University of Minnesota
University Relations
Our Brand: How to Convey It

Our Brand: How to Convey It.


Web Requirements

Web header and footer

The University's Brand Policy: Trademarks, Logos, Colors, and Seal states that:

  • All web sites must use an official web template header and footer.
  • Use of University Trademarks in printed and electronic materials must conform to the brand requirements available at

The official HTMLweb headers and footers can be found on this site.

Drupal: Sites built in the University's Drupal have the approved header and footer included in the base theme. Drupal sites will not be allowed to launch if the header and footer are removed or changed.

Specific branding requirements for various electronic communications, including mobile apps, blogs, email and more, can be found in the Requirements and Guidelines section of this site. If you have questions, contact University Relations.


Blogs that are used to communicate offical University business must use an official web header and footer.

University units may choose to use Google's Blogger to created branded blogs. A template and instructions are available on the Google Apps and Templates Guidelines site.

Note: University branding cannot be used for personal blogs and cannot be used by students.

Domains: using or .com, .org, etc.

Why Use

Hosting sites on the domain is one way to show site visitors that the site is providing official information about the institution. Sites on the domain automatically appear in search results when using the U’s search. Outside domain sites do not (see “Outside Domains and Search” below). Having a site also ensures compliance with the Freedom of Information Act should requests be made for content on an official University site.

Requirements on

  • All official University electronic communications and publications should use a website address.
  • All websites must use an official web header and footer. Official headers and footers are available for several types of website needs; see the resources list below.
  • Websites on must not duplicate the wordmark or block M on any other part of the site; these marks are allowed only in the header.
  • Unit logos and third party logos are not allowed on
  • Websites constructed on must follow brand policy requirements.

Resources for official web headers and footers

HTML—Web header and footer code is available on the Our Brand website.

Drupal—When using the U’s enterprise Drupal, sites automatically have the web header and footer included. Drupal sites are not allowed to launch if the header and footer are removed or changed.

Blogger—Blogs developed in Blogger can be branded using the instructions on the Google Apps Templates and Guidelines website.

Google Sites—There are two Google Sites templates to choose from when creating a Google Site. See more information on the Google Apps Templates and Guidelines website.

Using an Outside Domain

A number of considerations must be made if planning a site outside the domain. Review the information below before committing to an outside domain and contact University Relations if you have questions.

  • Any University unit using a .com, .org, or other outside domain may not use the University’s marks or official web headers and footers unless the site’s DNS is reconfigured (see “Using Hostnames on Outside Domains” below).
  • University units engaged in a collaboration or sponsorship may use the wordmark on sites to show the U’s affiliation. Contact University Relations for guidelines.
  • University units contracting with a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider should work with University Relations on branding and domain naming options.

Using Hostnames on Outside Domains

If a University unit has a business need to set up a website on an outside domain, it should appear to be on the domain to allow for University branding.

For example, a unit may have a business need to contract with a software as a service (SaaS) provider for part or all of their website. These sites are often able to take on a hostname even though the site is on a .com or other external domain. The University's Job Site,, is run by a third-party SaaS provider on a .com site, but appears with a hostname.

Use of hostnames on external sites requires domain naming system (DNS) reconfiguration. Contact your unit’s IT staff for additional information on changing your site’s DNS configuration.

Sponsorships and Collaborations

Websites that have outside entities (other universities, organizations that are not part of the University, companies, etc.) as sponsors or collaborators should set up their website on the domain and use the University’s official web header and footer if the University is the lead in the collaboration. These collaborative sites must follow all policy and guidelines for sites including:

  • Use an official web header and footer.
  • Do not use taglines, icons, or graphics as logos or in logos.
  • Do not use third party logos.

If the policy and guidelines for websites are unacceptable to other entities in the collaboration, the website should be hosted elsewhere and follow the requirements listed in “Using an Outside Domain” above.

Using Google Sites

University units may create official University websites using Google Sites and must use the University’s official Google Site header and footer. See more information about the templates on the Google Apps and Templates Guidelines site.

Sites created using Google Sites already incorporate in the URL, so it’s not necessary to change the hostname, but it is possible.

To have a Google Site hostname changed from[site name] to [site name], contact your unit’s IT staff.

Using for Blogger

University units that create official University websites using Blogger must use the web header and footer. See the instructions on the Google Apps and Template Guidelines site. Blogger sites must have their site URL changed from [site name] to [site name]

To have a Blogger hostname changed, contact your unit’s IT staff.

Domain Forwarding and Vanity URLs

Units that set up sites on a .org, .com, or .net domain may not forward their address to the outside domain.

Units that purchase a .org, .com, or .net vanity URL for marketing purposes must forward that URL to their site on the domain.

Online advertising

The sale of online advertising space on University websites to non-University entities implies an endorsement of a service or product. To preserve its academic independence and integrity, the University of Minnesota expressly chooses not to allow advertising on University websites, in email, on digital signage, and in other electronic publications. Advertising in any form, including banner advertising, in University of Minnesota electronic communications is prohibited.

Personal web pages

The official University of Minnesota home page and official campus home pages will not link directly to personal pages housed on the domain. Units may, if they choose, link to faculty, staff, or student personal pages.

The University web header and footer cannot be used on personal websites.

Social networking

To indicate University affiliation, units should use the University of Minnesota name in text. For example, the name of a unit’s Facebook page should be “Unit Name at the University of Minnesota” or “University of Minnesota Unit Name.”

To show University of Minnesota affiliation by using graphics, the block M should be used on social networking pages created by units for University communications. The wordmark must never be used on a social networking or third-party site.

For more information about social networking, see the Social Networking requirements and guidelines and download profile graphics and icons in the Logo and Template Downloads section.

Sponsorships or collaborations

See the requirements and guidelines in the Domains section.

Use of third party logos and content

Third party logos used in conjunction with University marks must be approved by the Office of University Relations. Third party logos must not be used to indicate collaboration between an outsite entity and the University; spell out the name(s) of the collaborating entities in text instead.