My beloved Alma Mater the University of Sheffield, which will be spared no special treatment.

A Totally Objective Ranking of Every UK University Logo

Robin Wilde
49 min readDec 27, 2021


Alright, time for the difficult third album. After early experiments with Canadian political parties and a mid-grade hit with the Council logos, I needed a follow-up set of design work to look through, without taking on a mammoth task (there are 22,000 US local authorities, tragically) or setting arbitrary limits on what I included.

Universities seemed like a fun place to go next. They all have similar use cases for a logo, and like councils, need an institution-wide understanding of design to deliver a lot of different services. Unlike councils, they also have an extensive advertising and marketing function to perform — which is probably why the general standard is a lot higher.

In response to some feedback on the last list, I’ve adopted a more rigorous system for ranking these logos than my largely vibes-based approach for the previous list, which was adopted when I didn’t think anyone would read it.

I spent an afternoon building a round robin tool in JavaScript, which gave me randomised 1v1 pairs of logos, which I clicked through choosing favourites on quickfire instinct until I’d exhausted every possible pair — at which point it generated an ordered list based on their score versus every other logo in the pack. Yes, this meant deliberating over 15,000 pairs. Yes, there were probably better ways I could have spent my afternoon. Yes, I live alone.

The criteria for inclusion are fairly simple. An institution has to be a) based in or operating primarily from the UK (no online degrees in foreign countries) and b) able to offer full degree-level qualifications (with apologies to the eight colleges which only offer foundation degrees).

This includes:

  • 131 Universities plus the University of London (a federal umbrella organisation which doesn’t do its own teaching, but it has its own logo so I included it anyway) and the University of Wales (likewise but about to be abolished)
  • Five independent university colleges with full degree awarding powers
  • 17 University of London member organisations
  • 18 other recognised degree-awarding institutions (mainly art and music schools)



Robin Wilde

Freelance writer and graphic designer. Once worked in politics.