University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Identity Standards, Illinois

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Brand Architecture

Created via consultation with Educational Marketing Group, Ltd.

Brand architecture refers to how an organization structures and names the brands within its portfolio. Read information about consortia and external partners.

Core Brand: Illinois


  • The singular idea you’d like to own in the hearts and minds of your audience.
  • The consistent expression of the brand promise.
  • Aimed at the most important core audience.
  • Must have the same voice, tone, and visual identity.


  • Athletics
  • Extension


  • Typically are athletics and alumni organizations.
  • Have their own distinct personalities, but are linked to the core brand and bring something of value to the core brand.
  • Core values are the same as the core brand.
  • Target audience is the same as the core brand.
  • More expensive to build and maintain than the core brand.
  • Organization and university best served by using their own logo.

Independent Brands

How are these different?


  • Represent a departure from the core brand.
  • Product or service different from the core brand.
  • Target audience different from the core brand.
  • Most expensive to maintain.
  • Organization and campus best served by using their own logo.
  • Relationship between independent brands and core brand shown with the I Mark and campus logos.
  • Campus enterprises run by students for educational purposes related to how to manage and operate a business, including advertising, marketing, and branding, should use an independent brand. Examples: Bevier Cafe, Spice Box, UI-7 Cable TV, WBML Radio.