Fall semester brand tips and reminders

As we dive into the new school year, here are some quick brand tips and reminders:


  • Complete a brand audit. It is helpful to take a moment and review how you are expressing the brand across every channel. Is your website following current standards? Are your other print and digital communications using the correct unit wordmarks? We recommend doing an inventory of these channels and updating them as needed. 
  • Develop a “marks” folder for easy application. Each unit and department manages its brand elements differently. Having a centralized location within your campus, college, or unit for these marks is helpful. Doing so ensures that any staff applying the brand elements are using the current, approved marks.


  • We recently shared the campaign asset package and styleguide for the “Dear Minnesota” campaign. Please use the assets, templates, and tracking guidance to share these campaign stories and your own “Dear Minnesota” stories through your channels. 
  • Get to know your campus/college/unit brand leader. Your campus/college/unit marketing communications leader is an important point of contact for you as you think about aligning your communications with brand standards. University Relations collaborates closely with the marketing communications leaders in our shared work as brand advocates.
  • Ensure proper buffer space around University marks so other elements don’t appear combined with University trademarks. What does that mean? Generally, more space is better than less, but we recommend taking a look at the guidelines for specifics.
  • Ensure brand colors, maroon and gold, are prominent in all UMN materials and licensed products. This helps audiences quickly recognize that the message, product, or presence is related to the University of Minnesota. When you want to include a secondary color, apply the 80/20 rule. 80% of the design should look like the University—be maroon and gold—and 20% can use secondary colors. This also applies when you are selecting apparel color. The primary colors should be the first choice when designing or purchasing merchandise. Avoid color combinations that might be confused with another university (such as black and gold, blue and gold, etc.). 
  • When ordering licensed products, be sure to use a licensed vendor. Visit z.umn.edu/licensees for the latest list, or visit z.umn.edu/UMNLicensing for more information.

If you have any questions about the University’s brand standards, contact brand@umn.edu