The Penn Emblem

I’m a big fan of Penn’s aesthetic. Its blue and red theme, the college green, the old pretty buildings… but what brings them all together is the Penn emblem. It’s eye-catching, simple and easily recognizable. Its imbued with history but still feels somewhat timeless. I find it awesome how the emblem has certain distinct features that allow it to be stylized in a multitude of ways and still be recognized.

The arms of Penn was adopted in 1933 with a decorative function. It includes the three plates of the Penn family of arms and the dolphin from Benjamin Franklin’s shield. The colors are gules and azure. The colors are nearly complementary which is why the colors match so well. Azure is a blue with a slight touch of green, similar to the color of the ocean on a clear day. Supposedly they were chosen by a student representing Penn at a track meet where the athletic association adopted those colors to represent the university. It was later adopted by the trustees to create the university flag hoping to conform to the colors of the national flag.

Photo & background info:  https://www.archives.upenn.edu/histy/features/vis_obj/heraldry/guide.html

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