A black circular device edged with a 1/8 inch (.32 cm) gold border, the overall diameter 3 inches (7.62 cm) consisting of a gold fleur-de-lis to the viewer's lower right, and above in the upper center a black cardinal head with gold beak, white eye, and a cardinal red comb, all above and below to the viewer's left, the inscription "U OF L" in white letters 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) in height.
The cardinal represents the University of Louisville and is the state bird of the commonwealth of Kentucky. The fleur-de-lis represents the French influence from which the city of Louisville derives its name. The gold border and gold use in the fleur-de-lis is representative of the city colors and of knowledge. Cardinal red, black and white are the official school colors.
The shoulder sleeve insignia was authorized 11 August 1983.