The UH System Brand

Introduction & History

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).

When to use UH the System Brand

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

Alternate Branding

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 UH System Brand

The current UH System brand was established in 2011/2012. It 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.

It features a new set of UH System logos and seals in black and gold, which is a unique color combination among the UH System universities.

Combining UH System Branding and System Component Branding

It is preferable to use either the UH System branding or UH System component (university or learning center) branding and not mix or combine two sets of branding. This helps preserve the integrity of each brand.

There may be situations where it may be necessary to use both the UH System and another UHS university or teaching center name. When this occurs, UH System logos listing a single UH System component are the preferred treatment.

  • UH System marketing pieces, particularly those published by or on behalf of a UH System constituent university president’s office, may choose to carefully incorporate one accent color from their university’s branding. The resulting color scheme will be UH System black, gold, and one additional accent color.
    • University of Houston – Red (Pantone: 186)
    • UH-Downtown – Red (Pantone: 192) or Blue (Pantone: 294)
    • UH-Victoria – Red (Pantone: 485C)
    • UH-Clear Lake – UHCL Blue (Pantone: 307) or UHCL Green (Pantone: 354)
  • Any piece featuring the UH System brand in conjunction with a component institution’s brand needs the express approval from University Marketing and Communication through the ad approval process (http://www.uh.edu/policies/graphicstandards/basics/index.php#adapproval).

Exceptions to this rule include stationery for the Office of the President and Chancellor and constituent websites where a UH System link is only needed in the footer of the website.