Stanford uses four primary emblems as part of its visual identity: the Stanford Signature, the University Seal, the Block “S” with Tree and the plain Block “S”. These are combined to create various signatures for use on stationery and other communications.
The Stanford Signature is the uniquely drawn set of typographic characters that form “Stanford University” and is the primary logo for the university. Treat the signature as artwork, not as typography. It cannot be accurately reproduced with any typeface and should not be modified in any way.
The seal is one of Stanford's strongest emblems. It lends authority and authenticity to any communication where it appears. The seal may be used on any Stanford communication which reflects Stanford's mission or administration. The seal has a formal and official quality to it, and therefore is not widely used on communications related to events and athletics, where the more informal Block "S" symbols are more appropriate.
Block “S” with Tree
The Block "S" with Tree is the symbol most proprietary to Stanford. The tree is a simpler graphic rendition of the Palo Alto seen on the Stanford seal. Like the seal, it serves to create a sense of place: a western, California location, unique to Stanford.
The Plain Block "S" first appeared in the 1890's, and is Stanford's oldest continuously used symbol. As a result, the Plain Block "S" has strong association with Stanford and can be seen around campus in a variety of architectural and other design applications.