University of Minnesota  FAQ

Brand Policy: Trademarks, Logos, Colors, and Seal


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

  1. Is the wordmark required on all marketing and communication materials? What about email or informal internal communications?

    It is important that audiences quickly recognize the communication is coming from the University of Minnesota. The wordmark is the clearest way to communicate that affiliation, but in some situations the Block M may be used in place of the wordmark. All marketing and communication materials produced for official University communications should include either the wordmark or the Block M. Communications like internal newsletters to staff groups should include the wordmark or Block M, but internal memos do not need to include the wordmark/Block M. Basic (e.g. Gmail) email does not require the wordmark or Block M because it is being sent from your email address. However, if you're sending out an official email newsletter for staff or an external audience, then it should incorporate the wordmark or Block M.

  2. Is the wordmark required on individual faculty work?

    If the work represents official business (is work related) then the wordmark should be used. If the individual faculty communication is not work related, the wordmark should not be used.

  3. Can the Block M be used instead of the wordmark?

    The Block M is the most widely recognized symbol for the University of Minnesota in the state. If you are communicating with audiences within the state of Minnesota, the Block M may be used in place of the For audiences who may be confused who the communication is coming from, the wordmark should be used.

  4. Is Driven to Discover required on marketing and communication materials?

    Units are not required to use Driven to Discover, but it's highly recommended.

  5. Why should we use Driven to Discover?

    Driven to Discover is the official brand of the University. It expresses the identity of the University of Minnesota as a whole, and every time we communicate - internally or externally - we have the opportunity to strengthen this identity.

  6. Who bears the cost of reprinting or reproducing materials that are non-compliant?

    The producing unit will bear the costs of reprinting or reproducing materials that are not compliant.

  7. Can personal and student websites use the official headers and footers?

    No. Websites that do not reflect official business of the University may not use official headers and footers. Visit the Our Brand Site for more guidelines.

  8. Do publications and websites have to always use maroon and gold?

    Our colors are instantly recognizable and a very useful visual cue - especially for our audiences who see thousands of print and electronic communications every day. Maroon and gold should be clearly visible so that it is instantly recognizable as a University of Minnesota communication. A secondary color palette has been developed by University Relations but these colors should be used as accent colors and not overshadow the use of maroon and gold.

  9. How can units use existing logos?

    The use of taglines, icons, or graphics (besides the Block M) as logos or in logos for University units is prohibited. Existing icons or logos must be eliminated or repurposed as illustrations or graphic elements. A unit may use a type treatment of its name, and it may be used in the Unit Wordmark Combination developed by the Office of University Relations. See University Relations Our Brand Website.

  10. What is the difference between a Wordmark, Logo, and Graphic Element?

    The Wordmark is a distinct text-only typographic treatment of the University's name. A Unit Wordmark Combination includes both the University's name and the individual unit being represented. A Logo is a graphic mark or emblem that represents an entity. A Logo can be either graphic, consisting of symbols or icons, or composed of the name of the organization. The University's logos are registered trademarks that must be used consistently and include the Block M, Wordmark, Driven to Discover, and mascot marks such as Regal the Eagle, Champ the Bulldog. , Pounce the Cougar, Rockie the Raptor, Goldy Gopher.

    A Graphic Element is a visual component that can be used in a designed print or electronic communication piece. It should never be part of a Unit Wordmark Combination.

  11. Can student organizations use University wordmarks or logos?

    Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are prohibited from using University trademarks, including Block M, Goldy, etc., and instead should use the RSO mark approved by their campus. Certified Life Programs (CLPs) are allowed to use a Unit Wordmark Combination as defined and approved by their sponsor unit. More information can be found on Student Unions and Activities Student Group Policies page.

  12. We have an interest in making a limited edition version of our mascot (e.g., Goldy, Champ). Can we do this?

    No. Any alteration to the mascot trademarks, or any University trademark, diminishes the University’s rights in that mark and ability to defend misuse by others with the United States Patent & Trademark Office and is therefore prohibited.

  13. Can University marks be used on t-shirts or other memorabilia for a department, student group, or for an event?

    The production of merchandise using University trademarks must be done through a licensed supplier and adhere to guidelines and policies of the University. Contact the Trademark Licensing Office for a list of suppliers to suit your needs.

  14. I have seen University materials that don't follow the Why can't I do the same?

    The  piece was most likely produced without the approval of University Relations or created at a time when a guideline wasn’t available. All electronic or print communications must adhere to current branding guidelines and policy of the University. Always check with University Relations if there are questions.