APS 2025 - University Brand Identity and Logo Usage

PDF Version

Policy Profile

Policy Title: University Brand Identity and Logo Usage
APS Number: 2025
Effective: January 1, 2016
Approved by: President Bruce D. Benson
Responsible University Officer: Vice President for University Communications
Responsible Office: Office of University Relations
Policy Contact: Office of University Relations
Supersedes: University Brand Identity and Trademarks, April 9, 2015
Last Reviewed/Updated: January 1, 2016
Applies to: All campuses and employees

Policy Snapshot

Brief Description: Entities of the University may not create their own logo and must follow university branding standards.

Reason for Policy:  To protect the brand identity of the university.

I.  Introduction

The collective strength of the image and reputation of the University of Colorado has been built over the past 138 years.  It is critical that we use the equity we’ve created to promote CU to our key stakeholders in consistent, coordinated messages and visual images.  The university continually competes for resources, attention and students.  It cannot afford to hinder those efforts by presenting mixed messages, confusing images or fragmented communications. 

CU entities benefit from their affiliation with and support of the University of Colorado brand.  As such, the use of custom-designed logos or graphic symbols for identification are expressly prohibited for all CU academic, administrative, research and clinical units and groups.  Requests for exceptions to this may be presented, as outlined in the CU System Brand Identity Standards Guide, to the CU System Brand Identity Standards Board for consideration.

Presenting the university through consistent and coordinated messages and images will allow us to better showcase our excellence, value and impact.  It will also lead to better connections with key audiences and convey our strengths in learning and teaching, discovery and innovation, health and wellness, and community and culture.

In January of 2009 the Board of Regents approved the official wordmark of the University of Colorado system and campuses.  As the key element of the university’s graphics standards program, its effectiveness depends on its proper and regular use on all university communications print and electronic.  A set of graphics standards and guidelines was formulated by the University Brand Identity Standards Board, comprised of members from system administration and all four campuses.  These standards, as outlined in the CU System Brand Identity Standards Guide, apply to all university units.

The purpose of this policy statement is to establish formal guidelines of University of Colorado graphic standards design and application.

II. Policy Statement

To protect the name and ensure consistency of representation of the “University of Colorado,” the wordmarks, campus signatures and logo extension, the seal, and the spirit marks of all campuses, the University of Colorado Board of Regents has determined these marks may only be used as permitted by this policy and in accordance with the requirements listed within the system and campus brand identity standards guides.  The following applies to all uses of University logos and trademarks:

  • System and campus units are required to use the official wordmark with the approved campus signatures and logo extension, as codified in the CU System Brand Identity Standards Guide.
  • No university trademark, wordmark, campus signature or logo extension may be altered
  • No university unit may create its own logo extension or deploy a sub-brand that conflicts with that of its parent campus and/or the University of Colorado
  • University colors and branded elements must comply with Brand Guidelines at the System or campus level on all official and unofficial communication and marketing materials, as codified in the CU System Brand Identity Standards Guide.
  • Use of taglines, icons or graphics as logos or in logos for University units is prohibited
  • All cu.edu, Colorado.edu, ucdenver.edu and uccs.edu websites must use an official web template header and footer
  • Use of university trademarks and logos in print and electronic material, including email and social media, must conform to brand requirements
  • Any use of University trademarks on commercial merchandise (apparel and non-apparel) is prohibited unless produced through an appropriate licensed vendor
  • Signage standards must be met.  For specific standards, click here.

Any request to deviate from the brand identity standards must be submitted in writing to the University Brand Identity Standards Board and only after the request has first been made to and approved by the campus board.  The request must receive final approval from the campus chancellor (if applicable) and/or university president.

If violation of this policy is identified, units will be required to work with their respective campus board and/or the University Brand Identity Standards Board (as applicable) to determine the action needed, which may include redesign, reprint, or modification of print and/or electronic materials.

III. Definitions

Wordmark –  is the trade mark that contains the words University of Colorado.

Campus Signatures – a version of the wordmark that includes the campus designation including “Boulder”, “Colorado Springs”, “Denver” and “Anschutz Medical Campus” and is created as explained in the system and campus brand identity standards guides.

Logo Extension – a version of the wordmark that includes the name of the college, department, institute or other university entity and is created as explained on the system and campus brand identity standards guides.

University Unit – all campuses, colleges, institutes, departments, offices and centers that are a part of the university

IV. Related Policies, Procedures, Forms, Guidelines and Other Resources

IV. History

Initial policy established April 9, 2015.
Revised January 1, 2016