Chapter 20 – Publication Standards

(Enacted 6/95; amended 3/03; 5/04; 4/07; 11/08; 11/10; 10/11)

20.1 Rationale

(Amended 10/11)

 This policy outlines the appropriate use of the University's graphic identity system (wordmark and logo) and other guidelines for external communications, print and electronic.

The University of Iowa graphic identity system provides visual continuity across University communications and helps distinguish the University from other institutions at a glance. It is an essential tool in establishing the University's brand identity.

The University of Iowa logo and wordmark are the core of the graphic identity system. They should appear in all communication projects that represent the University to external audiences.

20.2 Oversight

(Amended 11/10; 10/11)

 Implementation of these graphic standards will be overseen by the Graphic Identity Committee, in the Office of Strategic Communication. The committee's membership includes select campus communications experts, including University Communication and Marketing staff members, external relations directors, and designers. This group will provide ongoing consultation, interpretation, and advice related to the application of these standards.

Requests for exceptions must be submitted to the Office of Strategic Communication, for review by the Graphic Identity Committee.

20.3 Definitions

  1. A "logo" is a graphic, a pictorial, or a symbol that represents an institution.
  2. A "wordmark" is a specific typeface that is used consistently for the name of an institution.
  3. A "seal" is an emblem, symbol, or word used to certify a signature or authenticate a document from an institution.

20.4 The University of Iowa Wordmark and Logo

(Amended 11/10; 10/11)

 The University of Iowa wordmark is a graphic representation of the words "The University of Iowa." The logo is a graphic representation of the Old Capitol dome.

With these elements, the University can achieve the goal of presenting a consistent image to external audiences without limiting design creativity and variety. The system is flexible so that colleges, departments, or programs can design their external communications within the bounds of the graphic identity guidelines.

The wordmark and logo graphics (available in a variety of layout formats on the University Brand Manual website at must be reproduced from these authorized graphics and cannot be redrawn, reproportioned, embellished, or modified in any way.

  1. Use in Print. Any publication intended for an external audience (such as prospective undergraduate, graduate, or professional students; prospective faculty or staff members; and alumni, legislators, and other friends of the University) must contain 1) The University of Iowa's wordmark and logo on the front cover, and 2) the wordmark on the back cover.

    The wordmark and logo can be used together as a single element, or they can be separated from each other. The logo and wordmark can be printed as a positive or as a reverse (white). Black, white, and gold are preferred, but another color may be used in the case of a two-color or three-color project. The wordmark, when set on two lines, may not be less than one inch wide. When set on one line, it may not be less than 1.25 inches wide. The logo should not appear smaller than 3/8 inch in height.

    The wordmark or logo is not to be used in a way that might suggest University endorsement of any non-University product or service (see also II-33 Use of University Name) unless prior approval is obtained from the Graphic Identity Committee.
  2. Use on websites. All official University web pages -- including college, department, unit, and course pages -- should include the University's logo and wordmark. The logo and wordmark should be clearly displayed within the top 133 pixels of each page, and should be linked to the University's home page (

    Preferred colors for the logo and wordmark are black, white, or gold. When they appear together, both the logo and wordmark should be the same color. Minimum size for the logo is 31 pixels in height. Minimum size for the wordmark is measured by the initial capital "T," which must be no smaller than 11 pixels high.
  3. Color palette. For a list of yellow and black colors that will print or represent the colors accurately, see the University Brand Manual. A suggested palette of colors to use on two- or three-color brochures also is available.
  4. Exceptions. It may be difficult to place both the wordmark and logo on some printed pieces. The following items are exceptions to the standard placement of logo and wordmark:
    1. Postcards (must appear on the back only),
    2. Notecards (must appear on the back only),
    3. Envelopes (must appear on the mailer side only),
    4. Scholarly journals (not required on the front or back cover; suggested placement is on the inside front cover),
    5. Bumper stickers (may be omitted),
    6. Nametags (may be omitted),
    7. Small specialty products such as pens, mugs, hats, and T-shirts (may be omitted), and
    8. Newspaper advertisements (use of wordmark required, use of logo strongly encouraged; see paragraph d below),
    9. Display advertising. Display ads created for University publications such as the Hancher playbill, the Division of Performing Arts programs, or other University materials in which the logo and wordmark appear on the front cover are encouraged to use the logo and wordmark but are not required to do so. Display ads created for newspapers (including The Daily Iowan), magazines, and other printed media must include the logo and wordmark.

    For additional consultation on logo and wordmark use, contact the Office of Strategic Communication.

  5. Working with outside designers. Projects developed for University units by non-University designers must comply with University graphic identity standards. Designs must comply with University identity standards.
  6. Licensing Program. The University's logo and wordmark are registered trademarks. The Iowa Licensing Program protects the University's legal interests in those trademarks by controlling their proper use.

    All merchandise bearing the marks of The University of Iowa (logo, wordmark, Tiger Hawk, Herky, etc.) must be licensed with the Iowa Licensing Program, which approves all designs of products entering the retail marketplace. In addition, the program ensures that all products and designs submitted for licensing project the proper image of the University and the athletics program. No retail outlet or vendors are exempt, including the IMU Bookstore, the Iowa Hawk Shop, Finkbine Golf Course, and projects sponsored by University departments or University-recognized student groups.
  7. (Reserved: Standards for Official University Websites.)

20.5 The University of Iowa Seal

The University of Iowa seal is a modification of the original seal of the State University of Iowa. The seal is used on official documents, but it also may be used as a graphic element on University publications and web pages.

