The University of Massachusetts Amherst


The campus community celebrates Founder's Day.

A brand is more than an identity; it encapsulates the way people think about an institution and the way an institution thinks about itself. Our branding entails much more than using the correct wordmark or color. It’s about consistent communication. About achieving a common look and feel. About speaking with one voice. The more consistent we are as a brand, the more powerful we are as an institution.

Our brand is so important because of the vast audience we speak to: prospective students, alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and students; business, education, and community leaders; local, national, and international media. Whether we are sending out an email blast, a formal invitation, or communicating through social media, it is imperative that our branding remain consistent and represent quality and excellence.

Using this Guide

This brand guide defines our standards and best practices, and establishes the basis for effective communication. It was created as an “operating manual,” detailing specific rules and usages to serve as guidelines for online, print, and other university-affiliated publications and advertising. Adhering to this guide will ensure that communication from all colleges, departments, and university organizations is presented in a consistent voice, look, and feel.

Brand Messages

The University of Massachusetts Amherst brand is more than just a university seal, wordmark, or color. It is what students, parents, faculty, alumni, legislators, neighbors, and corporations—people inside and outside the university, in Massachusetts and beyond our borders—think and feel about, respond to, and expect from us. It is who we are and what we stand for.

Brand Positioning

As the flagship campus of America’s education state, we are New England's largest public research university, a proud intellectual engine propelling Massachusetts forward and touching lives in communities near and far.
We stand for the hopes, the ambitions, the bold experiments and the innovative solutions of the people of Massachusetts and the world beyond. Our compact with them—our founding mission—is both modern and urgent. Our faculty and administrators, students, and alumni generate new ideas, apply new solutions, and tackle the commonwealth’s and the world’s most complex, challenging problems.
This is the essential work of the flagship campus of the commonwealth. The University of Massachusetts Amherst makes a profound, transformative contribution to the common good. 

UMass Amherst students at an event on campus
Core Messages


Our students are bright, bold, unconventional thinkers. We're home to one of the nation's most forward-looking honors colleges. We celebrate the power of ideas, in theory and in practice.


We're an engine for research that touches—and often transforms—communities in the commonwealth and around the world.


We're re-imagining the classroom experience and the research enterprise at a major public university. We take nothing for granted; we embrace strategic risk. We bring in ideas from everywhere and we put them to work.


We walk the walk. We've invested more than $1 billion in infrastructure in recent years. We believe in our public mission—and so we invest in it, in ways that make it fresh and relevant and accessible.


Our alumni constitute a global network of extraordinary influence. They're also stirring proof of the power of a UMass Amherst education.


We have an outsize impact on the wider world. We reach out, we apply what we know, we see education as part of a process that leads to the betterment of the human endeavor.

Brand Voice and Tone

Our institution is one that is refined, personal, and reliable. We stand for excellence. We stand for innovation. The UMass Amherst voice should speak with integrity and be shaped around the university’s core values: leadership, academic excellence, community service, and school pride. We are driven by a genuine commitment to serve the common good. When writing, we want to create passion and enthusiasm for our university.

The UMass Amherst voice should be refined and confident, but also personal. It should be purposeful, charting a way toward our goals and aspirations. We want to speak clearly and simply and should never sound institutional, stilted, or overly authoritative. 

The tone of UMass Amherst communications should be vibrant, intelligent, and authentic. It should also be open and affirming. Tone may change as you communicate to different audiences via different media. Social media content might call for a particularly informal tone, while information targeted at university donors might allow for longer, more formal sentences. However, regardless of the situation, the same voice must always come through.