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Brand expression

Expressing the IU brand

We communicate with our constituents in many different ways, all of which contribute to our brand identity. Brand expression is the form these communications take. It is what our brand looks, sounds, and feels like. Sometimes, it might even be what our brand tastes or smells like.


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Being purposeful about how we’re perceived

As we know, our brand image lives in the minds of our constituents. It is the perception people have of their experiences with us that truly defines who we are. To deliver the experiences we want, we have to be intentional about how we express ourselves in both messaging and design.

Although our expression will vary based on many factors, such as target audience, media placement, or campaign objective, IU has a common philosophy of brand expression that can guide all of our communications.

Using an approach that’s universal to all brand expression will allow us to achieve three important things:


Flexibility: making us capable of meeting diverse needs

By using the elements of brand expression, we can customize and personalize our communications to better resonate with our target audience.

Having the ability to tailor our verbal and nonverbal communications will help us form deeper, more meaningful connections.


Consistency: true to IU, no matter where we are

Maintaining a common thread among our communications makes our brand image stronger and helps to solidify brand association and recall in the minds of our constituents.

All verbal and nonverbal communications should represent our brand personality. This is important for authenticity and will help foster trust with our audiences.


Distinction: success is about standing out

We want our brand to be recognizable and compelling, not just within the higher ed landscape, but among brands across industries.

Leveraging brand expression in a way that’s right for your project will help capture, and hold, your audience’s attention.

Brand expression: the essentials

Whether you’re interested in theory or practical application, this site has the resources and support to help you transform great ideas into great experiences.

  • Philosophy of brand expression

    The theory that our brand expression is built on. You’ll learn about our range of expression, principles of storytelling, and how to bring truth to light.

  • Visual language

    Discover our fundamental design elements. Here, you can learn about typography, composition, photography, graphics, and more.

  • Verbal language

    Get acquainted with IU’s brand voice, personality, and tone. Find best writing practices for different media, become an expert at messaging strategy, and get access to important style guides.