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Our Brand: How to Convey It

Our Brand: How to Convey It.

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FREE webinar - Usability Services at the U

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Usability by David Rosen, Usability Services
Jan. 25, 2011; 10 a.m.
Attend via UMConnect

Join David Rosen, usability services manager, and learn about usability services' origins at the University, its accomplishments since David started leading the group in March 2009, and what future services and plans look like.

Register today! A confirmation email with the link to UMConnect will be sent to you prior to the webinar.

Making "Because" yours

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You've probably seen it online or on television but now Because is yours! The campaign standards have been posted on the Our Brand site.

Here you'll find the usual tools (graphics, guidelines, examples, etc.) for crafting the campaign to fit your unit, but the most important takeaway is how to properly capture the tone and intent of Because.

At its core, the Because campaign draws in audiences by answering the question, "Why the University of Minnesota?" Why should people believe in us and support us? And it's up to you to answer those questions through Because statements.

Think big and forward-looking here. Like an inspiration-filled line from a speech by your favorite politician (if any of us still have one these days), a Because statement should evoke the highest of what is achievable. For instance, the University is driven to discover "Because damaged hearts and lungs must be mended." Or "Because creativity fuels the new economy." The possibilities are endless but just be sure to keep the guidelines in mind.

A unique aspect of this campaign is that University units can request, at no cost, an actual 3D Because model for use in their promotional efforts. Whether a large-scale event or photo shoot, you can add Because in another dimension to your promotions.

Sometimes there is confusion between Driven to Discover and Because. It is important to remember that Driven to Discover is the University's official brand now and into the future. Because does not replace it. The Because campaign is a continuation of that brand and a chance to further explore how and why the University is Driven to Discover.

Finally, have fun with Because (within the standards of course!). Make it yours and unique to your department, staff, students, professors or whatever helps convey the ways your units engages in discovery!

If you have any questions or thoughts about using the Because campaign for your unit, contact me at or 5-8962.

Happy New Year!

Our Brand--How to Convey It

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If you haven't already heard from one or two University listservs, University Relations launched the new Our Brand--How to Convey It website today.

This new site is designed to be a "one stop" location for guidelines, recommendations, requirements, logos, templates, and images related to University marketing and branding.

Our Brand--How to Convey It combines and replaces several sites that you may already be aware of; the Graphic Standards site, the eCommunication Standards (webdepot) site, the Style Manual, and the Images Library. (These old sites will remain online until Monday.)

Please take some time in the next few weeks to visit the new site and make comments via the questionnaire posted on the home page of the site (in the upper right corner) at We value your input!

Thank you,

University Relations Marketing and Electronic Communications staff

August Photo Library Webinar Presentation Available

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The August Photo Library Webinar recording can now be viewed online at and the PowerPoint presentation in PDF format has been posted. Since it took a while to post the presentation, I have added screen shots of some of the Photo Library pages. We are going through usability this week for the Our Brand site of which the Photo Library is a part of. There have been a couple of issues identified related to the Photo Library that we hope to fix before we launch the site. Stay alert to our postings as we may be offering a sneak peek of the Our Brand site and the Photo Library.

Electronic Communication Requirements

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There have always been a lot of questions related to a few specific policies or standards for use of electronic communications at the University. Over the years, as the technology has changed and expanded, our office has worked to keep up, try to inform, and formulate standards that give everyone as much freedom as possible.

Two important things have happened in the past few months regarding policy and electronic communications; the elimination of the WWW Publishing Policy and the updates to the Brand Policy. For details see my earlier post on Policy Updates.

The Brand Policy now refers to the requirements posted on This will be the temporary home for these requirements as we continue to work on the new "Our Brand" site.

We hope that you'll find the information applicable to what you're doing and we welcome any comments or insight about any of the topics you see.

Our Brand: How to Convey It

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I recently read Coca-Cola estimates its brand is worth $12 billion. Now, I'm not putting a dollar figure on the University of Minnesota brand but will simply state, "It is an extremely important asset."

Because the U of M's brand is so valuable, University Relations is embarking on a project to make it easy to give our brand the respect and care it deserves.

