Hello and welcome to the University of Oxford’s international brand licensing programme. As the oldest University in the English-speaking world, Oxford is often described as a heritage brand. However as one of the world’s leading centres for academic excellence and intellectual engagement, the brilliant minds at Oxford continue to make an impact on the world around us through research and innovation. A vibrant and diverse community, today there are over 23,000 students that study at Oxford from 140 countries and territories.

The Oxford of the 21st Century has a unique character built on traditions of college life, academic study and sporting endeavour that have taken centuries to evolve. The University’s timeline spans over 900 years and this rich historical detail supplies the foundations for the international brand licensing programme.


The visual identity developed for this licensing programme focuses on the University’s belted arms trademark. It incorporates the University’s name as well as three crowns and an open book which were taken from the original shield coat of arms, officially adopted in 1429. Key dates such as ‘Since 1096’ which refers to the earliest written reference to teaching at Oxford, and ‘Established 1231’ which highlights when the masters of Oxford were recognised as a universitas, help to underpin Oxford’s place as the oldest University in the English-speaking world. Combined with a primary colour palette that includes the iconic Oxford Blue, these elements often represent the basic brand package that plays out onto product in key categories: apparel & accessories, back to school, home & lifestyle, gift & stationery and toy & game.


Having set the historical backdrop, additional layers of relevance can then be added to further enhance Oxford’s provenance and heritage. These include a portfolio of college coats of arms and sports club crests, as well as pattern inspired by the University’s archives and collections. The licensing programme offers a selection of repeat pattern artwork that can be accessed by licensees for product development such as the Oxford Stripe and Papal Legate. A second more collaborative approach to product development allows licensees to draw on the rich variety of content found in the University’s museums, libraries and botanic garden for creative inspiration and product development.


Finally, mutual brand values such as excellence and aspiration link the brand licensing programme with the University’s academic work, as does the relevance to Oxford of the product category to be licensed.


If everything you’ve read so far has ticked the boxes, and you are a successful and reputable company interested in partnering with Oxford to develop a range of ethically-made products please get in touch.

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