospective students and their parents, speak with alumni, communicate with the media, develop new collateral materials, approach community partners, or talk about USC Upstate, we influence the perception of the institution and our community.


The University of South Carolina Upstate is a positive, diverse, and empowering institution for career-minded students who want to be challenged academically, supported personally, and inspired to succeed while taking advantage of significant academic and professional ties to the burgeoning Upstate region.


Together, the following attributes can serve to differentiate USC Upstate and comprise the foundation for all of our future brand marketing efforts – and to continually build and strengthen them:

  • A respected academic experience
  • An opportunity-rich setting in the Upstate
  • A focus on personal and professional success
  • A spirit to support and serve
  • An exceptional pride

Brand attributes are the touchstones for our work, not the public language that is used. As you consider your work – whether it’s a story, video, print piece, social media post or speech – keep them in mind. If what you're working on doesn’t reflect or connect to the brand attributes in some way, reconsider or re-evaluate.

Best Practices