Section Title

Brand Standards

Usage Policies: Permissions Guide

For usage and required approvals

PLEASE NOTE: To view and download University marks and logos, please visit the downloads section of this website. You will need to authenticate using your U-M uniqname and password to access this section of the site. If you do not have a U-M uniqname, please email us for assistance. 

To order stationery online, please visit the U-M Business Services website.

LOGO FAQ

Q: When do you need permission to use the University marks?
A: All third-party entities (individual, corporate, non-profit, peer, etc.), must obtain prior written permission from the University of Michigan. (Please see the permissions guide for contact information.)

Q: When do you need a license to use the University marks?
A: All third-party entities (individual, corporate, non-profit, peer, etc.), wishing to produce products bearing the University marks are required to hold a license. Contact the U-M Licensing Office for more information.

Q: What products can be licensed?
A: All licensing opportunities are considered and handled by the Trademark Licensing Office. Contact licensing@umich.edu for more information.

Q: How can I tell if the product I am purchasing is a licensed product?
A: Look for the “Officially Licensed Collegiate Products” label. All licensed collegiate products are marked with this identifier in some form.

Q: What happens if unlicensed merchandise is found in the marketplace?
A: Merchandise produced without written authorization may be considered “counterfeit” and subject to all available legal remedies, including seizure of the merchandise. 

Q: May I use the Block M on my wedding cake/groom’s cake, or on cakes for other celebratory events like birthdays?
A: Yes, we will grant permission for a single use and ask that you abide by the policies and guidelines of the University. The Block M may not be modified or changed in any way. Should you want to use the Block M for any other purpose, you would need to request permission again specifically for that other purpose

Q: May I use the Block M on a gravestone or funeral urn?
A: Yes, we will grant permission for a single use and ask that you abide by the policies and guidelines of the University. The Block M may not be modified or changed in any way. Should you want to use the Block M for any other purpose, you would need to request permission again specifically for that other purpose.

Q: May I use the Block M on high school graduation announcements/graduation party invitations?
A: Yes, we will grant permission for a single use and ask that you abide by the policies and guidelines of the University. The Block M may not be modified or changed in any way. Should you want to use the Block M for any other purpose, you would need to request permission again specifically for that other purpose.

Q: May I use the Block M on a graduation invitation celebrating a student’s graduation from the University of Michigan?
A: Yes, we will grant permission for a single use and ask that you abide by the policies and guidelines of the University. The Block M may not be modified or changed in any way. Should you want to use the Block M for any other purpose, you would need to request permission again specifically for that other purpose.

Q: My company recruits U-M students. May I use any of the university’s marks in our recruiting materials?
A: No, we do not allow external companies to use our registered trademarks in their recruiting.

Q: I work in K-12 education; we display various university logos in our school that our students might consider applying to. Can we use your logo for this purpose?
A: Please contact idstandards@umich.edu for more information.

Q: I have an older University of Michigan t-shirt that is no longer available for purchase. Can I have it reprinted by my local t-shirt shop?
A: Please contact idstandards@umich.edu for more information.

Q: Can I play the Michigan fight song “The Victors” at my corporate event? We have quite a few U-M alums.
A: Yes. The fight song is in the public domain, which means you can play it at your event. PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to use the Michigan Marching Band’s recording of the song, you’ll need to contact the band directly to obtain permission and proper clearances. For more information, email the Marching Band

Q: Can individual students use the Block M?
A: Use by students is limited. Students may use the Block M on posters for presentations and conferences, as long as the work being presented was conducted/researched/completed at U-M. Recent graduates may also use the marks on poster presentations recounting work they did while a student at U-M.

Q: I’m a current student. May I create my own business cards using the Block M or other U-M marks?
A: Students may order templated (pre-designed) student business cards from U-M Printing Services or any Ann Arbor FedEx/Kinko’s locations. Students may not create their own business cards using U-M marks.

Q: I’m a U-M alumnus. May I create my own business cards using U-M marks?
A: No. Alumni may not use the Block M or other registered university trademarks. The Alumni Association of the University of Michigana and some of the regional alumni clubs may have business card designs available for you to use; please contact the Alumni Association or your local regional club.

Q: A group of us are graduating this year, and we would like to design a souvenir t-shirt. Can we include the U-M logo on the shirt?
A: Please contact idstandards@umich.edu for more information.

Q: My alumni group wants to design our own t-shirt for personal use. Are we allowed to use the U-M logo, Block M, or other marks?
A: Please contact idstandards@umich.edu for more information.

