Established guidelines for the SLU brand architecture

Last changed: 20 February 2024

The SLU brand architecture guidelines aim to make communication at the university and its organisations logical, cohesive and efficient. The guidelines can act as support for everything from naming organisations to the choice and formulation of sender.

SLU’s brand architecture builds on one main rule – the SLU master brand is the sender. However, there are two exemptions.  

These exemptions apply when there is a legitimate reason for the master brand to be combined with sub-brands, or co-exist with other external brands.

Main principle: SLU as sender

SLU is the master brand and must be the only sender. SLU can also be used together with the descriptive organisation name or operations.

Image of SLU's logotype and also the logotype with a line under it and the name Future food underneath the line.

The general rule applies when:

  • operations are run by SLU;
  • the staff are employed by SLU;
  • SLU is ultimately responsible for operations.

The general rule applies to organisational units, buildings, databases, products, services, etc. This rule also applies to operations with external principals or funders.

Photograph of a wall with an illuminated SLU-logotype on.

Requirements for operations covered by the general rule:

  • The name must be descriptive and communicate, in plain language, what the operations entail.
  • SLU must be part of the name. Does not apply to faculties, departments and university administration in in-house communication.
  • The SLU logo and visual identity apply.

There may sometimes be a need to register a name as a brand with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office even if the general rule applies, for example if it is used for commercial activities that need protecting.

Exemption 1: Sub-brands

In some cases, there may be special reasons for creating a sub-brand to differentiate an operation from SLU, despite the fact that SLU is running and responsible for the operation.

SLU Holdings black and blue logotype.

SLU Holding is one example of a sub-brand.

Examples of such cases:

  • An operation is run as a separate legal entity (with its own registration number).
  • Main activities are of a commercial nature.
  • The main focus of activities is not education, research or environmental monitoring and assessment. 
  • Products or services of significant scope that are not one-offs and therefore require greater flexibility or distinction to be noticed.

Requirements for sub-brands:

  • The name must be registered with the Swedish Companies Registration Office, or as a brand with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office.
  • There must be staff and financial resources allocated for communication, brand building and care and protection of the brand.
  • SLU must also be included as the sender. SLU must always be the first part of a name where it is included.
  • The visual identity must be approved by SLU’s head of communications.

Exemption 2: Collaboration brands

Sometimes SLU collaborates with other partners. This applies for networks, projects and infrastructures run jointly with other higher education institutions or organisations. In these cases, SLU is not the only sender, but one of many.

Logotypen for Academic Conferences.

For example, Academic Conferences is a collaborative brand run by Karolinska Institute, SLU and Uppsala University.

Exemption 2 applies to activities

  • owned or run by one or several equal partners;
  • temporarily managed by SLU, or that SLU intends to hive off.

Most of the organisations cooperate or collaborate in some way. The collaboration alone is not enough to be considered an exception from the master brand. Nor is it a collaboration brand when SLU is the sole party running and overseeing a network of several different parties. 

Requirements for collaboration brands:

  • It must be clear in all communication that SLU is a partner.




Exemptions from the general rule must be approved by the vice-chancellor and special procedures followed.