University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Identity Standards, Illinois

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Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to frequently asked questions about campus units that are in partnerships with other organizations, copyright statements on Web pages, course materials, the use of trademark and registered trademark symbols, technical issues, the use of the logo in print, and the use of the logo onscreen for the Web and in presentation programs such as PowerPoint.

Alumni Clubs and Support Groups

Alumni clubs and groups and official support groups may use the campus logos according to the general guidelines. However, they may not alter the logos or combine the I Mark with other design elements to create a new logo for their club or support group. Examples of official support groups include the Moms Association and Dads Association.

Campus Branding Efforts

What was the driving force that led to the creation of marketing plans for campus units as well as the Illinois Identity Standards?

Input from faculty and staff, who requested assistance in raising awareness of campus units to help them boost their reputation, increase funding by securing more grants and contracts, and meet Strategic Plan goals.

Campus Unit Logos

How do I obtain a logo for my school, college, or department?

The Chancellor and Provost ended the use of campus unit logos on July 7, 2008. Campus units should use the Illinois logo (preferred) or Urbana-Champaign logo and refer to themselves with text.

Campus units are asked to refer to themselves in text. Should units mix font types in words, font sizes, or attributes such as bold, italic, underline, or shadow? May colored text be used?

Any significant graphic treatment will quickly turn a typeface into a logo (specifically, a wordmark), which isn't in the spirit of what the Chancellor and Provost have asked the campus to do. More info. However, the difference between a typeface and a logo can be subtle. When in doubt, keep it simple.

Campus units should use any standard typeface, generally in one font (roman, bold, italic, semibold, etc.). Avoid blackletter, ornamental, and display typefaces. Other than initial caps, it is best to avoid mixing upper and lower case and small caps with standard caps, as the result is often a wordmark. It's a good rule of thumb to avoid using combinations of super or sub-script, emboss and engrave, underlining, or strikethrough, because without careful use these also quickly will turn a typeface into a wordmark.

The colors of the typeface are up to the unit; choose colors that fits the unit's visual identity (a common look applied to all communications materials). If the unit isn't using a visual identity, they are encouraged to develop one. More info.

Campus Units in Partnerships

I handle print and digital communications materials for a campus organization that is one of several equal partners that have joined together to form a larger organization. How should I show the the organization's ties to the campus?

Consortia and external partners should use the Illinois logo (preferred) or Urbana-Champaign logo and give it the same visual weight as the logos of other partners in the organization. Follow the guidelines for the buffer zone and the Campus Administrative Manual's guidelines for sponsorships and advertisements.

Read more information about how the university manages partnerships.

How should consortia and external partners handle stationery materials, including letterhead, business cards, and envelopes?

Consortia and external partners should use their own logo and design for their stationery, which includes letterhead, business cards, and envelopes. Consortia and external partners may order business cards online via the Document Services Web page. The logos of partners, including the university, should not appear on the cards.

Read more information about how the university manages partnerships.

I handle communications materials for a campus organization that plays a lead role and is supported financially or otherwise by other organizations. Does my organization need to comply with the Illinois Identity Standards?

Yes; your organization is considered to be a university-led partnership. Follow the guidelines on this site and the Campus Administrative Manual's guidelines for sponsorships and advertisements.

Commercial sponsors for a conference hosted by my college have asked us to put their logos on a Web page listing sponsors on our site. Where do I find the campus guidelines?

View the Guidelines for Sponsorships and Advertisements in the online version of the Campus Administrative Manual.

I'm working on communications materials for a unit that is supported by both the Urbana campus and either the Chicago or Springfield campuses. Which guidelines do I follow?

Follow the University of Illinois system's guidelines and use the University of Illinois System's wordmark (version three) only; don't use the campus names that appear underneath the wordmark. The two campuses may be acknowledged elsewhere in the materials, either in text or by using the individual campus logos and giving them equal design weight.

Acknowledge Colleges, Schools, Departments or Major Administrative Unit

The guidelines call for campus units to refer to themselves in text and use the campus logos. Does this mean departments should not acknowledge their school or college?

