Brand Standards
University of Memphis Photo
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is it important to follow the University brand standards?

A: Brand standards, applied correctly and consistently, enable us to project a strong, consistent identity for the University of Memphis and help to prevent confusion among our audiences. Proper use of the University's official signatures (logo, secondary logo and seal) is an important part of the branding process, enhancing our image as a quality educational institution.

Q: Where can I download the logos?

A: Logos are available in Adobe Illustrator vector EPS formats readable by Mac or Windows platforms from the official logo download page. Do not scan logos from other reproductions or download them from other Web sites. Reproduction quality will suffer if you do. Also, remember that it is not acceptable to "build" the logo on your computer. If you need assistance in downloading a usable file, contact Creative Services [e-mail].

Q: I'm having trouble downloading a logo from the Web. Why won't it work?

A: Because the University has a wide variety of computers and software programs, some people may have difficulty. Some computers and software programs are simply outdated and not capable of receiving high-resolution files. If you experience difficulty, please consult Creative Services [e-mail]. While a number of people still may have difficulty downloading files that will reproduce adequately, remember, it is incumbent upon everyone to be sure any document they produce projects the University's image with quality.

Q: How do I place the new logo in Microsoft Word?

A: Download the U of M logo best suiting your needs from the official logo download page. For Word, we recommend the high resolution JPEG files. Save the logo to your hard drive, open your Word file, then Insert the saved logo into your document. You will have to scale the logo to the desired size.

Q: I'm in a hurry. Why can't I just recreate the logo? Why do I have to get the proper file from the official Web site?

A: Recreating the logo will not reproduce the logo accurately. The logo is created from characters designed specifically for the U of M, so there is no possibility that an accurate copy can be recreated. The characters have specific spatial relationships and alignment. Simply selecting a similar font, eyeballing it and then reproducing it will invariably produce differences that may be minor, but will detract from the design and its branding capability. Recreating the logo also takes time that might be used more productively.

Q: What has happened to the seal of the University?

A: The seal was changed to give the University a unique mark that better reflects the University of Memphis. The new seal is made up of five elements: the logo, the University's mace, a laurel wreath, the book of knowledge, and the University's position statement. The mace represents leadership and authority and is a visual embodiment of tradition in academic circles. It is displayed only at formal events attended by faculty and administrators dressed in full academic regalia. The book of knowledge displays the Roman numerals "MCMXII" for 1912, the year of the University's founding. The inscription "Imaginari Cogitare Facere," Latin for "Dreamers Thinkers Doers," represents who we are, what our faculty is known for being, and who our students become.

Q: What happened to the shield?

A: The shield was an intrinsic element of the old logo and had never been intended for use on its own. Aside from the new athletic and the secondary logos, whose uses are restricted, there is no icon accompanying the new brand. The old shield should no longer be used as an independent image to represent the university, nor should it ever be used in conjunction with the new brand.

Q: May I use the University's seal?

A: The seal may only be used on official University documents, such as diplomas, transcripts, major report covers, certificates, contracts, formal invitations and engraved notecards. It may never be used as a substitute for the University of Memphis logo. Permission to use the seal must be granted by Marketing and Communications [e-mail]. Once permission has been granted, proper reproduction files or materials will be made available. Do not scan the seal from old documents. It often results in poor quality reproduction.

Q: Can our department have its own logo?

A: The U of M logo with your department's name underneath in the Formata font is your department's logo. Contact Creative Services [e-mail] to get your logo. This logo should be used on official stationery and other items as shown in the Brand Standards Manual [pdf]. In the case of a few programs that have symbols already branded with the audience, permission may be granted to use the proprietary logo as a secondary element. Please check with Marketing and Communications [e-mail] before adding additional elements.

Q: Does the new logo have an icon with it?

A: The primary logo is the wordmark, or logotype. The secondary logo includes the "mace and laurel" icon. The secondary logo may only appear on stationery items (letterhead, business cards, envelopes). The athletic "leaping tiger" logo is the only other icon that may appear in conjunction with the wordmark and its use is reserved for athletics.

Q: May I use the "mace and laurel" icon by itself?

A: No. The "mace and laurel" icon is intrinsic to the secondary logo and may only appear alongside U of M logo on stationery.

Q: What color is the University of Memphis logo?

A: The official University of Memphis logo colors are Pantone Matching System (PMS) 280, PMS 423, black and reversed out of black or other dark colors. See the Brand Colors section of the Brand Standards Manual for specifics. No other colors are permissible.

Q: How do I change the color of the logo to match my document?

A: You don't. U of M colors are PMS 280, PMS 423, black, or reversed out of a dark color. See the Brand Colors section of the Brand Standards Manual for specifics. No other colors are permissible.

Q: How do I fit all the information I need on a business card?

A: Keep in mind that a business card is designed to be a point of contact, so consider carefully how much information really needs to be on the card. In special circumstances that may call for more than one logo, consult Creative Services [e-mail] for options.

Q: May I revise the letterhead design?

A: The layout of the letterhead as described in the Brand Standards Manual [pdf] may not be redesigned.

Q: When I'm typing a letter or memo, do I have to use Bodoni Book, or can I use Times Roman, Garamond, or another typeface?

A: The suggested typefaces are for documents intended for external use to aid in the branding effort. But you are not bound to use any particular typeface for the body text. The above typefaces are suggested in order to maximize readability, but other standard fonts may also be used. Please avoid using cute or trendy fonts such as Comic Sans, Copperplate, script fonts or anything that would not represent the University with dignity.

Q: Do I have to use the trademark or registration marks when using the University's logos and symbols?

A: Yes. All applications of the logo should use the appropriate TM or R marks.

Q: I heard the "Leaping Tiger" symbol has been changed. Is this true?

A: The "Leaping Tiger" element remains the same, though "Tiger blue" is now officially PMS 280 to conform to the University's brand standards. Its use is governed by the Athletic Department.

Q: May I still use the old logo?

A: No. The new branding system replaces the old "shield" logo and related insignia. Those graphics should be considered obsolete and may no longer be used, except in an historical context.

Q: I still have a box of stationery and a lot of business cards left. Do I have to change them all to reflect the new logos?

A: Eventually, yes. But to be fiscally and environmentally responsible, use as much of your old inventory as possible before ordering new supplies.

Q: Are there any standards for signs that need to be made for either the interior or exterior of buildings?

A: Yes. If you need a sign made for either the interior or exterior of a building, consult first with Campus Planning and Design [e-mail]. Many signs will need to include the proper logo, and will need to conform to specific governmental requirements. Do not order signage without checking with Campus Planning and Design.

Office of Communications,
Public Relations and Marketing
303 Administration Building
Memphis, TN 38152
Phone: 901/678-2843
Fax: 901/678-3607
e-mail: logo@memphis.edu

PDF Version of Brand Standards

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Last Updated: 10/1/12