20.6 Use of the Identity System on University Stationery

(Amended 11/10)

The following stationery items must be ordered through Printing and Document Services, which coordinates and groups orders, allowing the entire University community to benefit from the cost savings.

  1. University Letterhead. Letters are the primary way external audiences receive communications from the University, making the letterhead stationery the largest component of the graphic identity system.

    The standard letterhead stationery design incorporates the University wordmark and logo in the upper left corner. Two designs with a variety of options for presenting departmental and collegiate information are available. Although not generally recommended, a second logo may be printed on the letterhead. A second logo must not be more than 3/4-inch high and must be placed in the lower right corner of the letterhead. Only one logo in addition to the University logo is permitted on the letterhead.

    All letter text must fall within the margins established for the design. In this "live area," users can choose any typeface, style, or size and any letter format.
  2. Business Cards. Because they are primarily exchanged with people from outside the University, business cards are an important vehicle for communicating the University's image and are another significant part of the graphic identity system. UI business cards coordinate with the letterhead and incorporate the wordmark and logo. Business cards may include name, title, office, campus address, campus phone number, fax number, home phone number, email address, and web address. Business cards are designed to be printed on one side. Additional logos may be printed on the back side.
  3. Envelopes and Mailing Labels. In order to maintain University mailing permits and discount postage, University of Iowa envelopes must meet strict standards set by the U.S. Postal Service. For additional information, contact the Director of Central Mail Services, MBSB. Envelopes include the University wordmark, logo, and college/department name in the return address. Additional logos are not allowed on standard #9 or #10 envelopes or on standard mailing labels.
  4. Memos. Memos may include name, title, office, campus address, campus phone number, fax number, home phone number, email address, and web address. If memos are not sent to an external audience, but are used solely for on-campus communication, they may contain a second logo.
  5. Other Printed Items. Several products using the University identity system can be ordered through General Stores or Printing and Document Services. Purchasing and printing in large quantities allows all University units to share in the lowest cost. Products include folders, report covers, and preprinted brochures. A complete list and examples are available on the identity website (

20.7 Other Logos and Identity Systems

(Amended 11/10; 10/11)
  1. Use of Unit Logos. The UI logo and/or wordmark may not be combined within a unit logo or wordmark. If a unit's graphic logo contains the words "The University of Iowa," these words can be omitted from the unit's logo to avoid repetition of the words "The University of Iowa" on a publication or other printed materials. Unit logos may appear in external communications (and on collateral items, such as mugs, internal memos, pencils, hats, T-shirts, etc.).

    Colleges, departments, centers, and institutes wishing to create a new logo should first contact the Office of Strategic Communication. Logos must be created using a professional designer and receive approval from the Graphic Identity Committee prior to use. Designs must coordinate graphically with the UI graphic identity system and must be legible (must reduce to a small size, must translate visually in a web format, and must be able to be reproduced in one color).
  2. UI Health Care. University of Iowa Health Care's graphic identity system is a subbrand of The University of Iowa's system. All communications from the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics should comply with the UI Health Care identity system. University of Iowa Health Care Marketing and Communications manages the identity system and reviews communications materials to ensure that the specifications and the general intent of the identity system are followed.

20.8 Editorial Standards

(Amended 11/10; 10/11)
  1. Accuracy/Proofreading. To ensure accuracy in University publications, writers are urged to check any facts, dates, or figures closely, and to proofread all text carefully. The Office of Strategic Communication provides resources for commonly cited facts (see and can assist in checking some facts.
  2. Editorial style. The University Brand Manual includes an editorial style guide that establishes standards for clear and consistent writing directed at multiple audiences. University units are encouraged to adopt these guidelines, in particular for marketing materials and public information projects that include news stories, feature articles, and the like.

20.9 Required Notifications on Publications

(Amended 9/16)
  1. Recycled paper logo. All publications of state agencies, including The University of Iowa, that are printed on recycled paper should contain the recycled paper logo developed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The logo should appear on the publication, along with a statement indicating that the cover and/or contents of the publication are printed on recycled paper.
  2. Nondiscrimination statement. The following nondiscrimination statement must appear in: 1) all publications describing educational programs (including continuing education programs and conferences), and 2) all publications recruiting individuals for employment or enrollment or participation in educational programs:
    1. "The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual. The university also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to university facilities. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact the Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, the University of Iowa, 202 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316, 319-335-0705 (voice), 319-335-0697 (TDD),"
  3. Fair Information Practices Act. According to Chapter 22 of the Code of Iowa, notice must be given when the University requests personally identifiable information from a person, other than the kind of information appearing in the University directory.
    1. The notice should include the following:
      1. Why the information is being requested;
      2. Whether the information will be routinely disclosed outside the University, and if so, to whom;
      3. Which information being requested is optional; and
      4. What will happen if the information is not provided.
    2. The following are examples of this kind of notice:
      1. "The University is asking you for the information on the attached reply card to help us stay in touch with you and send you information that might be of interest. Persons outside the University are not routinely provided this information except for directory information, such as name and local address. Although responses to items marked 'optional' are optional, responses to all other items are required in order for us to take action."
      2. "The University of Iowa requests this information for the purpose of processing registration and CEU records. No persons outside the University are routinely provided this information. Responses to items marked 'optional' are optional; responses to all other items are required. If you fail to provide the required information, the University may be unable to process your registration and CEU records."