Departments must acknowledge their college, school, institute or major administrative unit in text on print and digital communications materials. Each college, school, administrative unit etc. has different guidelines; for specifics, please consult with college or unit communications staff.

Copyright and Privacy Statements

Should I include a copyright statement on campus unit Web pages?

Campus units are encouraged but not required to include on their home Web pages the copyright statement "©YEAR University of Illinois Board of Trustees," a link to the Privacy Policy at and a link to contact someone with the unit.

According to the university's legal counsel, while copyright notice is no longer required in the U.S. in order to preserve ownership rights, there are good reasons for including it. It puts viewers on notice that:

  • You are claiming rights
  • Who you are
  • When you started claiming rights for this expression fixed in a medium.

Including the notice means people are:

  • less likely to use copyrighted material without asking
  • more likely to contact campus units about obtaining permission
  • more likely to give attribution, and
  • more likely to agree to other conditions or even denial of permission as appropriate.

Course Materials

Do printed and electronic course materials need to comply with the graphic standards?


Interdisciplinary Work

Our campus unit is conducting research with another campus unit and we're ready to share what we've learned. What's the correct way to credit both units?

Use the Illinois logo or Urbana-Champaign logo and make sure to mention the roles both campus units played in text elsewhere in the communications piece.

Licensed Manufacturers

I found a Web site that allows customers to order T-shirts and other merchandise online. Can I use any manufacturer to create merchandise like T-shirts, coffee cups, and key chains that I plan to either sell to raise funds for a campus organization or give to the members of a campus organization?

All merchandise with any university-related mark or symbol, including text such as "University of Illinois," must be produced by a licensed manufacturer. Ordering from a licensed manufacturer ensures quality, proof of insurance, and fair labor practices.

Read more about the trademark and licensing guidelines.

My campus unit has been contacted by a corporation that will be attending a campus event. The company would like to create merchandise that will feature both their trademarked artwork or text and the university’s trademark artwork or text. How should my unit proceed?

This is permissible as long as the corporation uses a licensed manufacturer that would be required to pay royalties on the merchandise. Typically a small rights fee would be associated with co-branded promotional items, which would be handled by the Collegiate Licensing Company (the university's licensing agent). The manufacturers pay royalties directly to CLC. Requests for exemptions to this policy should be addressed to Marty Kaufman at the Trademark and Licensing Office.

Why have graphic standards?

Consistent use by all campus community members of the same visual cues identifies the campus at a glance. It associates the campus with the tremendous variety of activities, work, and resources we provide to the world.

Are these new standards?

Much of the content on this Web site is new, but graphic standards for the campus were first introduced in 1997, when the campus logos were adopted. Some of the content of this site is an evolved version of the original graphic standards.

Why is compliance mandatory?

Compliance with the graphic standards was voluntary when the standards were released in 1997. While many campus units complied with the standards, some did not. The result over the years was an increasing expenditure of resources on the multiplication of unrelated graphics that sent conflicting messages about the campus, compromising and diluting its brand recognition with key audiences.

What are the qualities of a well-designed logo?

Well-designed logos can be easily reproduced in one color, full color, and reversed versions in print and onscreen.

When reduced in size, the typeface remains legible.

They are recognizable even if mutilated (Paul Rand).

What's the difference between a logo and a graphic design element?

A logo is a mark or symbol that identifies an organization, service, or product. A design element is a space, shape, form, mass, line, texture, patter, light, or color that compose the basic vocabulary of visual designs.

Design elements are used with design principles, which include scale, proportion, perspective, balance, rhythm emphasis, contrast, variety and unity, to create the broader structural aspects of the composition. Design elements and principles create, mood, style, and message. Details.

Procurement of typesetting, printing, and binding

Where can I find guidelines for the procurement of typesetting, printing and binding?

You can view the guidelines in the Campus Administrative Manual.

Sesquicentennial Logos and Style Guide

Where can I find the Sesquicentennial logos and style guide?

You can download both on the logo downloads page.


Where do I find information about guidelines for interior and exterior signs and vehicle signs?

