UH System Graphic Standards
Since its founding in 1977, the UH System (UHS) has been the largest provider of comprehensive university services to the Houston community. The UH System has grown to include four accredited universities and six off-campus teaching centers, all serving more than 65,000 students in the Houston area. As the system expands its reach and brings value to Houston area communities, we must continue to build a unified brand to identify the system and the role it plays in the Houston community.
Historically, the UH System’s brand closely resembled the University of Houston’s (UH) brand. The system brand displayed a red and white color scheme, logos resembling the University of Houston’s logos and a seal that exhibited only slight differences from the UH seal. As the UH System grew and became more diverse, there was a need for a brand that not only was inclusive of the other system universities, but also honored the traditions that paved the way to more recent successes. This was achieved by combining recognizable elements of older UH System branding and combining it with newer elements resulting in a UH System brand that is fresh and unique, but still embodies its history.
- Brand is the overall concept representing an organization’s personality and its meaning and importance to its audience.
- It is not just the logo or name of the organization, although it includes these elements. A brand includes the organization’s name, reputation, logos, symbol, colors, taglines, mottos, mission statements, and relationships with its main audience(s). A brand is not tangible, but lives in the mind of the target audience (market).
UH System branding is used to represent the UH System when multiple UH System universities or teaching centers are being represented on a single document or communications piece.
- Example: A report that details information on more than one UH System Entity
- Example: A banner announcing the partnership between a teaching center and a community college.
When a department or individual is conducting UH System business, particularly the Board of Regent’s office, UH System Chancellor’s office, any other department or offices that officially serve the UH system, and dual offices and individual titles.
- Board of Regent’s letterhead
- Certificates of award or recognition bestowed on UH System partners by the Chancellor’s office
At other times, it is preferable to use your college or learning center branding. If you are not sure your business or communication should be conducted with UH System branding, please contact the office of University Marketing & Communication at (713-743-8863). UMC is designated to manage the branding of both the University of Houston (main campus) and the University of Houston System.
The current UH System brand embodies design ideas from the UH System Board of Regents Stationery while also embracing unique elements that do not favor any one UH System constituent university.
The UH System brand is intended to look clean and traditional while also incorporating a certain distinguished feel to highlight the importance of the UH System’s educational mission and commitment to the Houston community.
A logo or logotype is the visual representation of an organization. It is a signature or symbol that can be used in place of the organization’s name. Generally, a logo can be a mark, a symbol or a logotype. A logotype, also known as a wordmark, is the company or product name in a particular style, customized font, spacing, color, etc. The University of Houston System logo can also be called a logotype or wordmark because it is formatted as specifically stylized typed words.
The University of Houston System logotype is the graphic depiction of the “University of Houston System” in a type format.
University seals are traditionally used to represent the University’s official signature on important, legal, financial and academic documents. It is a revered symbol used to represent the name of the University and give it weight and historical context, as a coat-of-arms would represent a family name.
The UH System seal was created expressly for the UH System in 2011. Although it has the same center coat of arms as the UH Seal, to make it recognizable the outer rings have been updated with new decorative treatments and modern fonts that easily combine with the fonts and branding of all UH System universities. According to historical accounts, the symbols in the central area of the UH System seal reflect the coat of arms of General Sam Houston. The seal is an official, trademarked academic symbol of the University of Houston. It is not to be used interchangeably with any other mark or logo.
For more information regarding the use of UH System logos and branding, please refer to the following section.
As an official symbol of the University, the UH System logotypes and seal should not be manipulated, modified or appended in any way. It may NOT be placed next to or combined with any other text, image, UH System or university logo or any other organization’s logo.
The UH System logotypes and seal can only be used to represent the UH System, especially in instances where more than one system university or teaching center is being represented or when conducting UH System business. Unless the UH System Seal is being used by the President’s or Chancellor’s Office, request approval or feedback from the AVC/AVP for UH Marketing & Communication or their designee (i.e. the Executive Director of Marketing & Branding) before using the seal. You can achieve this by contacting the Office of University Marketing & Communications at email@example.com.
