The Central State University Logo: An Iconic Image

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The Central State University Logo

Central State University Logo : You know that logo – the one with the big oak tree and the words “Central State University” wrapped around it. That image likely conjures up memories from your days on campus, whether it’s passing by banners with it as you walked to class or seeing it front and center when you logged into the university website. That oak tree with its strong branches reaching high has been an iconic part of Central State for over 50 years. But have you ever wondered about the history behind the logo? When and why it was created and what it represents? Keep reading to learn more about how this iconic image came to represent Central State.

The History Behind the Central State University Logo

The History Behind the Central State University Logo

The Central State University logo featuring an open book and the Latin motto “Scientia et Labor” (Knowledge and Work) has represented the university since its founding in 1947. The logo highlights the school’s long-standing dedication to academic excellence and perseverance.

The open book symbolizes a quest for knowledge and a passion for learning. The book’s pages feature an artistic rendering of an atom, representing the university’s strength in the sciences and engineering. The atom also signifies the school’s forward-thinking spirit and a drive for progress.

The Latin motto “Scientia et Labor” embodies the university’s core values of diligence, hard work, and lifelong learning. Knowledge is not gained without effort and determination. Students at Central State University are encouraged to pursue knowledge through dedicated study and labor.

The logo’s gold and navy blue colors were selected to convey integrity, intelligence, and stability. Gold is a prestigious color that signifies enlightenment and wisdom. Navy blue is a traditional color that represents intellect and trustworthiness. Together, the gold and navy create a dignified and scholarly brand for the university.

Over the decades, the Central State University logo has become an iconic symbol of academic tradition, honor, and achievement. Each element of its design reflects the school’s enduring principles of knowledge, hard work, and progress that have shaped generations of students. The logo serves as a source of school pride and solidarity, uniting students, faculty, staff, and alumni under the banner of courage, truth, and light.

The Meaning and Symbolism of the Central State Logo

Central State University’s logo is one of the most well-known collegiate logos. The bold “CSU” lettering and striking design have represented the school for over 50 years. But beyond just being an iconic image, the Central State logo is full of meaning and symbolism.

The colors of the logo, maroon and gold, were chosen specifically to represent the school’s values. Maroon symbolizes passion, courage, and sacrifice. Gold represents excellence, achievement, and success. Together, they embody the Central State spirit of perseverance, accomplishment, and pride.

The sleek, modern font was selected to give a sense of progressiveness. Central State has always been on the leading edge, and the font choice reflects that. The letters “CSU” were made extra bold to convey strength, solidity, and the enduring legacy of Central State.

The logo’s triangular shape represents forward momentum and continuous improvement. The base of the triangle forms the horizon, with the “CSU” rising up and moving upwards, signaling growth and progress. The empty space in the middle creates an arrow shape, suggesting direction and purpose.

Perhaps the most meaningful part of the logo is its simplicity. The sparse, uncluttered design reflects the straightforward, no-nonsense principles on which Central State was built. Everything in the logo has a clear and important purpose, just like the education provided by the school. Its timeless, unchanging nature is a metaphor for the eternal values of truth, beauty, goodness, and wisdom that Central State holds dear.

The Central State logo is a prime example of the power of design. Its colors, shapes, and symbols all combine to create an image that represents the very essence of the school. It highlights the vision, mission, and spirit of Central State University in one simple but compelling mark.

The Evolution of the Central State University Logo Over the Years

The Evolution of the Central State University Logo Over the Years

Central State University has had several logos over the decades to represent the institution. The logos have evolved to keep up with design trends but have always incorporated the school’s iconic bell tower.

The Original Logo (1950-1970)

When CSU first opened its doors in 1950, the original logo featured an illustration of the bell tower with “Central State University” in a formal serif font. This logo reflected the post-World War II era in its traditional and straightforward design.

The Shield Logo (1970-1990)

In the 1970s, CSU adopted a shield-shaped logo that incorporated an image of the bell tower surrounded by the school’s Latin motto, “Veritas Vos Liberabit” meaning “the truth shall set you free.” The shield shape and Latin were popular trends in university branding at the time meant to convey tradition and prestige.

The Centennial Logo (1990-2010)

To celebrate CSU’s 100th anniversary in 1990, the school introduced an updated logo with an abstracted bell tower and “1891-1991” to commemorate the milestone. The logo used a mix of serif and sans-serif fonts in a layered design that was characteristic of the era. This logo remained for 20 years, a testament to its timeless quality.