The Facilities & Services Sign Shop handles all campus signage. Those with questions may call 217-244-2876 or email Eric Wilson at

Exterior sign guidelines

Policy on vehicle signs

State of Illinois and University of Illinois System Administration Guidelines for Publications

Are there any statements required for use in publications or other requirements?

Yes. The guidelines may be found on the Office of Business and Financial Services Web site.


My campus unit has created a visual identity and is extending it to all of its communications materials. Should we create business cards, envelopes, and letterhead to match it?

No. University policy requires that standardized stationery be used by all three campuses.

However, the standards do allow messages from campus units that match the unit's visual identity to be printed on standard-size paper. For instance, a 8 1/2x 11 template that fits the visual identity can be used to print forms, a schedule of events, agendas, promotional copy, conference information, student/faculty/alumni testimonials, new faculty/staff hires, course descriptions, an application for admission to the college or school, etc.

See an example from the School of Social Work's visual identity.

If the communication is in the form of a letter from university faculty/staff, the official campus letterhead is required to be used. A good rule of thumb is that if the communication would use the signature of a university employee, the official campus letterhead should be used.

Business cards

Can I include my personal email, home telephone number and address, and Web site URL on a university business card?

Only university-related information such as mail, email, and Web addresses may appear on business cards, with the exception of telephone numbers. Campus office telephone number(s) must appear first, although cellular phone, pager, or home telephone numbers may appear as secondary contact numbers.

I am involved in multidisciplinary research and hold an appointment in two departments. How do I show this on a business card?

Include the information for the first appointment on front of the business card and the information for the second on the back.

I frequently have contact with people that speak a language other than English. How is this handled on a business card?

The front of the card should be in English and the back of the card should be the translated version.

I'm a student about to graduate. Can I order a student card for use in my job search?

Yes. View more information about business cards.

How should consortia and external partners handle stationery materials, including letterhead, business cards, and envelopes?

Consortia and external partners should use their own logo and design for their stationery, which includes letterhead, business cards, and envelopes. Consortia and external partners may order business cards online via the Document Services web page. The logos of partners, including the university, should not appear on the cards.

Read more information about how the university manages partnerships.

I'm a member of a University-Related Organization. May I order official university business cards?

You should use the business cards of your organization/business. You may use Document Services to print the cards or an external vendor.

Trademark and Registered Trademark Symbols

When should the trademark symbol (TM) be used?

The trademark symbol must be used when the standard version of the I Mark appears on merchandise. See the trademark section of this manual for more information.

The trademark symbol need not appear when the I Mark is used in a print or Web advertisement or when the I Mark is used in a publication produced for official university business.

When should the registered trademark symbol (®) be used?

The registered trademark must be used when the 1867 version of the I Mark appears on merchandise. See the trademark section of this manual for more information.

The registered trademark symbol need not appear when the I Mark is used in a print or Web advertisement or when the I Mark is used in a publication produced for official campus business.

Technical Issues

How do I change the color of a logo?

GIF and TIF image files may be edited in programs such as Photoshop. For use in print, it is easiest to change the logo colors using Illustrator. These programs are available for purchase through Campus Stores.

1867 Illinois mark on a red backgroundWhat is the best way to put the I Mark on a dark background?

To place the logo on a dark background, draw a thin rule in white around the logo, like the example in red. The thin white rule should be approximately twice the width of the inner white frame. View a page where users can download all the campus logos as EPS files with the rule already in place. The I Mark also could be reversed - more info.



I'm a student here, and most other students, including faculty and staff, refer to the campus as UIUC. Why isn't this used in our branding efforts instead of "University of Illinois" or "Illinois?"

While we still sometimes hear UIUC used internally on campus, with a few notable exceptions (such as in Asia) it's a short-hand not recognized in the wider world. While the campus community understands what's meant by UIUC, marketing research performed over several decades and, more recently, Web search analytics, clearly show that external audiences know this campus as the "University of Illinois" or, simply, "Illinois."

