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The Molecule

The molecule is a unique design element used throughout the UCLA brand. Inspired by California sunshine and natural sunspots captured in photography, the UCLA molecule represents light and energy as well as a spirit of scientific inquiry and discovery. Molecules are most effective when used sparingly.

UCLA Molecules arranged as a lens flare

Molecules as lens flares

Transparent molecules can be used to form lens flares. Make sure to arrange molecules in one line across the image, not grouped heavily in clusters.

UCLA Molecule with headline

Molecules containing headlines

A large molecule may be used to hold a headline and short sub-headline. Set the type in a contrasting color to ensure legibility. This execution is effective in print pieces only.

UCLA Molecule as container

Molecules containing factoids or quotes

A large molecule may be used to hold factoids and other small bits of information. An outlined molecule using a 1-point rule may be used on top of or interlaced with a solid molecule to add dimension. Again, be sure to use molecules in this way on print projects only.

UCLA molecules as small graphic devices

Molecules as small graphic devices

Three molecules can be used as small graphic devices or accents for headlines.

UCLA molecules as overlapping elements

Molecules as overlapping elements

A molecule may be used as an overlapping background element to draw the reader’s eye to a headline or section heading.

The Overlay Box

Overlay box

Another branding element in the UCLA design identity is the overlay box. This gives shape and form to our brand identity. Applied consistently, it can provide instant recognition to your work.

The Ribbon Treatment

Ribbon treatment

Ribbon treatments bring emphasis to headlines. When using ribbon treatments over photos, try not to be too wordy. Short, punchy sentences are best because they do not distract from the image.

Do Not

A block of copy within a molecule

Do not set blocks of copy within a molecule.

Justified copy within a molecule

Do not justify copy within a molecule.

A darkened molecule

Do not make the molecule too dark.

A distorted molecule

Do not distort the molecule.

A molecule at 100% opacity

Do not use molecules at 100% opacity.

Six molecules in a row used as a headline accent

Do not use more than three molecules at a time for headline accents.

An image of the Bruin statue within a molecule

Do not put an image inside a molecule.


Included in your download:

  • The molecule (EPS, PNG, SVG)
  • An example of molecules as lens flares (EPS and PNG)
Download Graphic Elements (ZIP 1 MB)