In 1812, Princeton Theological Seminary opened with a class of three students. Twelve years later this seal was designed and adopted (figure 1). The Divine Presence and the Inspired Word which it symbolizes have never ceased to be central in the teaching and the witness of Princeton Seminary.
According to James Armstrong, academic dean emeritus:
“The 1824 seal is the official seal of the corporation. It was adopted in 1824 because the institution did not apply for incorporation until 1821, and the Legislature did not get to the job until November 1822. There was unhappiness with the certificate as approved, since it did not contain any provision on dissolution (what would happen to the funds if the incorporating act were rescinded?), and it was not until December 1823 that the Legislature passed an amendment correcting this flaw. Then the Trustees adopted the seal in 1824. Although it is the corporate seal, the Seminary in the latter part of the 1900s created at least one other seal (or perhaps better called insignia) for more popular purposes. To my knowledge, however, the trustees never adopted the insignia as a replacement or alternative seal; so on documents where an official seal would be appropriate the 1824 model continues to be used.”
Before 1983 there was really no institutional logo or brand. The Seminary used the “chevron seal” (figures 2 and 3) that a Seminary administrator purportedly crafted from the chevron shape on the Princeton University seal, although that was not used consistently.
In the year 1960, the publication Alumni News used the chevron seal/insignia (figures 2 and 3) on its inside front cover.
In December 1972, The Princeton Seminary Bulletin printed this seal/insignia (figures 2 and 3) on its inside front cover.
The logo in figure 4 was designed in 1983, the year Dr. Gillespie became president.
In 1987, The Princeton Seminary Bulletin began printing this new logo (figure 4) along with the earlier seal (figures 2 and 3) in its publication.
In the year 1987 a logo was created for the 175th anniversary of the Seminary (figure 5).
Since the inception of the Seminary’s web site, in the year 1995, the Seminary has been using the treatment of the logo (figure 6) on all of its printed publications and on the web site.
This logo uses the logo (the PTS in a box) created in 1983 in combination with the name of the Seminary, set with “Theological” being most prominent. There are elements of this logo graphic (the PTS in a box) that are strong, and suggest classical tradition; subtly, the graphic treatment of PTS based on the Greek chi rho (PXS) suggests that we are grounded in Christ. This logo is also identifiable with Princeton Seminary.