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Brand Architecture Guidelines

What Is Our Brand Architecture For?

The purpose of our brand architecture is to support our diverse entities, such as schools and colleges, centers and institutes, and nonacademic support functions with clear, simple, and easy guidelines on how to use your wordmark with the UMass Amherst wordmark. 

Our brand architecture ensures that wordmarks look consistent across UMass Amherst’s many entities, helps your entity clearly identify its visual relationship with UMass Amherst, and works flexibly with various applications and possible size constraints. It is critical to understand that all previous wordmarks or visual identities that were used by schools, colleges, departments, programs, centers, and institutes alongside the UMass Amherst wordmark are now void and cannot be used in any circumstance. 

We have brand architecture because:

  • It builds equity and synergy between our entities and the UMass Amherst brand by connecting our audiences more meaningfully to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the activities that live within it.
  • It allows more collective, leveraged, focused, and hardworking brand efforts between academics and the University of Massachusetts Amherst brand.
  • It supports stronger revenue generation, fundraising, and alumni engagement opportunities for our schools, colleges, and units across the campus.
  • It provides a simplified, user-friendly brand structure that entities within UMass Amherst can use to strengthen their own positioning, messaging, and marketing.

Our Brand Architecture

We have a university-led brand architecture. Our wordmark is our main identifying branding symbol and our singular expression of UMass Amherst’s mission, brand positioning, and personality. It represents our brand at the highest level. At its core, our brand architecture is a university-led brand architecture. This means the institutional name, UMass Amherst, is visually dominant wherever it appears alongside an academic offering or support service. For example, where a school or college name and university wordmark appear together in a design, the university wordmark will always be the visually dominant part. 
 
Our university-led brand architecture has three tiers. We have a three-tiered brand architecture. This means our university-led brand architecture consists of three tiers that appear in all external, public-facing usage, such as the website, marketing campaigns, or print materials. 

 

TIER ONE: 

Tier One is the institutional brand itself, University of Massachusetts Amherst or UMass Amherst. When utilizing the University of Massachusetts Amherst wordmark, it stands alone and should not be locked up with any other entities. To understand which option is suitable for your use, please contact the Office of Communications at urcommunications@umass.edu. The font in both versions of the university wordmark is always Minion Pro. 

Here’s an example:

Short Wordmark

Short Wordmark

Full Wordmark

Full Wordmark

TIER TWO:  

Tier Two is reserved for primary and other high-level brand extensions of the university. Primary brand extensions are dean-led schools and colleges and also libraries. High-level brand extensions are executive-level, nonacademic support functions within the institution. Primary and high-level brand extensions all appear either alongside the university wordmark (horizontal arrangement), or below the university wordmark (stacked arrangement), depending on the user’s purpose. All wordmarks, acronyms, or visual identities that were unique to these primary and high-level brand extensions prior to this brand architecture are now void and not to be used in any circumstance. How Tier Two applies depends on the entity. Here’s how:

Tier Two for Primary Brand Extensions: Schools, Colleges, and Libraries

The font in all versions of a primary brand extension is always an approved serif Minion Pro in a Tier Two font size in the approved maroon. The approved school and college wordmark is the only wordmark that can be used alongside the UMass Amherst wordmark. In Tier Two usage, an ampersand (the “&” symbol) is used rather than the word “and.” In a list form, there is no Oxford comma before the ampersand. 

Here’s an example:​

Horizontal Version

College of Engineering Horizontal Wordmark

Stacked Version

College of Engineering Stacked Wordmark

Tier Two for High-Level Brand Extensions: Executive-Level Nonacademic Support Functions

The font in all versions of a high-level brand extension is always an approved non-serif Frutiger in a Tier Two font size in the approved maroon. The approved executive-level, nonacademic support function wordmark is the only wordmark that can be used alongside the UMass Amherst wordmark. In Tier Two usage, an ampersand (the “&” symbol) is used rather than the word “and.” In a list form, there is no Oxford comma before the ampersand. 

Here’s an example:

Horizontal Version

University Relations Horizontal Wordmark

Stacked Version

University Relations Stacked Wordmark

Tier two lockups for schools and colleges

 

TIER THREE:

Tier Three is reserved for secondary brand extensions of UMass Amherst. Secondary brand extensions are departments or department-level programs within schools, colleges, libraries, and centers and institutes that report to a dean. All wordmarks, acronyms, or visual identities that were unique to these secondary brand extensions prior to this brand architecture are now void and not to be used in any circumstance. How Tier Three applies depends on the entity. Here’s how:

Tier Three for Departments or Department-Level Programs within School, Colleges, and Libraries:

Departments and department-level programs within schools, colleges, and libraries are always in a non-serif Frutiger in a Tier Three font size in the approved black. They always appear with and below their Tier Two primary brand extension. Together, they appear either alongside the university wordmark (horizontal arrangement), or below the university wordmark (stacked arrangement), depending on the user’s purpose. In Tier Three usage, the word “and” is used instead of an ampersand. Here, we do use an Oxford comma (a comma before the word “and” in a list). 

Here’s an example:

Horizontal Version

Biochemical Engineering Horizontal Wordmark

Stacked Version

Biochemical Engineering Stacked Wordmark

Tier Three for Entities within High-Level Nonacademic Support Functions:

Entities within high-level, nonacademic support functions are always in a non-serif Frutiger in a Tier Three font size in the approved black. They always appear with and below their Tier Two high-level brand extension. Together, they appear either alongside the university wordmark (horizontal arrangement), or below the university wordmark (stacked arrangement), depending on the user’s purpose. In Tier Three usage, the word “and” is used instead of an ampersand. Here, we do use an Oxford comma (a comma before the word “and” in a list). 

Here’s an example:

Horizontal Version

Admissions Horizontal Wordmark

Stacked Version

Admissions Stacked Wordmark

Tier Three Department Lockups

 

Tier Three for Centers and Institutes Led by a Single School or College:

Centers or institutes that are housed within one school or college will appear in a wordmark lockup with UMass Amherst and its school or college, utilizing an approved, non-serif Frutiger font in a Tier Three font size in the approved black. Centers and institutes that are housed in multiple colleges or schools or report directly to a vice chancellor will appear in a wordmark lockup with the UMass Amherst wordmark, utilizing Frutiger in a Tier Two font size, replacing what would typically be a college position. 

Here’s an example:

Horizontal Version

Applied Mathematics Horizontal Wordmark

Stacked Version

Applied Mathematics Stacked Wordmark

Tier Three for Centers and Institutes That Report to a Vice Chancellor or Multiple Deans:

Centers and institutes that are housed in multiple colleges or schools or report directly to a vice chancellor will appear in a wordmark lockup with the UMass Amherst wordmark, utilizing an approved non-serif Frutiger in a Tier Two font size in the approved black. 

Here’s an example:

Horizontal Version

Family Center Horizontal Wordmark

Stacked Version

Family Center Stacked Wordmark

Tier Three Center Lockups

 

Tier Three for the Institute of Applied Life Sciences:

The Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) is unique in that it reports to a vice chancellor and has three centers within it—the Models to Medicine Center, the Center for Bioactive  Delivery, and the Center for Personalized Health Monitoring. These center names appear with the UMass Amherst and IALS wordmarks in a lockup utilizing an approved, non-serif Frutiger in a Tier Three font size in the approved black. 

Here’s an example:

Horizontal Version

IALS Horizontal Wordmark

Stacked Version

IALS Stacked Wordmark