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About the Graphic Identity

The Rotunda Symbol

The drawing of the Rotunda is based on Jefferson’s own rendering. The Rotunda was patterned after the Pantheon in Rome, and like the Pantheon, is based on a perfect sphere. Jefferson dotted in that invisible globe on his sketch. This adaptation replaces the dots with the 13 stars from the original American flag to signify Jefferson’s intention to create a national university to inspire the generation of leaders that would follow his own.
Original Rotunda

The University Logotype

This logotype is based on Adobe Caslon, a 20th-century adaptation of a typeface originally designed by William Caslon—the founder of Britain’s first type foundry. This typeface was used extensively throughout the British empire during the 1700s, including the British colonies in America. When John Dunlap of Philadelphia typeset the first printed edition of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, Caslon was the typeface he chose.

Other Artwork Choices

The University's identity is designed to be flexible enough to meet the diverse needs of such a large and varied institution, yet remain strong and distinct despite that variety of uses. One of the keys to meeting those diverse needs is the preparation of a variety of acceptable variations on the original design.

The graphic design for this identity was produced by Gibson Design Associates, Inc. of Charlottesville, Virginia.