This policy governs the use of all University trademarks (see definition) for any purpose and applies to the entire University system. Consistency in the use of University trademarks strengthens their value and our ability to protect them from unauthorized use. The Office of University Relations should be consulted whenever it is not clear whether a proposed use is permissible.
Campuses, colleges, departments and individuals may only use University trademarks in strict accordance with this policy and the graphics requirements on the Brand website. In general:
- No University trademark may be altered or combined with any other mark or element.
- A unit may use its name with the University's wordmark only as outlined on the brand site.
- The wordmark is required on all official internal and external communications, excluding individual email messages.
- University colors and branded elements must appear prominently on all official communication and marketing materials.
- The use of official University letterhead and business cards is required in all matters of official University business.
- The use of taglines, icons or graphics as logos or in logos for University units is prohibited. All umn.edu websites must use an official web template header and footer.
- Use of University trademarks in print and electronic materials including email and social media must conform to brand requirements.
- University trademarks may be used on commercial merchandise only by persons and entities licensed by the University’s exclusive licensing agent.
- All official University content must provide equitable access to people with disabilities. See Accessibility of Information Technology policy.
Regents of the University of Minnesota Seal [Regents Seal]
The Regents Seal may be used only as authorized in Board of Regents Policy: Founding Date, Corporate Name and Seal, and University Marks (PDF). It is reserved for use on official documents bearing the signature of a regent, the president or a vice president, chancellor, or dean; on official University awards; and in connection with events or facilities that are frequently used by or have a unique connection to the Board of Regents or president. To request use of the seal, contact the Office of University Relations.
Driven to Discover is the official brand of the University. All University Units should use Driven to Discover and brand elements available on the Our Brand site.
Use of University Trademarks and Logos
By University Colleges, Schools, Departments, Campus Life Programs and Other Units
Units are required to use the wordmark and may use the Block M, in connection with official University business. System campuses must use the appropriate wordmark and Block M combination for their campus in connection with official University business and in their official web headers. University units may also use the mascot marks as appropriate in less formal circumstances.
Each of the University's units has unique attributes that enrich the University brand. When developing individual marketing programs to highlight their unique attributes, units are encouraged to work with the Office of University Relations to assure the successful integration of such programs with the University brand.
By Student Organizations
Registered Student Organizations (RSO) on the Twin Cities campus are allowed the use of the Registered Student Organization Block M mark or Registered Student Organization Goldy mark. The RSO Block M mark, and RSO Goldy mark may not be altered or combined with other elements or graphics. More information on guidelines and best practices are available on the Student Group Policies page. RSOs on the other system campuses should consult their campus RSO rules to determine applicability.
Registered student organizations from any campus may not use any other University trademarks.
Campus Life Programs should refer to “By colleges, schools departments, Campus Life Programs, and other units” above for applicable policy.
By Faculty, Staff, and Students
- No individual faculty, staff, student, or group may use any University trademark or the official web template header and footer, or refer to their affiliation with the University, to indicate support or endorsement of anything that is not official University business. Potential confusion should be dispelled by adding a disclaimer stating that the University is not involved in the subject of the statement. This is also addressed in Board of Regents Policy: Academic Freedom and Responsibility (PDF) and Board of Regents Policy: Outside Consulting and Other Commitments (PDF).
- Athletics Department staff may conduct summer camps and clinics as such activities are commonly understood.The use of the name of the University or any title which would imply University endorsement or sponsorship (e.g., "Gopher" or "Bulldogs") is specifically prohibited unless the camp or clinic is developed and operated as a University-sponsored program or the camp or clinic is held in a campus facility and the athletics director gives written permission for the use of specific identifying terms. This is addressed in the Administrative Procedure: Outside Consulting and Other Commitments.
By Persons and/or Entities Outside the University
University trademarks may be used by persons or entities outside the University only pursuant to a license, memorandum of understanding, or sponsorship agreement stating the terms and conditions of such use. All memoranda of understanding and sponsorship agreements are subject to the approval of the Office of General Counsel.
Prohibited Uses of University Trademarks
Neither the name of the University nor any University trademark, including University colors, may be used in any way that states or implies endorsement of a commercial product or service, gives a false impression, is misleading, or could cause confusion regarding the University’s relationship with any person or entity. Statements that the University is a user or purchaser of a product or program are permitted if true. Use of University trademarks are not allowed in third-party communications including vendor websites or other communications aimed at marketing their products or services.
Neither the name of the University nor any University trademark may be used in any manner that could adversely affect the University’s image or standing or would for any other reason be inappropriate for a public research university. Such proscribed uses include, but are not limited to, the use of University trademarks to promote cigarettes or other tobacco products, illegal or controlled substances and related paraphernalia, sexually oriented products or services, religious products, political parties or organizations, gaming or games of chance, and firearms.
If a violation of this policy is identified, units will be required to work with the Office of University Relations to determine the action needed, which may include redesign of print and/or electronic materials. With respect to all violations of this policy, the University reserves its right to seek appropriate remedies under applicable federal or state law.
Units may submit a request for a special exception to University Relations for consideration.
Reason for Policy
To implement Board of Regents Policy: Founding Date, Corporate Name and Seal, and University Marks (PDF). The University is a complex institution that is known for many things, including excellence in research and scholarship; the advancement of learning; the fostering of creativity; and the further sharing of these things among diverse constituencies through outreach and public service. A key aspect of representing the University's diverse body of work successfully to the larger world is the continued development and maintenance of a consistent visual and brand identity - a consistent use of University trademarks.
A consistent use of the University's brand brings together the efforts of all who constitute the University; it unifies and strengthens the University’s reputation; and it distinguishes the University of Minnesota from other institutions of higher learning, enhancing its relationships with all constituencies, public and private.