Q: I'd like to print some t-shirts that will be given away for my department event. Are there restrictions as to where I can get this order printed?
A: Yes, standard guidelines regarding the design must be followed and you must use a licensed vendor to order any product bearing that design. The University has selected The Image Group and Underground Printing as preferred vendors. Please consider using one of these companies for your needs first before seeking out other licensed vendors for your project..

Q: May I use the Block M on my resume?
A: No.

Q. I belong to a CCI-registered student club. What are the policies and guidelines our club should be following when it comes to our U-M affiliation?
A. For a comprehensive list of the University’s guidelines for student organizations, please see our student group policy.

Q: Our Voluntary Student Organization (VSO) would like to design our own logo using the Block M. Can we do this?
A: No. Please follow the policies and guidelines for student groups.

Q: Our Sponsored Student Organization (SSO) would like to design our own logo using the Block M. Can we do this?
A: No. Please follow the policies and guidelines for student groups.

Q: Our VSO is called the M Capybaras. We know we can’t use the Block M, but is it ok if we use a different maize and blue M?
A: Yes, provided the M in question is not similar to the Block M. Please follow the policies and guidelines for student groups.

Q: If I am a member of a sponsored student organization (SSO), and I order club-related items that are not going to be resold, do I still have to select a licensed manufacturer?
A: Yes. All purchases bearing any registered trademark of the University must be made by a manufacturer licensed by the University. This is true even if purchases are exempt from royalties. These licensees are familiar with the approval process, quality standards, and royalty accounting. A complete list of licensed manufacturers is available through the Trademark Licensing Office.

Q: I am a student and I'd like to print a club logo that includes the words: University of Michigan. Can I legally do this?
A: Yes, you may use the University name/trademark for this purpose, but standard guidelines regarding the design must be followed and you must use a licensed vendor to order any product bearing that design.

Q: What are the ™ and ® notations that appear with the University name and logos? Do I need to use them?
A: The ™ symbol indicates that the word, symbol, or design it is placed next to is a trademark. The ® symbol indicates that the trademark is federally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 
Commercially available products that are part of the University’s licensing program may include the circle R designation; however, the refreshed (May 2013), U-M logo and departmental signatures do not. If using the Block M as a standalone element, adding the circle R may be appropriate.

Q: Are royalties always required for internal use?
A: If the University’s name/marks are utilized on a product that is being resold, then royalties are due.
If the product is being distributed at no cost and does not include any commercial sponsors or endorsements, then the royalty fee will be waived. Note: These are general guidelines and each case is reviewed for royalty exemption at the time the internal request is submitted to the Trademark Licensing office. Contact licensing@umich.edu for more information.

Q: Can my unit use the University Seal?
A: No. In nearly all cases the Seal has been reserved for official regental and presidential uses, including official university documents such as transcripts and diplomas. The Seal may be used on certificates, awards, and other similar official documents. Small gold Seal stickers are available for this purpose and may be purchased from Michigan Creative, may be used on on certificates, awards, and other similar internal documents.

Q: I want to create a Block M in red, white, and blue for a July 4 picnic our department is having. Is this ok?
A: No. The Block M should not be altered in any way, which includes changing its color or forming it with a pattern.

Q: Does the University have fonts available for our department to use?
A: No. Each unit is responsible for purchasing its own fonts. Check with your unit’s marketing office for more details. And for more information about fonts, visit the Typography section of this website.

Q: I tried to access the online signature generator to request a signature for my department, but was denied access. How do I get access to the generator?
A: In order to request signature sets, you need to be authorized as an approved user. Each unit has a “gatekeeper” who can request that you be added to the approved user list. If you know who that person is, simply ask to be added (or you may discover the signature has already been created by the gatekeeper for your unit). If you don’t, email idstandards@umich.edu and we can help.

Q: Do we have to use U-M Printing Services for our letterhead and business cards?
A: No, although we highly encourage you to do so. You may find that you will save time and money by going through Printing Services, especially by ordering through their online catalog.

Q. How can I get U-M watermarked paper for my printed materials?
A. Printing Services is also the only printer allowed to use the University of Michigan-watermarked paper.

Q: How do I include the U-M logo or my unit’s signature in my email signature?
A: In order to include an image in your signature, it must be hosted on a web server. A signature-sized University logo is available here: http://www.umich.edu/assets/email-logo.png Contact your unit IT or marketing department for a link to your unit’s hosted signature file. Every email program is a little different, but in general, you will want to insert a link to the hosted image. If you need assistance, ask your IT professional. For those on campus using Gmail, use the “Insert Image” button as seen below.

