MU visual style
The visual style forms one of the most important communication tools any institution or company has. Its aim is to reinforce the identification and presentation not only externally, but also from within. Moreover, the style presents basic features as well as status of the university.
History of Masaryk University Visual Style
At first, the university was represented by the symbol and the initials of MU (see photo). However, information about the author of this design has been unknown.
In 1989, when the then University of Jan Evangelista Purkyně returned to its original name Masaryk University, the need for a unified visual style arose. The art committee was appointed in 1990; it approved the award-winning design of Brno graphic designer Ivan Štroufa. His design was chosen for its simplicity and stylishness. The aim of the university was not its presentation in a historical context, but its presentation in the light of the 20th century. The emblem of the university, following the design of Štrouf, is a letter M, placed in a big letter U, skirted by a Latin inscription Universitas Masarykiana Brunensis.
In 1995, a new contest with the aim to create a graphic handbook about a unified visual style was announced. The art committee, under the head of Lefteris Joanidis, approved a design of Boris Mysliveček for this new handbook. Nevertheless, one exception about the new graphic style was made – an emblem in the original style following the design of Štrouf was maintained. In 2004, a new need to present the university in a modern form with a unified visual style arose.
The aim of the unified visual style was to present the university as an institution with its history and tradition on one side, and as present, modern university with a specialization in science and research on the other side. Moreover, the unified style was designed in order to integrate a visual character of the university and its faculties, and, simultaneously, to maintain its distinctiveness when presenting particular faculties and their workplaces.
The unification and the graphic arrangement of logos in a digital form were also integrated as part of this new visual style.
Logos of Particular Faculties
Faculty of Law
The emblem of this faculty is a figure of Justice holding a sword. A portrait of Adolf Bráf was chosen for the foreside of the medal, the reverse side bears a motto “Lex dura sed lex”. The figure of Justice holding a sword embellishes the capital of the sceptre; the shaft is decorated by rose-quartzes. The colour of the Faculty of Law is purple.
Faculty of Medicine
The logotype of the Faculty of Medicine depicts a combination of Aeskulap’s staff with a snake and a thread of a twin-screw DNA molecule. The foreside of the medal of the Faculty of Medicine is embellished by a portrait of J. E. Purkyně, the reverse side bears a motto “Medicinae munus – scientia de vita humana”. The capital of the sceptre is formed by a staff with a snake; the shaft is decorated with carnelians. The colour of the Faculty of Medicine is red.
Faculty of Science
The emblem of the Faculty of Science consists of a double screw in the shape of a letter Y, symbolizing the notion of DNA replication. The circular symbol bears an inscription “Scientia est potentia”. On the foreside of the dean’s medal a bust of Gregor J. Mendel is depicted (from the left, with the name of the copy); the reverse side is formed by the sun with rays and the comet (on the left). The colour of the Faculty of Science is green.
Faculty of Arts
The owl sitting on an open book is the symbol of the Faculty of Arts. The foreside of the medal shows a portrait of František Palacký, the reverse side bears a motto “Svoji k svému a vždy podle pravdy”. The owl is placed on the sceptre; its shaft is decorated with amethysts. The colour of the Faculty of Arts is blue.
Faculty of Education
After the establishment of the Faculty of Education in 1946, the flaming torch was chosen as its symbol according to the treatise of J. A. Komenský. This symbol was used for the design of the sceptre – the project was presented by Eduard Milén as early as 1950.
Later, the logotype of this faculty was represented by a book – a symbol of all the education devices. The portrait of J. A. Komenský is depicted on the foreside of the medal; the reverse side bears a motto “Traditio lampadis”. The sceptre’s top is symbolized by a flame and is decorated with amethyst. The colour of the Faculty of Education is orange.
Faculty of Economics and Administration
The logotype of the FEA is formed by an antique temple facade with two columns on its sides; an attribute of God of trade and profit Merkurius (caduceus) is part of the temple, together with a symbol of administration (sceptrum). The overall depiction not only stands for a symbol of growth of knowledge, love for wisdom and a benefit bringing understanding; it also symbolizes enterprise, diligence and skillfullness as conditions of success. The portrait of Karel Engliš was chosen for the foreside; the reverse side bears a motto “Efficiency, Economy, Solidarism”. The capital of the sceptre is formed by Mercury’s helmet; the shaft is decorated with topazes. The colour of the Faculty of Economics and Administration is brown.
Faculty of Informatics
The design of RNDr. P. Sojka with an inscription “Ligatura FI” and a motto of B. Pascal “Le silence éternel de ces espaces infinis m´effraie” stand for a symbol of the Faculty of Informatics. The faculty has used the insignia of the Faculty of Science up to the present time. The colour of the faculty is bright saffron.
Faculty of Social Studies
The author of the logotype of the Faculty of Social Studies is Lefteris Joanidis. The ambiguous character of the logotype is symbolized by the two ways of looking at it – one can see either two faces turned to each other, or white chalice. Therefore, the logotype stands for a symbol of communication or relationship between two people, which is the core of the faculty’s specialization. The medal and the sceptre also comprise of the two profiles defining a chalice. The sceptre is embellished by gemstones; crystal decorates the lid of the chalice. The insignias of the faculty have been used since 2004. The colour of the Faculty of Social Studies is yellow-green.
Faculty of Sports Studies
The colours of the faculty are blue and turquoise. The overall design of the logotype is based on the letter abbreviation and it conveys primary information about the specialization of the faculty, which is sport. The plain rhomboid merges into a double S; the rake angle of 80 degrees is supposed to evoke a feeling of dynamic and modern faculty. The author of the design is František Borovec.