Printed on: 02/22/2020. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.
University of Minnisota  FAQ

Brand Policy: Trademarks, Logos, Colors, and Seal

Frequently Asked Questions

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

    The wordmark is required on all marketing and communication materials produced for official University communications. Communications like internal newsletters to staff groups should include the wordmark, but internal memos do not need to include the wordmark. Basic email does not require the wordmark. However, if you're sending out an official email newsletter for staff, then it should incorporate the wordmark in html or text.

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 Wordmark and Unit Combination developed by the Office of University Relations. See University Relations Our Brand Website.

  9. 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 Wordmark Unit 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 include the Block M, Wordmark, Driven to Discover, and 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 Wordmark Unit Combination.

  10. 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.

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

    The piece was most likely produced without the approval of University Relations. All electronic or print communications must adhere to branding guidelines and policy of the University. Always check with University Relations if there are questions.

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