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Our Brand

December 2016

Welcome to the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. UTIA is at the core of the University of Tennessee’s land-grant mission of educating, discovering, and connecting. We fulfill that mission through the excellent work of outstanding faculty and staff who create Real. Life. Solutions. 

The Institute’s four major units—the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, and UT Extension—contribute to improving the quality of lives and enhancing the agricultural, economic, environmental and social well-being of Tennessee. Our clientele include students, families, farmers, 4-H’ers, agribusiness, and the general public. 


Tim Cross, Chancellor
University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Brand House
Click the image to view our Brand House


For any organization, establishing a consistent visual brand identity is one of the most important steps taken. Consistent visual representation through logos and other design elements increases the power of the message and shows a unified front. Here at UTIA we have so many great stories to tell that if our visual footprint is fractured, something is lost in translation.

The visual presentation used in communication is more than simply design; it is a reflection of what we’re about. We want to make sure our visual presentation speaks the same language as what’s being said in text, audio or video. Thanks to social media people today get their information from so many sources, if the visual identity and messaging doesn’t match the conversation, it’ll lead to inconsistencies in our communication.

So that’s where UTIA’s new visual look, identity and brand promise comes in.

We believe our new, fresh approach brings consistency to UTIA and will make our messaging that much more powerful. Successful branding does not happen overnight - it’s rather a long-term investment that is measured in regards to its long-term impact. Our new visual identity will play a significant role in the way we present ourselves to our employees and clients in the years to come.

Bottom line: we want to be outstanding in our field.
The Issue
Visual branding is extremely important when telling the story of an organization. For the past ten years, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) has used the same graphic identity style as all other campuses and institutes within the UT system. Over the years, many looked for solutions to various issues presented with the logos and our visual identity became fragmented. Under the direction of UTIA Chancellor Larry Arrington, the Marketing and Communications team began to look at the branding issue in late 2013 and was charged with researching, analyzing, and presenting a possible solution.

The Marketing and Communications team conducted a statewide audit of printed and electronic materials used by our four units—UT Extension, UT AgResearch, the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR), and the UT College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM)—along with various other associated programs. The audit confirmed a lack of strong or consistent visual identity for the Institute.

During this time, the team contracted with an expert on branding to help guide a discussion on brand architecture. The question at hand was should the units be the touchpoints for UTIA, with UTIA as the foundation to all the programs we offer, or should the brand architecture be reversed with UTIA as the lead touchpoint and the units represented underneath. The decision was made to go with the former, knowing that our clients best relate to our units, but also understanding the importance of having all be a part of one organization or family.

The brand promise—what we say about ourselves, as well as what we want people to say about us—was another important aspect of the work.

Working with a branding expert, the UTIA marketing and communications team began the process of working on the visual identity for UTIA, its four units, multiple departments, and many associated programs. A color analyst was also engaged to help the team determine a palette of colors that would make sense for the organization while strengthening the visual identity.

The development of a brand promise that represented all four units and the excellent work being done across our state and beyond was also developed during this time.

The team developed the initial look and then held meetings with multiple stakeholders, including a Visibility Team already established for UT Extension, for input on potential changes needed. Excellent feedback was received and incorporated. In addition, the team worked closely with the UT System Marketing and Communications Office to make sure the direction in which UTIA was moving would be acceptable and help promote the important system-wide UT brand.

After multiple meetings, brainstorming sessions, and input from many of our stakeholders, we are pleased to present to you our new suite of logos and brand promise.

UTIA logos

Unit logos and State Botanical Garden logo


Brand Promise


Please do not begin to use the new logos until you’ve closely reviewed our new Branding Guidelines. If you have any questions about which logos your department should be using, or need more information, please call us at 865-974-7141.

The UTIA Marketing and Communications team will facilitate the development of new logos, templates, and other designs for every unit, department, and program associated with UTIA. We are enlisting the help of many people across our organization to assist in this implementation.

If you have questions, please call us at 865-974-7141 or email Jean Hulsey at