Q: I’m going to be sending out a survey as part of a research project. Can I use the U-M logo on the documents?
A: In general, if the survey is part of an official University research project, the logo may be used. Please contact idstandards@umich.edu to confirm that your survey qualifies.

Q: I’m putting together a grant for a federally sponsored project, and I want to see if I can use the official U-M logo.
A: In general, the logo may be used on grants. Please contact idstandards@umich.edu to confirm that your grant qualifies.

Q: Are there specific licensed vendors that, as a U-M department, I must use when having "swag items" (pins, water bottles, t-shirts, magnets, pens, etc.) produced?
A: Yes, standard guidelines regarding the design must be followed and you must use a licensed vendor to order any product bearing that design. The University has selected The Image Group and Underground Printing as preferred vendors. Please conside using one of these companies for your needs first before seeking out other licensed vendors for your project.

Q: A vendor gave our unit a great price on a product and now wants to produce marketing materials that quote our department chair saying that he and the University chose this product above all others because of its superior quality. Can we do that for them?
A: No. Although outside companies can identify the University as a client and describe in factual terms the product or service provided, without previous U-M approval the University does not typically endorse outside companies or their products or services, and does not permit outside companies to use the Block M or other University logos on their marketing materials without the prior written consent of the University's Office of Communications. Contact idstandards@umich.edu for more information.

Q: I am a University employee, and a vendor that recently worked with my unit asked me if I’d be willing to provide a testimonial regarding their services for their website and printed materials. Is this something that I can do?
A: As a public institution, U-M does not itself provide endorsements for products, services, or vendors. If you choose to provide a testimonial in your personal capacity, you must take care that your statement is not mistaken as a University endorsement. This means that your phrasing must make it clear that you are speaking only on your own behalf and, IF you include your University title, you must also include the following language: “Title provided for identification purposes only. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individual only and do not necessarily reflect the position of the University of Michigan.”

Seal

ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
For presidential and regental uses only Prohibited idstandards@umich.edu 
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Prohibited.
GSIs may use for letters; more information
Prohibited Office of the VP and Secretary of the University
Contact: Erin Katz
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Use of Seal on commercial products for sale Approval Required Trademark Licensing Office

Names and Logos

ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Commercial use of logos on merchandise sold for profit Approval Required Trademark Licensing Office 
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Use of name or logos on merchandise given away or used for internal University functions Review required and items must be purchased from a licensed vendor Review by and release from Trademark Licensing Office required
Contact: Trademark Licensing Office
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Use of name or logos in letterhead design, business cards, official University publications, course materials No approval required If a new logo design, submit for approval to idstandards@umich.edu
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Use of name or approved logos in letterhead design, business cards, official publications No approval required idstandards@umich.edu
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Use of name or logos by local businesses, vendors, suppliers and contractors Generally prohibited; contact Committee for details idstandards@umich.edu
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Advertising, Sponsorship, Endorsements, and Fundraising. Use of name or logos in advertising, sponsorship, endorsement or fundraising activities by an entity outside the University Approval Required University Name & Images Review Committee
Contact: idstandards@umich.edu
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Use of name or existing logos for advertising of official activities or programs approved or sponsored by the University No approval required N/A
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Maize Pages-registered “sponsored student organizations” (SSOs) may use the block M with permission from their sponsoring unit. Voluntary student organizations (VSOs) may refer to themselves as the "Michigan [name of group]” but may not use University trademarks or logos. Organizations not registered on Maize Pages can neither use University trademarks or logos or reference the University in the name of their organization. View the complete list of SSO/VSO guidelines Generally prohibited except for use of name or logos by registered groups as verified by the Center for Campus Involvement. Call with questions. Contact the Center for Campus Involvement, 734-763-5900, uminvolvement@umich.edu.
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Individual students may not use the Block M or other registered trademarks of the U-M with the exception of student business cards (see below) Generally prohibited The Center for Campus Involvement verifies recognized student organization status. University Name & Images Review Committee approves use. Contact: Center for Campus Involvement, uminvolvement@umich.edu
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Approved for current U-M students when printed at approved vendor (currently, U-M Printing Services or Kinko’s) No approval required For questions: idstandards@umich.edu 
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Questions regarding use of name in a political campaign Generally prohibited. Email for details. Office of the VP and Secretary of the University
Contact: Erin Katz
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Filming and photography on campus more info Approval Required Office of the Vice President for Communications
Contact: Lee Doyle
ID Standards Approval Requirements Whom to Contact
Partnerships and affiliations not governed by other University mechanisms Consultation requested Office of the Vice President for Communications
Contact: Lee Doyle
Creation of new marks Consultation requested idstandards@umich.edu