Gustavus Logos Posted on October 10th, 2023 by

This post was conceptualized, researched, and written by Ellen Dow ’25, College and Lutheran Church Archives Student Worker.

The official seal of the College. The school’s motto “e caelo nobis vires” translates to “Strength comes to us from heaven.”

Gustavus Logos Through the Years

Logo: an identifying symbol. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

One logo linked with Gustavus is the three crowns.  Gustavus first started using the three crowns in the 1950s in conjunction with their link to the Bernadotte Foundation of Sweden.  The three crowns symbol is the national emblem for Sweden.  Origins of the three crowns are disputed among historians.  Some sources suggest the three crowns represent the “Swedes, Goths, and Wends” kingdoms of Sweden. Others say each crown represents one of the major countries involved in the Kalmar Union. (Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.)  Another possible origin is each crown representing one of Magnus Erikkson’s three kingdoms: Sweden, Norway, and Scandia. Regardless of the exact origin, the three crowns symbol reminds Gustavus of its Swedish heritage.  Marketing added a “G” to the logo in 2008 to make it more distinct for Gustavus.








Arguably the most iconic building on campus is Old Main. The College used it as a letterhead and logo for Gustavus for several years.



Early letterheads showing Old Main at different angles.


In 1965, The Nobel Conference® became the first lecture program in the world given authorization from The Nobel Foundation in Stockholm Sweden. It is currently the only lecture program in the United States that has that honor. The logo for Nobel has changed over the year depending on the theme, but early stationary shows the use of the three crowns and a picture of Alfred Nobel.

A New Brand for Gustavus: In 2010, Gustavus launched a campaign to rebrand their logos. This resulted in the release of several new logos.

An updated version of the College’s official seal.

The updated Gustavus logo, complete with the trademark three crowns.

The College Crest typically associated with athletics.

Gus the Lion, the official mascot of the college, is present in many different logos through the years.  Gus was initially a symbol for the Athletics department; however, when the campaign “Make Your Life Count” launched, Gus was retired for the Athletic Department.  The Gustavus community was distressed at this decision, seeing at as a loss of their mascot. After Student Senate initially brought up the issue, the Student Activities Office, the Bookmark, Athletics, Admissions, Student Senate, Student Affairs and Marketing formed a committee to rebrand Gus as a symbol for the entire college.

The three options for the rebranding of Gus, launched in 2012.








A masked version of Gus, used by the College during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A logo of Gus in the new Lund Center that opened in 2021.








The “Make Your Life Count” slogan replaced the former slogan “Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Place” in 2010 as the official slogan for Gustavus. The new slogan aimed at improving recruitment.  It remains in use today.


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