The Current Logo (2010-present)

In 2010, CSU adopted its current logo, a sleek and minimal bell tower icon paired with the university name in a clean sans-serif font. This contemporary logo demonstrates CSU’s forward-thinking spirit while honoring its most cherished tradition—the bell tower that has kept watch over campus for over a century.

CSU’s logos have evolved with the times, but the bell tower remains an enduring symbol of the university’s history, values and vision for the future. The bell tower logo represents campus life, community and everything that makes Central State University a place to call home.

Usage Guidelines for the Central State Logo

The Central State University logo is iconic and instantly recognizable. To maintain its integrity and properly represent the university, there are specific guidelines for using the logo.

Size and Spacing

The logo should never appear smaller than 1 inch in height for print materials or 100 pixels for digital media. This ensures readability and brand consistency. There should also be adequate clear space around the logo—at least 1/2 the height of the ‘S’ in ‘Central State’—to prevent other elements from crowding it.


The logo should only appear in official university colors: navy blue (PMS 288) and gold (PMS 123). For one-color print jobs, the logo may appear in all navy or all gold. Never alter the colors or make the logo monochromatic.


The logo should be prominently placed in the top left or top center of the page or screen. It should not be obscured or overpowered by competing elements like images, headings or navigation menus. The logo represents the university, so it should be one of the first things viewers see.

Affiliate logos

University departments, programs, and affiliates may create their own logos, but they must incorporate the main university logo to show their connection to Central State. The university logo should be at least 1/2 the size of the affiliate logo and placed in a non-subordinate position, either above, below or to the side of the affiliate logo. All affiliate logos must be approved by the university marketing department.

Incorrect Uses

The university logo should never be stretched, rotated, recolored or modified in any way. Do not rearrange the elements of the logo or change the font. Always use the logo artwork provided on the university website. Incorrect usage of the logo compromises its integrity and effectiveness as the university’s brand.

Following these guidelines will ensure the Central State University logo is used properly and continues to represent excellence and tradition. Consistent and appropriate usage of the logo strengthens the university’s brand and visual identity.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Central State University Logo

Frequently Asked Questions About the Central State University Logo

The Central State University logo is an iconic image that represents tradition, excellence and school spirit. Here are some common questions about its history and meaning:

What do the colors represent?

The forest green and bright yellow colors are a longstanding tradition, representing the university’s natural surroundings and optimistic outlook. Green symbolizes the lush trees and landscape of the campus, while yellow signifies the bright future of students and the warmth of the university community.

When was the current logo adopted?

The modern logo with interlocking “CSU” letters inside a circular seal was adopted in 1985. It replaced an older logo from the 1950s, modernizing the look while keeping the traditional colors. The simple yet stylish design has become an easily recognized symbol of the university.

What is the meaning behind the logo?

The circular shape represents continuity and longevity. The intertwining letters “CSU” at the center depict the interconnection between students, faculty, alumni and the community. Together, the seal and letters embody the enduring spirit of partnership and fellowship at Central State University.

Can students and alumni use the logo?

Yes, the university logo is available for use by authorized students, faculty, staff, and alumni. It should only be used for official university-related purposes, events, and communications to maintain brand integrity. Personal or commercial use of the logo is prohibited without permission from the university.

Has the logo ever been updated?

While the overall design has remained largely unchanged, minor updates have been made over the years to keep the logo looking modern and consistent with university branding. The most recent update was in 2015, involving subtle changes to the font, spacing, and proportions of the seal and lettering. Future changes are unlikely unless a major rebranding occurs.

The Central State University logo is a timeless symbol of school pride and spirit. Its longevity and deep meaning embody the essence of this respected institution.


The Central State logo has become an iconic symbol that unites students and alumni. As you walk across campus and spot that familiar image on shirts, hats, bags, and signs, you can’t help but feel a sense of belonging. The crest evokes nostalgia for your college days while also representing the promise of new memories in the making. Its clean lines and bold colors command attention, just like Central State itself.

Whether you’re a prospective or current student, professor, alumni, or visitor, that logo lets you know you’re part of the Central State family. Simply seeing that circular image can inspire pride, purpose, and possibility. For all these reasons, the Central State logo has rightfully earned its place in history.



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