CU Brand FAQs

Q. What is branding?

A. Branding is the process of strategically presenting the university through messages and visual images to help shape perceptions among key constituencies. However, it is more than images, messages, and logos. It is the promise of who we are, what we aspire to be and how our constituencies perceive us.

Q. What was the process?

A. CU engaged Landor Associates, an internationally known branding firm, to assist with the process. A CU team comprising the president, chancellors, CU Foundation leadership, and lead communication staff from campuses, system administration, and the CU Foundation worked with Landor on the project. The firm conducted a peer analysis and quantitative and qualitative research (some 12,000 quantitative surveys among faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors; nearly 50 focused interviews with key people inside and outside the university). The CU team and Landor used the research to develop key messages and visual images.

Q. What is the role of branding in a fundraising campaign?

A.  CU announced the public phase of the Creating Futures campaign in April 2011.  Branding has and will continue to help the university focus its messages and images to convey to donors its collective impact and excellence.

Q. My college/school/unit has a custom-designed logo? Can we keep using it?

A. We are phasing out all custom or non-standard logos (with few exceptions) in order to maximize the consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness of University of Colorado communications. A consistent visual identity will greatly enhance our ability to communicate effectively about our value to students, parents, alumni, donors, and others who can support our success.

Q.  Where can I get guidance on how to implement the brand?

A.  The communications and publications teams on each campus and at system administration are a resource to provide guidance and answer questions.  You can also find answers in the system and campus identity standards documents. The system office and each campus has a brand identity standards board to serve as a resource and to provide guidance. See Staff Contact for Visual Messages.

Q. How do I get the new graphics?

A. Use the downloads form on this site to acquire the new logos/digital assets. You will be asked for a few details about your project(s) and to confirm your willingness to comply with the university’s messaging and visual identity standards.

Q. How do I get the font?

A. There are still a limited number of font packages available.  To request a font package please contact Elizabeth Collins at elizabeth.collins@cu.edu.  Once the available fonts have been distributed you may visit Linotype.com to purchase the font package.

Q. What if my department cannot afford to purchase the font?

A. In the absence of Helvetica Neue, the Arial type family is an acceptable substitute to be used in the body of a document, letter or marketing piece.  However, logos and logo extensions must always be done using the Helvetica Neue font.  

Q. How can I get a department specific logo created?

A.  Please contact Jon Arnold at jon.arnold@cu.edu.  He will be able to create your department specific logo extension art.

Q. How do I get letterhead and business cards?

A. Sir Speedy has new system administration letterhead and business card templates and is ready to assist you in printing business collateral. Contact them at 303.839.5889 or Liz@sirspeedydenver.com  to get started.  For campus business collateral and business cards ordering information please visit the branding website for each campus.

Q. Someone in our office heard a rumor that not all offices will be required to change their logos. Is there any truth to this?

A. No, all departments will be using the new branding.

Q. I see in the guidelines that I can use a custom version of the CU web banner specific to my college/school/unit. Why can’t I use a custom logo specific to my college/school/unit in my print communications?

A. Because each print piece stands alone and is often viewed separately from other communications, print communications require the official university/campus-specific logo on their front panels. All websites are required to have consistent banner and footer content and design, per the web identity standards. Because websites are connected via links to the university homepage website, allowing custom web banners helps website users navigate the university’s overall web presence (like street signs in a large city). For more information, visit the visual identity section of this website.

Q. What is the official name of each campus?

A. Our official first and second references are as follows:

  • First Reference:
    • University of Colorado Boulder 
      (deleting the "at" previously included as part of the name)
    • University of Colorado Colorado Springs 
      (deleting the "at" previously included as part of the name)
    • University of Colorado Denver
    • University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Second Reference:
    • CU-Boulder
    • UCCS
    • CU Denver
    • CU Anschutz Medical Campus