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

Our Brand: How to Convey It.


Web Requirements

Web template 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 web template headers and footers can be downloaded from this site.

Specific 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.


Official University electronic communications and publications are strongly encouraged to be hosted on the domain.

The following must be observed for all University websites: 

  • Any University unit using a web address that does not include in the hostname may not use the University’s marks or web headers and footers. 
  • 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.

Outside Domains and Hostnames

If a University unit has a business need, they may set up a website on an outside domain, such as a .com or a .org. However, official University websites should appear to be on the domain to allow for official branding.

In some cases, 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. For example, 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 that the outside vendor support these hostnames and that the University's domain name system (DNS) servers contain one or more entries describing the relationship between the hostname and the vendor's systems. Contact your unit’s IT staff for additional information on changing your site’s DNS configuration.

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

Websites that have outside entities as sponsors or collaborators should be set up on the domain if the University is the lead in the collaboration. Sites cannot be hosted on the domain unless they use the University’s web header and footer. If this is unacceptable to other entities in the collaboration, the website should be hosted elsewhere.

Sites created outside the domain in sponsorship or collaboration with entities outside the University must not use the University's branded web template header and footer. University units engaged in a collaboration or sponsorship may use the wordmark on sites to show the U’s affiliation if required by the written agreement with the other party. Contact University Relations for guidelines in using the wordmark on collaborative sites.

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. No third-party logos should be included in any official University electronic communication without a signed agreement between the University and the outside vendor or company. Whenever possible, sponsors or collaborators should be indicated in text, not with a logo.

Acceptable example:

  • Images of products, not the logos of the companies that make the products, like those used on the Bookstore website to illustrate our product sales agreements with various companies.

Unacceptable examples:

  • Embedded video on a website from YouTube that places the YouTube logo on the video. University video should be embedded from Media Mill.
  • A feed from Twitter embedded on a website.

download directory

All downloads available on the Our Brand site, all in one convenient location.

Go to downloads.