University Administration Standards

My campus unit is part of the University of Illinois Administration. Should our Web page (domain name ending in and print materials follow the guidelines presented on this Web site?

No. Please follow the University of Illinois Administration standards. Read more information.

Using the Campus Logos in Print


The print standards indicate that the I Mark should appear on the front of printed materials and the Illinois logo or Urbana-Champaign logo should appear on an inside page. How do I include the Illinois identity on a one-sided poster?

Although designers are encouraged to use the Illinois logo or Urbana-Champaign logo on the poster, designers need only to include an I Mark on the poster and the text "University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign" to comply with the standards.

View print standards details.

Name badges and agendas

Should the I Mark be included on name badges and agendas?

While the use of the I Mark is encouraged, it is not required to appear on name badges and agendas.

How do I find the correct logo for use in Microsoft Office products such as Word?

All of the image files needed to reproduce the campus logos correctly using either Mac or PC are available by going to the downloads section of this manual and clicking on the logo you wish to use. Information about file formats is included in a readme.txt file included in the download. The same information about file formats also may be found on the main downloads page.

Typefaces (fonts)

What fonts are used in the Illinois logo and the Urbana-Champaign logo?

The primary typefaces are Adobe Garamond and Univers 55.

How do I obtain the fonts that are used in the Illinois logo and the Urbana-Champaign logo?

Both typefaces may be purchased from the Adobe Web site.

Are units required to use the official fonts in print and electronic communications products?

No. Their use is encouraged but not required.

View typeface details.

Using the Campus Logos Onscreen

Where do I obtain the correct version of the campus logos to use in my PowerPoint presentation?

Image files suitable for use in presentation programs are included in a compressed (.zip) file when users download any of the official campus logos from this Web site. Information about recommended file formats is available on the main downloads Web page and in a readme.txt file included with the image files.

Use of the University's Name, Image or Logos

I am a photographer, videographer, or filmmaker. Do I need written permission to reproduce any image of the university, including its name, recognizable landmarks, buildings, for uses other than personal use, news, scholarly or academic purposes.

Yes. View the guidelines for use of the university's name, image or logos in the online version of the Campus Administrative Manual.

Vexilla/banners FAQs

Frequently asked questions about vexilla/banners may be found on the vexilla guidelines page.

Using Word


Microsoft Word is not well suited for professional page layout or desktop publishing. It is best used for processing text that will be imported into professional layout programs. While Word contains templates for print, its ability to perform layout tasks is limited and a professional printer may have problems outputting the resulting files. For the best results, use Adobe's InDesign and Illustrator or Quark XPress. However, the following information may be useful for those with limited software options.

How do I make a larger TIF file for use in Word? The TIF file included in the download isn't large enough for my intended use.

Open the EPS file included in the download in Photoshop. Photoshop will prompt you to choose a resolution and dimensions for opening the .eps file. Set the resolution to 300, and the width to the desired size. Save it as a TIF file and then import in in Word or Pagemaker.

Works of Art

I'm preparing a postcard and a print publication where the front consists entirely of an image of a work of art created by an artist that we're featuring and has an upcoming display in our facility. Placing the I Mark or either of the campus logos on the front would interfere with the integrity of the work of art, potentially angering the artist. Where should the logo be placed?

If there is no other text on the cover (name of exhibit, dates, location, etc.) it is acceptable to put a campus logo (the Illinois logo is preferred) elsewhere in the materials. Common placements include the back cover of the materials and the inside cover (page 2).

Web Guidelines

Do I have to revise all of the existing pages on my Web site to meet the standards?

No. The standards only ask that the I Mark and the text "University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign" appear prominently on the home page, that the campus favorites icon be used, and that the campus name appear after the unit's name in the title field of the home page.

It takes no more than one or two hours at the most to accomplish and Webmasters have until June 1 to work the project into their schedule.

Only newly created interior Web pages should include an I Mark and the campus name (U of I is acceptable) in the title field. Webmasters are encouraged to use templates, includes, or other dynamic methods to make the process as easy as possible and to share their solutions with the campus.

Read the Web standards.