Virginia Athletics releases a new brand identity

UVA logo
Posted at 1:08 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 13:08:24-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. ( – The University of Virginia athletics department introduced today (April 24) its new brand identity. The refreshed designs provide updates on a brand rich in history and tradition. The work was developed by Nike’s Global Identity Group (GIG) and includes updates to the iconic V-Sabre mark, two new secondary marks, a revised color scheme and the introduction of new typography, numerals and patterns.

“I love the new visual identity system,” said Carla Williams, Virginia’s director of athletics. “It’s exciting and it maintains UVA’s sense of history and a strong connection to the past. It pays homage to our tradition and what we hope our future will be, which is to be bold, creative, innovative, competitive, fierce and fiery. The new marks and logos have all of those qualities in each one of them.

“It’s important to acknowledge the challenges we are currently facing, and we considered delaying the launch of the new brand identity system. However, we hope our new marks and logos serve as a rallying point for our coaches, student-athletes, prospective student-athletes and fans. We look forward to being back on Grounds together again.”

Nike’s GIG team works with a select number of its sideline partners each year to update the athletics department’s brand identity based on the goals provided by the institution. The launch of the new Virginia Athletics brand identity is the culmination of an 18-month collaborative process with Nike that began with discovery sessions with UVA coaches, student-athletes and administrators.

“Nike’s discovery process was fascinating,” Williams said. “They are global leaders in marketing and to be able to be part of their process was unique and special. To hear our coaches and staff members who had been at UVA for many years talk about the University, the Rotunda, the Lawn, the serpentine walls and the academic mission of the University was quite impressive and inspiring. I could see and hear their passion for UVA and their commitment and love for the University.”

Following the discovery process, the following objectives for the project were identified:

  • Build upon the existing brand strength to create an innovative and cohesive system that reflects the unique characteristics and traditions of Virginia Athletics
  • Promote brand consistency across the athletics department
  • Position Virginia Athletics for the future

The V-Sabre mark, which will remain the primary mark for Virginia Athletics, has been enhanced by adding a beveling effect to the middle of the V and to the sabres. Detail was added to the grip of the sabres that mimics the design of the serpentine walls found on Grounds. Slight adjustments were made to the width of the V and the length of the sabres.

“The V-Sabre logo is uniquely Virginia,” Williams said. “I noticed our logo sometimes gets washed out in comparison to the other logos in the ACC. Those logos have become more visually impressive over the years. The updates to the V-Sabre enhance our primary mark and enable it to be pronounced when it is positioned side-by-side with our competition.”

The Cavalier Shield logo will be used as a secondary mark and was inspired by a coat of arms design and the V-Sabre. The top of the shield contains the outline of the design of the University’s Rotunda. The hat in the center of the shield is that worn by the Cavalier mascot.

The new Virginia Cavalier mark is visually powerful, and its design is also inspired by the V-Sabre. The character is presented in such a way that invites everyone to be a Cavalier.

“The Cavalier mark is a symbol of strength, character, mystery, integrity, and diversity,” Williams said. It’s one of those unique marks that in short time will become very popular and synonymous with everything that we as Cavaliers aspire to be.”

Nike constructed the modern typography using straight lines and circles found in the original design documents of the Rotunda.

The custom numerals contain the edge of a sabre, while new patterns will be introduced on uniforms that depict the serpentine walls.

The refreshed color scheme, that includes alternative shades of orange and blue as accents, was inspired by the natural colors visible in a sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. The new color scheme enables visual depth and variety to be applied to the marks.

A complete guide to the athletics brand identity is available online at

Nike sideline apparel featuring the new marks is currently available at the following retail outlets: