Promotional items

Branded merchandise and apparel can play an important and fun role in connecting with our audiences. Choosing useful and meaningful products leaves a positive lasting impression. Follow brand guidelines and licensing procedures when planning and designing promotional products.

Licensing process

Products and designs must be approved by the UI Trademark Licensing Office. Allow two weeks for processing each request. Take the following steps when ordering merchandise and apparel.

  1. Select a licensed vendor.
    The University of Iowa has over 600 approved licensed vendors throughout the state and country. If you are unable to find product offerings from licensees that fulfill your needs, contact uilicensing@hawkeyelicensing.com.
  2. Develop artwork.
    Work with your vendor and its provided templates to develop artwork that follows UI visual identity guidelines. Some merchandise and apparel examples are shown below. If needed, contact osc-brand@uiowa.edu for additional guidance on artwork development.
  3. Submit paperwork.
    Complete the Internal Application and Agreement form and submit it to uilicensing@hawkeyelicensing.com.
  4. Submit final artwork to the vendor.
    Per its contract with the UI Trademark Licensing Program, the vendor will then independently submit the artwork to the UI Trademark Licensing Office for approval.
  5. Receive approval.
    If the application and artwork are approved, the UI Trademark Licensing Office will provide final agreement to your unit and notify the vendor that production can begin.

Licensing policy

Suppliers who manufacture and/or
 sell items imprinted with elements of the University of Iowa visual identity must be licensed by the university. Merchandise and apparel must be purchased through an approved, currently licensed vendor. 

Whenever wordmarks, trademarks, logos, symbols, and/or elements associated with the University of Iowa visual identity appear on merchandise and apparel, they must be accompanied by the appropriate registration mark. That may be a ® or ™ symbol, depending on the legal registration status of the trademark displayed.

Trademark Licensing Office

Block IOWA logo with TM

The ™ symbol is required to appear with the block IOWA logo on all promotional merchandise and apparel. 

Download block IOWA logo-TM

Merchandise and apparel guidelines

  • Use official brand fonts only.
  • Always select products that use our black-and-gold color palette.
  • Keep designs simple and light on unit-level identification; official Iowa logos and graphics are more recognizable to our audiences.
  • Unit lockups should be used when unit identification is desired. OR, unit names can be displayed in plain text using Roboto in a second imprint area.
  • For embroidered applications, lockups should be limited to a primary unit and licensed apparel vendors may switch the primary unit name to all caps.
  • The Tigerhawk can be used but must be placed in a second imprint area. Unit identification must be used in the primary imprint area.
  • Consider using URLs or social media handles to drive audiences to engage with online content.

Usage examples

The examples shown here represent only some, not all, proper applications of the visual identity on promotional products.

Pen example with unit name or url
Display your unit name separately in plain text using Roboto if the imprint area is too small for a lockup.
Lockup shown on left front chest with Tigerhawk on sleeve
The Tigerhawk can be used, but must be placed in a second imprint area. Unit identification must be used in the primary imprint area.
Lockup shown on front of mug with Tigerhawk on back of mug
Make use of imprint areas with a front and back view in order to display the Tigerhawk separately.
Tee options: unit lockup shown on one tee; block IOWA logo with unit name in plain text shown on second tee
Use your unit lockup in a single imprint area or display your unit name separately from the block IOWA logo in a second imprint area using plain text Roboto.
Ball cap showing block IOWA log on the front, unit name on the side
The block IOWA logo can be displayed on the front of a hat and your unit name separately in a second imprint area using plain text Roboto.
Carabiner with block IOWA on the front, unit name on the back
Display your unit name separately in plain text using Roboto if the imprint area is too small for a lockup.
Black drawstring bag with lockup
Keep designs simple and use your unit lockup on products with single imprint areas.
Black and gold water bottle examples
Lockups can be displayed vertically if needed. See logo guidelines for more details.
USB drives
Display URLs or social media handles in plain text using Roboto. Maintain the required clear space.
Tee with unit message placeholder on front, lockup on sleeve
If a unit message is used in a primary imprint area, the block IOWA logo or unit lockup must be used in a second imprint area.
Tee shown with unit message placeholder on front, block IOWA on sleeve, and Tigerhawk in prohibited third imprint area
Don’t add a third imprint area in order to use the Tigerhawk.
Tee shown with unit message placeholder and block IOWA logo on front, Tigerhawk on sleeve
Don’t combine the block IOWA logo with a unit message imprint area in order to place the Tigerhawk in a second imprint area.
Prohibited example of the Tigerhawk next to a lockup on a string bag
Don’t place the Tigerhawk in the same imprint area as your lockup.
Prohibited example of the a lockup on a purple water bottle
Don’t select items that are produced in other colors.
Prohibited example of the Tigerhawk used in place of the block IOWA on a USB drive
Don’t use the Tigerhawk in place of the block IOWA logo.

Using unique graphics and illustrations on swag

Unique graphics, illustrations, and type treatments are permitted for time-limited events, campaigns, and initiatives (i.e., Amazing Room Contest, OnIowa, Theme Semester) or retail services located on campus (i.e., University Catering, Marketplaces, C-stores, Street Hawk Food Truck). These unique graphics must always be used within an IOWA-branded environment.

  • Graphics of this kind should not appropriate any university logo or logo element.
  • The University of Iowa logo should still appear separately and meet clear space requirements. In most cases, the best way to provide separation is to place the logo in a second imprint area. Contact osc-brand@uiowa.edu if the imprint area is too small.

See Unique Campus Graphics for more detailed guidelines.

PHIL WAS HERE graphic on a mug with block IOWA logo on back
Union Station graphic on front of tee, block IOWA on sleeve
Amazing Room Contest graphic shown on drawstring bag with block IOWA logo separately at the bottom
Prohibited example of the Tigerhawk used in place of the block IOWA on a mug
Don’t use the Tigerhawk in a second imprint area adjacent to unique graphics.
Prohibited example of a Tigerhawk used in an additional imprint area
Don’t add a third imprint area in order to use the Tigerhawk.
Prohibited example of the block IOWA logo incorporated into a unique graphic
Don’t incorporate the block IOWA logo into unique graphics.

Merchandise resources

The UI Trademark Licensing Office has introduced two new resources to streamline bulk purchase and custom merchandise needs.

Bidding and ordering platform

The AgoraCX platform helps units get the best bulk purchase pricing by sending quote requests to multiple approved vendors at once. Units can then review all of the quotes, select their vendor, and submit artwork directly within the system.

AgoraCX is ideal for:

  • Bulk merchandise orders
  • Comparing supplier prices in one place
  • Seamless licensing process
  • Easy ordering and fulfillment

Go to AgoraCX

Storefront platform

The IgniteCX platform allows units and organizations to create online storefronts to sell their own merchandise to internal and external audiences. IgniteCX handles all payment processing, order fulfillment, and shipping.

IgniteCX is ideal for:

  • Departmental or organizational merchandise
  • Alumni or donor engagement
  • Donation-based fundraisers
  • Raising awareness for a group or initiative

Go to IgniteCX