Campus Life Program Brand Guidelines

Campus Life Programs (CLPs) are recognized as official affiliates of the University of Minnesota. This means that CLPs officially represent and are part of the University, and therefore are required to follow University brand guidelines for identity purposes. Additionally, CLPs are required to use the unit wordmark template for identity and cannot have a unique logo or graphic to represent the group. 

Campus Life Program Naming

Campus Life Programs may use any names that are acceptable for use by student groups as explained in the “Student Group Name” guidelines for Registered Student Organizations. Additionally, they may use “University of Minnesota” and “Gopher” as part of their name, as they report to an official University unit. Examples include: 

  • “Gopher Gardening Club”
  • “” 
  • “Gopher Gardening” 

Campus Life Programs are subject to the oversight of the University and must use official unit wordmark combinations as approved by their parent department and University Relations. To contact your parent unit, please visit our Marketing and Communications lead page. 

Note for Club Sports

Sports Clubs are a sub-section of CLPs that report to Recreation and Wellness (RecWell). To ensure that Club Sports within RecWell are not mistaken with official D1 Athletic programs, Sports Clubs are required to include “Club” in the name of their organization. Examples include: 

  • Women’s Club Soccer
  • Club Lacrosse
  • Jousting Club

Please reach out to to learn more about specific Club Sport branding. 

Use of University Marks

Campus Life Programs (CLPs) are allowed to use University trademarks but must follow trademark-specific guides as their sponsoring department which is found on our Brand Guidelines page. There are a few reminders/best practices for use: 

  • CLP wordmarks should be developed by the Sponsor/Parent Unit and not created independently. 
  • Do not modify or distort any University trademark. 
  • Do not combine the University’s marks (including text) with any graphics or elements that might be conveyed as a new lockup/logo
  • Use proper buffer space around University trademarks — often more is better.
  • Some units/colleges have specific style guides/best practices for their Campus Life Program to follow. Reach out to the Marketing and Communications lead with questions as they relate to branding.

Brand Considerations

As official affiliates of the University, there are some brand considerations to keep in mind. 

  • Color: Maroon and gold should be prominent in any material and design as would be expected from official University units/departments. Campus Life Programs are representative of the University and therefore should have the same look and feel as if they are a part of the University. We recommend an 80/20 approach – 80% should be maroon and gold; the rest can be accent or complementary colors. 

  • Design: Generally, the University requests that communications from official university entities appear as though they are from the university – meaning a predominance of the color must be maroon and gold and the University trademarks are utilized. We recommend developing templates that can be quickly used to develop materials for your group. For example, a maroon bar at the bottom of the design can easily meet this criteria. Otherwise, the University does not restrict how materials are designed, as long as they conform to University brand guidelines

There are additional practices that should be adhered to: 

  • For group identification: Student groups are encouraged to list their official name on all promotional materials. Acronyms are typically discouraged as entities unfamiliar with University groups may not understand whom you represent. 
  • For promotional products or clothing: CLPs should work with and receive approval from their sponsor/parent unit before making purchases. Items must be purchased from licensed vendors. For a list of licensed vendors, contact Gopher Athletics or review this list
  • For websites: As an official affiliate of the University, Campus Life Programs are required to house their domain within the University ecosystem, including as a subdomain of your parent unit (e.g., or on a dedicated Google site. As a CLP, you are permitted an domain and can have this redirect to your Google site if preferred. Google Sites are required to follow University website standards. Contact your Marketing and Communications Lead to get started. 

Main Contact

For brand-specific questions, your first point of contact would be your parent unit communications office, as they have direct access to your marks, as well as oversee branding at the unit level. To learn who your contact is, visit our Marketing and Communications Leads page and navigate to your unit/college. 

General Prohibitions

Registered Student Organizations and Campus Life Programs may not use the name of the University or any University trademark, including the RSO marks for the following:

  • In any way that creates the impression the University is a user of, sponsor of, or endorses a product or service.
  • In a manner that suggests or implies University endorsement of: 
    • personal, religious, or political point of view; 
    • business activity; 
    • any movement, political party, or partisan political activity;
    • alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, or other tobacco products, illegal or controlled substances and related paraphernalia, sexually-oriented products or services, religious products or services, gaming or games of chance, or firearms;
    • or any program that is not official University business. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who is our Marketing and Communications Lead?

While each department has its own marketing team, the Marketing and Communications Lead is responsible for maintaining marketing and communications throughout all layers of marketing at the unit level. These are also folks who connect regularly with University Relations and are very familiar with University brand policy. If you are unsure who your contact is, please connect with your departmental advisor and ask who your “parent unit” is or who is your parent level Marketing and Communications Lead. Additionally, you can ask Student Unions and Activities, who has this on file. 

We often work collaboratively with our parent unit for flyers, events, etc. How would we go about branding our materials?

University guidelines prohibit multiple of the same university trademarks within a visual space (e.g., two Block Ms on a flyer). Instead, we recommend considering the audiences and which brand should be prominent. One solution is to use the parent unit’s wordmark and then state your group’s name in text in the following style:

CLP example

If there is equal effort established, we would recommend using the University’s master mark (Block M, University of Minnesota, Driven to Discover) and using the names of the parties in the text in the same way as above.

What is a unit wordmark and how do we get a unit wordmark created for our Campus Life Program?

The unit wordmark is the official way affiliated organizations at the University (department, college, center) identify themselves with the University’s brand. We recommend connecting with your Marketing and Communication Lead. The university has established that units maintain their department/unit’s wordmarks; University Relations does not develop these marks. 

We need help getting our designs approved with our vendor (e.g., CustomInk). Why is this happening?

There are numerous reasons why a design might be denied - but often it stems from logo issues. Check in with your sponsor unit to ensure the designs follow university standards. If this has not been resolved and you’re still running into issues, submit a brand request form.

We are hosting an event with an outside organization and they would like to put our logos on their marketing materials. Can we do this?

This is an opportunity to work with your parent unit to determine if this is appropriate to move forward with or not. The University has many policies that do not permit the use of the University’s trademarks in marketing materials. Additionally, we always like to ensure that it is clear why our marks are used in the first place, which may not be clear in the communications being proposed.

Our group is part of a national organization who have their unique branding guideline. How do we brand ourselves with that in mind?

Our recommendation is to connect with your Marketing and Communications Lead to discuss. If needed, they will connect with University Relations to provide input.

We have a graphic that someone designed and would like to put our group name (e.g., UMN Group Name) next to it. Is this allowed?

No. Your group name cannot be combined with other graphic elements. To resolve this, remove mention of “University of Minnesota” or UMN or other variations. However, be advised that the graphic element cannot be used to represent your student group, as this would violate University brand policy.