As many of you know, brand-related topics, assets, and information are now scattered among five websites: eCommunication Standards, eCommunications-Enterprise Mass E-mail, Graphic Standards, Images Library, and Style Manual. University Relations is unraveling each of these sites, reorganizing the information, streamlining navigation, and reassembling into ONE SITE. Yup! One site -

The new website will include the following for many mediums including electronic, multimedia, and print:
- Logo & Template Downloads
- Photos & Video
- Requirements & Guidelines
- Resources & Tools
- University Style

We are planning on building robust checklists, developing an easy-to-use "I want to..." section, and expanding the current eCommunications blog to address all communications-related topics.

The project is slated to be completed no later than January 2011.

P.S. Speaking of brand, here's a great article on measuring social media and its impact on brand.

P.S.S. One last note, University Relations recently changed two of its style guidelines...
- website is now one word; not two
- email is now one word; no hyphen

Policy Updates

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After a thorough review of the Brand policy, the Publishing Information on the WWW policy, and other related policies, it was determined that a policy that only addresses a communications delivery medium was not necessary.

In place of the Electronic Communications policy, there is new language in the Brand policy that directs people to the website for requirements related to use of University marks for both print and electronic communications. The Publishing Information on the WWW policy has been eliminated and the requirements and guidelines that had been included in that policy will be posted, along with additional requirements that had been written for the Electronic Communcations policy, on the site very soon.

In the mean time, if you have any policy-related questions for electronic communications, please email

Policy reminder

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University Relations would like to remind you about the Use of Trademarks Logos, Colors, and Seal policy and highlight tools and resources to help you achieve your communications objectives within the brand policy.

Thanks to your efforts, many of the University's campuses, colleges, and units are already compliant with the policy requirements. The University is collectively creating more consistent communications, resulting in cost savings and a stronger reputation. For those who have yet to make the transition, please note print and electronic communications materials, including web sites, are expected to meet the standards by December 2010.


- - Find whatever information you need about the brand policy at this site. The most notable aspects are:

   * The required use of the wordmark and maroon and gold

   * All web sites are to use official headers and footers

   * Individual logos and taglines to be phased out or repurposed as graphic elements or headlines/themes, respectively

- Secondary color palette - In response to requests for colors that compliment maroon and gold, University Relations has developed secondary colors that work well with the University's primary colors. Feel free to use these as inspiration! For print and for electronic.

- Updated Images Library - An assortment of new photos have been added to the Images Library, including shots of students interacting, the St. Paul gardens and seasonal campus images.

- Social networking - Icons for official University business conducted through social networking are now available on the Images Library. As you might recall, the University's social networking guidelines were released in December. They outline basic usage tips, best practices and related policies.

In addition to social networking guidelines, University Relations is updating the policy related to specific electronic communications tactics. For more information, visit

If you are interested in attending a workshop on how to implement the brand policy or related standards in your unit, please contact Drew Swain at

As always, University Relations is available to consult on the policy specifics, help with developing your wordmark/unit combinations, advise on transitioning to the web header/footer and answer any other questions you may have. Contact and a staff member will respond to you shortly.


Ann K. Aronson
Asst. Vice President
University Relations
100 Church Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover

Electronic Communications policy presentations

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Highlights of what is covered in the new Electronic Communications policy, including social networking, mass email, audio, and video, will be presented on Monday, January 25 at 2:00 in 402 Walter Library. This presentation will be available on UMConnect. The recorded version will be available on the eCommunication site a day or so after the presentation.

Another presentation will be held on Tuesday, February 2 at 10:30 in 402 Walter Library.

Both presentations will cover the same material. A handout covering the main points of the policy will be available. Questions and comments are welcome. Any changes to the policy will be carefully considered as a result of the comments and questions we receive at these presentations.

Make stuff scanable, skimable, usable

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Writing for the Web is a different beast. Those of us who live, breathe, eat, and sleep electronic communications must respect the differences and help others who are not as familiar with the online world.

For some great ideas on how to tame the beast and provide sharp, attention-grabbing content, check out "20 tips for writing for the web."


P.S I'd love to know if you think Web should be capped. Is it Web or web? Thoughts?