Building brand name recognition can be difficult and costly and may add to name confusion in the marketplace. Because reputation is embedded in name recognition, units should consider the implication of attempting to build name awareness through unique logo development that may ultimately confuse your constituents. A consistent visual element will resonate with the university’s diverse audience and provide instant public recognition that an organization is part of the Virginia Tech community.
Departments, programs, institutes, or centers occasionally will request or develop a unique name or logo that differs from Virginia Tech's existing brand identity to, for example, promote research or highlight a specialty area. Introducing new visual elements may confuse the public as to whether a group or activity is associated with the university, ultimately diluting the distinctiveness of Virginia Tech's existing brand and possibly resulting in a loss of legal rights.
That being said, those responsible for protecting the university’s brand understand the motivation to adopt a unique name or logo and will consider special requests. The marketing and publications department within University Relations is available to assist with “branding” your unit in a way that provides a distinctive, creative style while staying within Virginia Tech brand guidelines.
The general rule: no name or logo or other branding element designed outside of the parameters identified in this manual will be endorsed and/or approved by Virginia Tech. The creation of new secondary logos is discouraged; units must obtain written permission from University Relations before adopting a name or logo that differs from Virginia Tech's existing brand identity.
All requests for new university marks and logos must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org for approval before they may
be adopted either internally or externally.
A limited number of non-university brand extensions have been given permission to use entity-specific logotypes because of their unique nature to the university’s research initiative. These logos are not to be used on stationery and are considered graphically subordinate to Virginia Tech’s institutional signature.
These brand extensions, including university-level research institutes and centers, must follow the Virginia Tech brand guidelines. The four types of centers at Virginia Tech (University, College, Departmental, Institute) are to use the Virginia Tech logo and, if applicable, the non-university brand extension logo in communications materials and websites (see Web Guidelines). On all communications materials, the non-university brand extension logo must be subordinate to the Virginia Tech signature or brand extension logo.
No other center, other than those non-college brand extensions previously designated, will be allowed to have its own logo. If a center logo has been developed and is in use, these entities must consult the brand marketing manager for approval before they may be used in any application either internally or externally.
NOTE: If a center has been designated as a “consortium” or a center having alliances with one or more colleges or universities, permission may be granted for the development of a separate logo. In addition, some governmental funding agencies have strict guidelines for the use of their logo on funded center communications. However, these special centers must contact the brand manager for approval prior to development. These centers must follow the Virginia Tech brand guidelines when using the Virginia Tech logo in conjunction with the center logo.
Approval may be considered for a graphic element to be used on specialty promotional items, clothing, and certain collateral material as long as there is a clear visual separation and delineation between the Virginia Tech signature and the graphic element. The graphic element cannot be grouped with the Virginia Tech logo to appear as a larger composite piece.
The Virginia Tech or brand extension logo must always be a dominant element of any advertising, poster, display, collateral, website, or signage for any Virginia Tech unit. Graphic elements may never be used on letterhead, business cards, or forms.