Brand story

The UAF brand is not just a logo, a tagline or a color palette. Ultimately, it's the emotions UAF sparks in others through the distinctive benefits we offer. These feelings and emotions occur every time a prospective student, donor, new professor or member of the community interacts with UAF -- by phone, in person, in print or through a TV ad. The way people feel about UAF is at the heart of our brand.

Much like a person's identity, a brand is made up of characteristics and a personality. People also have a core essence of who they are and what makes them distinctive from others. With a brand, this is called a "positioning statement."

So what is the UAF brand? Discover it on this website. This is your guide for how to deliver a consistent brand experience to all our audiences.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks draws students into a welcoming community, offering them inspiring and transformational educational challenges -- from the personal to the global -- in the vast, dynamic laboratory that is Alaska.

What is Brand Positioning?

It's an internal document that describes the "mental space" a brand should occupy in the minds of a target audience, and is used to guide marketing communications strategies, programs and tactics.

Inspired by place

Complete involvement and instruction based on extensive exposure to surroundings or conditions native to the object of study (contextual immersion)

What is Brand Truth?

That which is discovered or understood to be essentially true about the organization, product or service; the true lived experience of the brand; the truth of what a business or organization is, does and actively works toward

UAF is sociable, engaging, stimulating, down-to-earth and always game.¹

¹Game = capable and likes a challenge, showing an unyielding spirit, willing and ready

What is Brand Personality?

The way a brand speaks and behaves, with assigned human characteristics to which a consumer can relate

What is Brand Character?

The functional and emotional associations assigned to a brand by its customers and prospects


We are a mentoring, tightknit community. Bonded by common interests (social, culture, geographic, environmental, political, economic), we eagerly draw in those around us for study, work, advocacy and play. Kinship and belonging provide rewards and benefits, on campus and in the greater community.

More: welcoming, friendly, hospitable, affinity, companionable

Less: indifferent, cold, unfriendly, fragmented


We are enlivened by our environment -- by Alaska. A sense of pride and competence comes with everyday living. Hands-on opportunities and transformational research create a rich and worthwhile experience for many students. Finding our place in the Far North binds, drives, warms and transforms us, providing an endless source of inspiration, curiosity and study.

More: energizing, galvanizing, captivating

Less: hum drum, unexciting, dispiriting


We are unpretentious, approachable and "come as you are." We think for ourselves, preferring to define our self-image on our own. We're grounded in reality, living and working together in an open, unaffected way. You can trust us to be frank, sincere and loyal. At UAF quality, not quantity, is our priority.

More: genuine, real, earnest, accessible

Less: artificial, dishonest, counterfeit, posers


At UAF, value matters. A UAF degree is an investment, and we're proud to deliver high-quality education at an affordable price. Top-notch and accessible faculty and breadth and depth in academic study produce job-ready students. It's a savvy measure of assurance and, ultimately success, to choose UAF.

More: quality, value, meaningful, respected

Less: cheap, second-rate, inferior

brand characteristics illustrated with photography

Naturally Inspiring.

You find it on a walk to class on a crisp November morning. In professors who are still rewarded when they see the lights go on. You feel it looking across at the mountains from your dorm room, or in a class held outdoors where cell service is the last thing you think about.

It's a quality that creates stronger bonds among peers and a vast, richer learning experience. Where lecture notes in a binder are replaced with a deeper understanding of how the lesson applies to life.

It's a resource in such abundance, it's almost embarrassing. But we embrace it with pride because it defines why we're here and where we're headed.

Photo collage of students rafting, ice climbing, and conducting research in a lab and in the field

So how is the brand used every day? Here are just two easy examples:

Example #1

When reviewing that shiny new brochure that comes across your desk, use this explanation of the brand as your prism, as your guide for evaluating the design and content. Does the brochure say "inspired by place"? Does it represent UAF's personality? Does it have people in the photos who look authentically UAF and down-to-earth?

It should.

Example #2

When speaking with a prospective student from rural Alaska, are you highlighting the embracing campus community, the opportunities for stimulating, hands-on learning, or the practical application of studies to a career in rural communities?

You should.

It will be your job to evaluate opportunities and make decisions based on your understanding and ownership of our brand's identity. Since this is an internal document, you'll put things in your own words, of course, always using what you know and believe about the brand from these pages as your guide to define UAF as "Naturally Inspiring."