University of Iowa

The University of Iowa Brand Manual provides information and resources—including usage policies regarding the visual identity, name, logo, and other visual representations of the university—to guide communications and marketing efforts at the UI.

As the UI pursues new frontiers of student success, research, and engagement, strengthening the connections among Iowa’s colleges, programs, and centers will pave the way for greater recognition of the university both nationally and globally.

The standards included on this site represent the approved elements of the UI’s visual identity. As new forms of media emerge and existing media evolve, use cases may arise that are not explicitly covered by this manual. 

For questions or assistance with any element of this policy, please contact the Office of Strategic Communication at

Frequently asked questions

Q: Why is the university doing this now?

Establishing a clear and consistent brand and visual identity is critical for recruiting students, attracting expert faculty and staff, garnering research support, and maintaining strong connections with alumni and donors. Instituting a more cohesive UI identity will allow every organization on campus to benefit from every audience’s positive associations with the university, strengthening the position of both the institution and its individual programs.

A strong institutional identity can also save significant time and resources. Under one cohesive visual identity, units don’t have to invest in the development of their own brand. With established guidelines in place, units can devote more resources to core academic or service missions.


Q: Who do these guidelines apply to?

The guidelines and policies listed on this site apply to all UI faculty, students, and staff, as well as licensees and vendors producing communications or products for or on behalf of UI employees, units, or programs.


Q: What if my college/department/unit recently created or is considering creating a new logo or brand?

To make the most effective use of available resources, and to create a unified visual identity, units should refrain from creating unique logos. 

This brand manual is designed to help colleges, units, and centers maintain a clear visual association with the university. Distinct unit-level identities and differentiators are best highlighted in content and messaging, not a logo that differs from these guidelines. 

Please contact the Office of Strategic Communication for assistance before developing any college or unit-level marketing strategies. Our goal is to help you leverage the University of Iowa’s recognition and reputation, gather the strength of our excellent programs and organizations together under one cohesive strategy, and continue supporting the specific needs of each unit.


Q: If my program has a unique graphic identity, how long can I keep using it? Is there a deadline? 

Academic and administrative units should cease the creation of new unit logos and begin following the updated guidelines at by the spring of 2017. This includes units that currently have custom or unique graphic identities.

This transition will likely be a multi-year effort. However, the immediate goal is for the majority of colleges and academic units to follow these guidelines for digital communications—on their websites, in emails, and on social media platforms—as soon as possible. Additional branded assets, such as print materials and merchandise, may be updated through the normal cycle of replacement. 


Q: Should colleges or units throw away existing branded materials that don’t reflect the new guidelines?

No. To minimize waste, campus units should use their existing materials before ordering versions that reflect the updated visual identity guidelines. This supports our institutional priority of being responsible stewards of our resources.


Q: What do you mean by “lockup” or “logo lockup”?

The term “lockup” refers to a prescribed format in which unit names may be combined with the UI logo. The lockup system allows units to identify themselves in association with the university in a more consistent manner, forging stronger bonds among our various colleges and programs.


Q: Can I make a logo lockup for my unit?

To ensure consistency a lockup generator is available for units to quickly create and generate working files for their own unit-level lockup (upon approval by the Office of Strategic Communication). Any questions can be directed to


Q: Are student organizations required to follow these guidelines?

Recognized student groups can develop unique graphics to promote their organization, but should act in accordance with these guidelines when communicating with external audiences in an official capacity on behalf of the university.  


Q: Do I need to include the registered trademark symbol (®) on my communications and merchandise?

When the UI logo appears on merchandise or apparel, it should always be accompanied by a registered trademark symbol (®). The symbol is not necessary on stationery, marketing collateral, or interactive communications.


Q: Who is responsible for this policy?

This policy is authorized by the vice president for external relations. Responsibility for stewardship of this policy is assigned to the University Brand Group, which is chaired by the senior director for marketing communications in the Office of Strategic Communication and includes representatives from the Office of Enrollment Management, the UI Trademark Licensing Program, the Office of the General Counsel, the UI Foundation, the UI Alumni Association, UI Health Care, and one or more academic colleges. Questions, suggestions, or feedback for the University Brand Group can be directed to

Questions? Contact