The UH System logotypes and seal cannot be used in the promotion of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages or firearms/firecrackers. Communications, marketing and promotional items containing references to tobacco products, alcoholic beverages or firearms/firecrackers will not be approved. All other products will be considered by the University to ensure high quality and a positive representation of the University.
The current UH System brand does not include any taglines, mottos or sayings. Please do not add any taglines, mottos or sayings to UH System logotypes or seal.
All UH System faculty and staff may use the UH System Seal without completing a request form for use on reports, research grant proposals or other business-use documents. However, an Intellectual Property Use Permission form must be completed for seals and logos used on pens, mugs, paperweights and other promotional or gift items. UH System faculty and staff are required to submit art for all advertising and promotional items, especially those bearing any UH System seal, for Brand Review. Students must request permission to use the UH System Seal on anything outside of routine schoolwork. Even if they have permission, they are also required to submit art for all advertising and promotional items bearing any UH System logo for UH Brand Review.
Anyone not employed by the UH System who would like to use UH system logotypes and seals for non-commercial purposes should also complete the Intellectual Property Use Permission form. This permission prevents them from being fined for license/trademark infringement. The form should be submitted to the AVC/AVP of Marketing & Communication at University of Houston, 125 E. Cullen, Houston, Texas 77204-2046 (UH mailcode 2046) or fax 713-743-8185 or scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Download a PDF of the Intellectual Property Use Permission Form. Anyone who is not employed by the University of Houston System or who does not have permission and wishes to use any UH System logo or mark on items they plan to sell should contact Learfield Licensing Group at 616-395-0676.
Digital copies of the UH System logotypes and seal are available in digital format from UH Marketing & Communication and can be obtained at email@example.com. UH Marketing & Communication reserves the right to review and approve any and all uses of UH System seal and logos. Please submit all advertising, communications and promotional pieces to the UH Brand Review process by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions about the UH System logotypes and seal, please contact UH Marketing & Communication at 713-743-8863.
UH System branding is used to represent the UH System, especially by the Board of Regent’s Office, UH System Chancellor’s office, any other departments or offices that officially serve the UH system and dual offices and individual titles.
All advertising and communication pieces branded with UH System branding are subject to the UH Brand Review process and should be submitted for review and approval before being finalized. Please visit the UH Brand Review section of the UH Graphic Standards to learn more about UH Brand Review.
The University of Houston and University of Houston System partner with the Learfield Licensing Group to ensure that all names and trademarks (including any logos, symbol, nickname, abbreviation, mascot and slogan that are associated with the UH System) are used in an appropriate manner. Any business or individual that would like to sell a product using the UH System’s name or trademarks will need a license. Visit Licensing and Trademarks to learn more.
Any time that the image, likeness, or signature of the University of Houston System Chancellor and University of Houston President is used in any printed (brochure, magazine advertisement, poster, etc.) or electronic (e-mail, web ad, etc.) promotional piece, the final mock-up of that piece must be approved by the Associate Vice President of Marketing & Communication or his/her designee. Please visit the UH Graphic standards to learn more.
After many years of University of Houston System history, there is an abundance of older logos from past versions of the UH System brand and the branding campaigns of its constituent universities and teaching centers. Although past logos and other symbols are treasured reminders of our rich heritage, they should not be used any longer. As legally protected marks, older UH System logos should not be manipulated, modified or appended in any way. They may NOT be placed next to or combined with any other text, image, UH Logo or any other organization’s logo.
It is important to only use the current UH brand and approved logos so we can continue to build a unified brand for the University and solidify its image as a Tier One university. Please contact email@example.com with information about your project and why it may be an exceptional use of an older logo.
This stationery was influenced by the look of the UH System Chancellor’s stationery suite. It seems to be favored by the current Board of Regents. It does not seem practical from a financial or political standpoint to make drastic changes to stationery that seems to be pleasing to so many who use and view it. In fact, the look of the stationery is so appropriate for the role of the Board of Regents that it is being used to inform the new UH System Brand overall.
UH System Stationery can be purchased from UH Printing & Postal
UH System outdoor signage, monument signage, and building signage using UH System logos should follow the Graphic Standards regarding UH System logos and should otherwise be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Permanent or semi-permanent UH System indoor way-finding signage, room numbering and room labels should not necessarily employ logos.