What's New with Brand

May 5, 2021

The University of Minnesota has a strong reputation and our brand is widely recognized. As brand champions, we are all called to promote the brand and align with our brand standards. By connecting to it, we are helping our audiences recognize the important contributions from each of our campuses and units and how those improve their lives. To stay relevant, a brand needs to evolve while staying true to its roots. As a result, there are a few updates or clarifications to the brand guidelines to make you aware of:

Block M

  • The Block M is the University’s most recognized symbol within the state of Minnesota. When communicating within Minnesota, the Block M may be used in place of the wordmark. When communicating outside of the state, or when there may be potential confusion with another entity, we recommend use of the wordmark or the spelling of University of Minnesota with or without the Block M.
  • The Block M is a registered trademark and, as such, should not be altered in any way and must be separated from other elements. Buffer space, as we call it, should be equal to or greater than the height of the Block M’s serif to separate from other graphic elements or the edge of the page. Additionally, the Block M may not be blended or incorporated into other logos except as prescribed in the Wordmark/Unit combination section. These guidelines also apply for all other University trademarks.
  • Cropping of the Block M (cut off) is allowed; however, units must ensure the majority of the Block M is visible so that it is still recognized as our mark. Additionally, side cropping is preferred so that the top and bottom of the M are discernable, and the Block M is not confused with another mark.

Colors

  • The University of Minnesota is recognized by the color combination of maroon and gold. As such, maroon and gold should be the primary colors of any communications from the University.
  • Use of the secondary colors, which are often referred to as accent colors, should be used sparingly and should not appear more prominent than maroon and gold.
  • When creating communications, products or other materials using colors, be careful not to use any combinations that appear similar to other primary color combinations for Universities within the Big10.

Collaboration with Other University Units

  • Our University has talent from every corner, and there are many opportunities to collaborate across units. To convey this collaboration through communications, we recommend that the University wordmark be the only identity mark/logo that should be used. References to the units/program/etc. can be highlighted in text.

Use of University Name and Trademarks by Third Parties

To promote and protect the University’s reputation, the use of the University’s name and/or trademarks by third parties, or entities outside of the University of Minnesota, is restricted. There are only three scenarios in which a third party may be allowed to use the University’s name and/or trademarks:

  1. The third-party has entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with a University department or unit that includes use of University name or trademarks to factually convey this newly formed relationship. All MOAs need to be reviewed and approved by the Office of the General Counsel and any use of University name and/or trademarks must be reviewed by University Relations prior to approval.
  2. A third party has entered into a licensing agreement with the University through the University’s licensing vendor. All licensing agreements are subject to review by the University and the licensing agency to ensure they comply with licensing protocols and don’t have the potential to negatively affect the University’s reputation.
    • All purchases bearing any registered trademark of the university must be made by a manufacturer licensed by the University.
  3. The third-party has entered into a formal sponsorship to support the University’s mission through funding or other sponsorship contribution.
    • “Formal Sponsorship” is defined as a written agreement signed by both parties stating the parameters of sponsorship, benefit to the unit, and any terms and conditions. It must be reviewed and approved by the Office of the General Counsel.
    • A sponsor's use of University trademarks should clearly convey the nature of their relationship with the University through a sponsorship designation, such as “Proud sponsor of Gopher Athletics.”

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Visit the University Relations Brand Site for all brand standards, assets, and related information. As always, if you have any questions about the brand guidelines illustrated above or any of the guidelines posted on our website, please reach out to University Relations by filling out z.umn.edu/URbrand.

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