Frequently Asked Questions

Can we design a logo for our department?

In order to retain the strength and integrity of the Iowa State University brand it is essential that a clear, consistent message be projected. The university nameplate achieves this goal by associating each college, department and unit with the overarching brand identity ensuring the strongest possible brand presence and recognition. Additional logos distract from the emphasis and identity of the university.

Why can’t I use a fun font in my design?

The university’s brand fonts Univers and Berkeley maintain brand consistency and a reasonable level of quality control throughout the myriad communication materials generated by the university. In order to create emotions such as fun, playfulness, etc. within the use of the university’s brand fonts consider using different weights, type treatments, textures, and other design elements to create your unique brand impression.

We’ve been doing this design for years. Why can’t we do it now?

It is becoming increasingly important in the competitiveness of higher education to display that we are a strong, cohesive team. Adherence to these guidelines is essential to our university brand integrity.

Why can’t we use the I-State mark on our give-aways?

Outside of Iowa State athletic oriented events, the I-State mark does not clearly and consistently communicate the Iowa State University brand. If someone in California saw you wearing an “I-State” shirt at the beach, would they instantly think Iowa State? Indiana State? Illinois State? Idaho State?

Why can’t we order black merchandise? (or purple, pink, etc.)

Color is the strongest and most recognizable element any brand has in its marketing toolbox. The consistent use of brand colors will significantly strengthen the recognition of Iowa State. Think John Deere? Think green. Think Coke? Think red.

Conversely, some colors and color combinations can be confusing.┬áColors associated with other public institutions in the state should not be used. Even though gold is one of Iowa State’s primary colors, use of black and gold together should be avoided. Purple is not within any of Iowa State’s color palettes and should never be used.

Ad Specialty Application Example:

Athletic Mark Usage: Mascot Logo

Athletic Mark Usage: I-State Logo