Policy on Branding Standards for Editorial, Web and Visual Content

Policy Number: 120

Governance and Legal

The permanent link for this policy is: https://policies.northeastern.edu/policy120/

I. Purpose and Scope


Maintaining the editorial consistency and the visual coherence of Northeastern’s print, web, and multimedia communications is vital to protecting the integrity of the university’s brand. The university’s standards for graphic design, marketing language and editorial style, and logo usage convey the strengths inherent in the Northeastern brand.

This policy applies to departments, units, colleges, schools and offices within the university. It applies to all official communications made on behalf of the university, including via social media. It applies to all use of the university’s name, logo, or other visual mark, by anyone, including third parties, employees and student groups. 

II. Definitions


For purposes of this policy,

Logo refers to Northeastern’s logo which is constructed of two interconnected parts: the university seal and the wordmark. The relative position and size of seal and type always remain constant.

Seal refers to the Northeastern seal which is registered and protected as an official mark. It may not be modified.

Wordmark: means “Northeastern University” (or “Northeastern” when paired with the seal), in the proprietary font that is exclusive to Northeastern University.

Lockups means the logo and wordmark are combined (locked up) with the names of Northeastern’s colleges, major administrative units, and graduate campus locations, all in a branded university typeface. 

III. Policy


The university requires that all offices, departments, and other units at the university will adhere to all branding guidelines created by the Office of Communications. All official communications materials must adhere to the branding guidelines. Any use of the university’s seal, wordmark, or logo, as defined above, must follow the branding guidelines. The relevant guidelines are contained in the Office of Communications’ website at https://brand.northeastern.edu/#_ga=2.49463982.902350807.1679324667-1899018458.1630597579.

The seal as well as logos, wordmarks, and lockups—in approved colors and formats for print and web—can be downloaded from the guidelines site. Access is restricted to those with a university username and password. External vendors creating materials that require Northeastern branding must work directly with a unit at the university.

The seal cannot be used by any organization other than Northeastern University. Third-party use of the wordmark is governed by the Policy on Endorsements and/or the university licensing program: https://brand.northeastern.edu/visual-design/merchandise/. Unless licensed, third-party commercial use of university branding marks is prohibited. The purpose of Northeastern University’s licensing program is to ensure that Northeastern’s brand identity on products and services marketed to the public is consistent with the goals and image of the University.

University departments, employees, and student organizations that wish to use Northeastern University’s wordmarks and logos on apparel and gift items must obtain approval from the Office of Communications and use a manufacturer that is licensed by the university.

IV. Additional Information


Print or digital communications that are improperly branded as well as prohibited or incorrect use of the university’s seal, logos, and wordmarks on print or digital communications, apparel, gift item, and other materials should be brought to the attention of the Office of Communications.

V. Contact Information


For information about our graphic standards or the use of Northeastern logos and other identifiers, please see the Visual Identity section.

For information about the use of the alumni mark, please contact the senior associate director of communications in the Office of Alumni Relations, at 617.373.4108.

For information about the use of the athletics mark, please contact the assistant athletics director for communications, at 617.373.4154.

For information about messages or editorial style, please see the Editorial section. If you have a question or issue that is not addressed there, please contact the senior managing editor in the Office of Communications at 617.373.5444.

To report unauthorized or improper use of University branding marks, call the Office of Communications, at 617.373.5453

Responsible Office/Department(s)

Office of Communications

Related Procedures





Logo; Seal; Letterhead; Graphic Design; Brand Image; Corporate Identity

Version History

Last Revision Date: March 20, 2023

Issued: February 25, 2014