Wordmarks, Colors & Type
The goal of our identity system is to create a widely recognized, positive image of the university. The most important principles in achieving this are: consistency; frequency; repetition over time.
Therefore, despite various personal preferences among our users, it is critical that the university adopts a consistent use of Carnegie Mellon University's official wordmark, colors and other identity elements, and that the university limits the number and type of variations in use.
These identity standards, however, are a guide. We are an evolving university and the standards also offer flexibility in some cases. Some entities across campus have unique marketing needs (e.g., co-branding issues) that can be addressed on a case-by-case basis. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Marketing Communications at 412-268-9074, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We call our "logo" a wordmark because it is comprised of words only. A logo is typically a visual identity with an image attached to words. A logo and a wordmark are one and the same.
The wordmark is the primary identity element in our system, the one most strongly associated with our brand. Our wordmark functions as the official university logo, using only the words in our name and no other graphic elements. It is a unique expression of who we are.
Any official materials associated with the university that the public may see—whether in print, online or around campus—must include the university wordmark.
When to Use "Carnegie Mellon University"
We encourage that all new communication vehicles use the preferred wordmark.
- The wordmark typography has been crafted especially for the university. Therefore, it can only be reproduced using a graphic file (EPS, TIFF, JPEG, GIF, etc.). Download the wordmark files.
- The word "University" is part of our official wordmark. This is to clearly distinguish Carnegie Mellon University from other institutions who use "Carnegie" or "Mellon" in their names. As the university develops a strong global presence, this clarity is even more important.
- When writing about the university, use Carnegie Mellon University first. Then "CMU" may be used as a second reference for Carnegie Mellon University in text. Please reference the Writers' Style Guide [.pdf] for further information.
- On merchandise "CMU" can be used, but must be accompanied by the full wordmark, Carnegie Mellon University. See merchandise guidelines [.pdf] for the official version and usage of "CMU".
- The front or back of any official publication must include the Carnegie Mellon University wordmark—either alone or as part of a unitmark. Please contact the Creative Services for help in creating your official unitmark.
Please do not right click on these logos. Go to download for files.
1. Primary (preferred version)
2. Secondary/stacked (space restriction)
3. This version should be used only on approved merchandise. (see merchandise guidelines [.pdf]).
Visual Guidelines for Use of Wordmark
Leave at least 6 pts. buffer space around the wordmark.
Smallest size for print (Business Card, Ads, Invites, Envelopes)
Recommended size for electronic production
DO NOT combine the wordmark with another graphic element.
DO NOT use the wordmark on a photographic background without permission from Creative Services at 412-268-9074, or email@example.com.
The wordmark cannot be reversed out of any color except red (PMS 187), black or gray.
Brand Architecture / Unitmarks
Carnegie Mellon University's brand architecture shows the relationships among all of the entities that make up the university. It also sets priorities - a hierarchy of brands - and guides their graphic expression.
Does your department, center or program need a logo?
You already have one: the Carnegie Mellon University wordmark. Because of its wide recognition, the university wordmark will do the best job of building equity into any entity associated with it. Your group or organization does not need its own separate logo, especially for the university’s official documents. However, we are providing a unitmark design for you. This is a transitional, gradual evolution for official materials and branded elements.
Please note: Unitmarks will differ between web usage and print usage. Please refer to web guidelines for how to use your unitmark on the web.
For a visual representation of your group name, we recommend the following:
- Instead of creating or using your own logo for official university print and web materials, use your entity's name "locked-up" with the Carnegie Mellon University wordmark on official business materials or marketing pieces which we call a unitmark. Example of Career Services unitmark shown below.
- The Carnegie Mellon wordmark and unitmarks are not to be recreated in a font—they are graphic files only. Please do not create your own unitmark. Creative Services (Communications Design and Photography Group) will provide them to you free of cost. Carnegie Mellon University should appear in the primary color palette red, black or white and your unitmark should appear in black, gray or white.
- Please refer to unitmarks for how to use the wordmark together with other university entities. If you are interested in producing something for unofficial use like spirit items (i.e. event t-shirt, poster), read more at the Local Expression section.
- The name Carnegie Mellon University is the most important branded element. By placing the most emphasis on the university name, we reinforce the brand everywhere it appears worldwide. In addition, the university’s brand helps build equity in all the campuses, schools/colleges, departments and centers/institutes that are associated with it. Above all, we want to show that there is one Carnegie Mellon University and all of its campuses and programs are the same everywhere.
- The Carnegie Mellon University wordmark always appears first. When "locked-up" with the names of campuses and other entities, the Carnegie Mellon University wordmark takes the top position.
- Always include the wordmark in a prominent position on all communications materials. Your unit name can be separate from the wordmark. If you do not use a unitmark, we suggest using the Helvetica or Times family of fonts.
- Some campuses, schools/colleges, departments, centers/institutes and others in the university community currently have their own visual identities. To build equity in the overall university brand, which benefits everyone, we encourage the use of the university's official brand architecture.
- Note for visual identity of academic departments: only the department name appears, not the name of the school or college. The higher entity will visually be included in text somewhere on the marketing vehicle.
Unitmarks and Standard Identity Hierarchy
Schools and Colleges
Centers and Institutes
Departments and Administrative Units
Using a consistent color palette helps build awareness and recognition for Carnegie Mellon.
Be sure to use Pantone Matching System (PMS) color values, not the swatches here, to assure exactly the right match.
Primary Color Palette (Print)
Our main color is PMS 187 red, accompanied by black, white, light gray and dark gray. The official wordmark should appear only in these colors in print, and should be reversed out of these colors only. Find web colors.
Tartan Plaid Color Palette
In addition to the primary colors, the Carnegie Mellon tartan plaid inspires a second set of official colors. The tartan color palette is most effective when used as accent colors on event materials and merchandise.
Official Tartan Plaid
The Tartan Plaid (official university plaid) is the preferred version for print. Carnegie Mellon Band members wear the official plaid in their kilts/uniforms. Wool material on a spool and wrapping paper sheets are available in the bookstore.
Please contact Creative Serivces (Communications Design and Photography Group) to obtain an electronic version of the official plaid.
Official University Seal
The official seal of Carnegie Mellon University from 1967 was originally reserved for only official documents, including diplomas, presidential and trustee minutes or other legal, academic or official university documentation—or on the highest awards or certificates.
The seal can now also be used for FORMAL occasions and formal products, including items for commencement, specific gift items in brass, silver or pewter, appropriate clothing (sports coats), stationery and other items. DO NOT use the official seal in combination with the wordmark. If an item is in question, please contact Marketing Communications. Please contact the Communications Design and Photography Group to obtain an electronic version of the official seal.
There are two recommended font families in the Carnegie Mellon typography system: Times and Helvetica. These two font families were chosen to complement the wordmark. Choose from these families for overall headlines and text in your materials. Other typefaces may be used for special events or creative materials.
The Carnegie Mellon wordmark and unitmarks are not to be recreated in a font—they are graphic files only.
Color and Typography on the Web
Please see the section on online identity standards for color equivalents and recommended typography to be used on the web.
Please see the Carnegie Mellon Mascot website for the official Mascot Graphics.