Iowa’s diverse academic, research, and creative activities fuel innovation, distinguish our institution, and generate a wide range of products and services for use beyond the university community. Association with the Iowa brand creates trust and lends credibility to effectively promote your offering and attract customers, partners, and investors. 

Criteria and guidelines

Products include innovations emerging from our academic and research endeavors, as well as outputs that originate from our creative activities, such as academic or literary journals, podcasts, and art exhibitions. These offerings are supported by the university but marketed to a separate and distinct audience. 

Unique product logos

Unique product names and logos can be developed to create meaning and bring these offerings to market. Units and teams must have the resources necessary to successfully maintain, protect, and build these individual product brands.

  • Leverage black and gold when developing product logos to strengthen the association with Iowa.
  • Don't use product logos on official University of Iowa stationery or in email signatures when communicating on behalf of the university or in the capacity of your official university role. 
  • Don't use product logos to represent an official unit. All academic and administrative units, programs, research centers, labs, institutes, and outreach units must follow standard brand guidelines. 

Consult with your sponsoring unit brand manager

Unit brand managers can help determine if your offering meets the criteria for product branding and provide guidance on how to create association with the university in alignment with the strategic goals of your sponsoring organization.

Contact your brand manager

Example product offerings:

BizInnovator StartUp logo


Curriculum tool kit for high school business and marketing teachers sponsored by the Jacobson Institute.



Driving simulators developed by the Driving Safety Research Institute

WorldCanvass logo

World Canvass

Live audio podcast series sponsored by International Programs.

The word "ink" displayed in white within a black circle

Ink Lit Magazine

Undergraduate literary journal published biannually through the Magid Center for Writing. 

Appropriation prohibited

The block IOWA logo, secondary logos, or any element of an official logo cannot be incorporated into unique product logos. Exceptions to this rule include One Day for Iowa and On Iowa! event graphics.

Care should be taken if considering use of the word “Iowa” for naming product offerings to avoid redundancy, the temptation to appropriate the block IOWA logo, or displaying “IOWA” in another stylized typeface that will compete with our logo.

Block IOWA logo shown too close and incorporated into the miniSim logo

Create association with the Iowa brand

All products must demonstrate clear association with the Iowa brand by using the block IOWA logo or unit lockup in a secondary way to your product logo and identity.

Illustrated front and back cover demonstrating logo placement on back cover

Logo placement

Use the block IOWA logo or affiliated unit lockup in a secondary location, such as the back or footer of a communication. Follow all logo usage guidelines

Sample communication showing IOWA logo next to other sponsor logos.


Recognize external partnerships in a secondary location by placing third-party logos adjacent to the block IOWA logo. Maintain adequate clear space

Page mockup with BizInnovator logo at the top and block IOWA logo at the bottom. Page elements use black and gold.

Visual identity

Consider using black and gold and official brand fonts to strengthen the association with Iowa and more seamlessly leverage brand templates for your product marketing efforts.

screenshot of ink mag


Websites must include the standard Iowa footer, follow the domain name policy, pass an IT security review, and meet all minimum technical and quality requirements for web.

WorldCanvass logo shown on front of tee with block IOWA logo on sleeve

Gear and apparel

When product logos are used on merchandise and apparel, the block IOWA logo must appear in a second imprint. Follow university licensing process.

Interested in using SiteNow to build your product website?

Building your product website on the SiteNow platform allows you to create and prioritize direct association with the University of Iowa brand. When making website decisions, product owners should weigh their desire for a unique visual identity with the benefits of using the standard SiteNow web solution. Work with your unit brand manager to discuss your needs and ensure alignment with unit-level strategy and policy first.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The SiteNow header and brand bar are intended to display the block IOWA logo and should not be modified.
  • Your product name can be displayed in the brand bar or as on-page content as determined by your sponsoring unit.
  • Product logos can be displayed as on-page content but cannot appear in the brand bar.

See web guidelines


Mockup of Bizinnovator site shown in laptop