Last revised September 16, 2020.
The Brand Policy protects the value of the Emerson name and related intellectual property. It governs and instructs on proper use of name “Emerson College,” the EMERSON and EMERSON COLLEGE wordmarks, the College’s logos, and the College’s seal. The Brand Policy applies to students, faculty, and staff, as well as to third parties and partners.
Reason for the Policy
Founded in 1880, Emerson College is globally recognized as the nation’s premier institution of higher learning dedicated to communication and the arts. The College’s brand powerfully reflects and projects this earned reputational prominence. Emerson, like all institutions of higher learning, is part of an increasingly competitive educational landscape. It is therefore important to protect and preserve this legacy, and to convey a compelling vision for the future.
It is crucial that we use the College’s brand in ways that reinforce the institution’s values, highlight its strengths, unify its voice, and elevate its position in the marketplace. Presenting the College through a unified voice and messages will allow us to effectively highlight what makes Emerson a special place. Moreover, because the College has existing obligations to partners and other third parties concerning its brand, it is critical that members of the Emerson community act in a manner that allows the College to comply with its contractual arrangements.
Statement of Elaboration of the Policy
In 2017, the College implemented a system of brand standards, inclusive of visual identity, messaging, voice, and positioning guidelines. These standards, as outlined in materials on the Emerson College Brand Center, apply to students, faculty, and staff in all offices, departments, functions, centers and organizational units, including throughout the student body (“Emerson Constituents.”).
To protect the Emerson name and ensure consistency of representation of Emerson College, the EMERSON and EMERSON COLLEGE wordmarks, the College’s logos, and its seal may only be used as permitted by this policy and in accordance with the requirements listed within the brand identity standards guidelines. The following policy points apply to all uses of the College’s brand by any Emerson Constituents. Emerson’s brand includes any trademark, wordmark, supporting graphic or logo (collectively, the “Emerson Marks”). In instances in which an Emerson Constituent seeks approval for a special usage, the Office of Communications & Marketing will provide prompt guidance and work with the Emerson Constituents to support its work consistent with both community goals and brand integrity.
- Emerson Constituents are required to use official versions of Emerson Marks, as codified in standards available on the Emerson College Brand Center.
- Emerson Constituents may not alter any Emerson Mark unless an alteration is specifically approved by the Office of Communications & Marketing.
- Emerson Constituents may not create their own Emerson-related logos, taglines, icons, graphics, or sub-brands without approval of the Office of Communications & Marketing.
- Emerson Constituents must comply with Emerson College Brand Identity Standards, unless a non-compliant use is specifically approved by the Office of Communications & Marketing.
- All Emerson College web properties must use an official web template header and footer, unless a non-compliant use is specifically approved by the Office of Communications & Marketing.
- Use of Emerson Marks in print and electronic material, including email and social media, must conform to standards available on the Emerson College Brand Center requirements.
- Emerson Constituents may not use Emerson Marks on merchandise offered for sale without the review of the Office of the General Counsel to confirm that it is consistent with existing contractual arrangements. As appropriate, the Office of the General Counsel will consult with other related departments such as the Office of Communications & Marketing and/or Business Services. Commercial merchandise could include, but is not limited to clothing, jewelry, home goods, and stationery items.
- Signage standards. The Office of Communications & Marketing designs campus signage and branded environments, both interior and exterior, in partnership with other administrative and academic units. The Office of Communications & Marketing makes every effort to meet the needs and interests of each Emerson Department, while also ensuring signage is compliant with brand guidelines and local regulations. Therefore, Emerson Constituents must submit a project request to the Office of Communications & Marketing when pursuing a signage effort, and the Office of Communications & Marketing will work with that Emerson Department to ensure the proposed use conforms with the College’s overall brand strategy.
- Emerson Constituents may not enter into contracts that require Emerson College to license Emerson Marks or otherwise permit use of Emerson Marks by any third parties without prior review of the Office of the General Counsel. The Office of the General Counsel will consult with the Office of Communications & Marketing as appropriate.
- Emerson Constituents do not need to obtain approval before including the term “Emerson College” in a copyright notice for work owned by the College.
- Emerson Constituents do not need approval to use the Emerson College name to refer to themselves or their positions at the College. They should take all necessary steps to avoid leading any third party to believe that a) Emerson College is responsible for, affiliated with, or has endorsed any product, service, individual or organization outside of the College or b) that this individual faculty member, student or staff person is authorized to speak on behalf of the College.
The following activities are strictly prohibited unless they have been reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel, which will consult with the Office of Communications & Marketing and other relevant offices as appropriate.
- Use of Marks to reflect the College’s relationship with any person or entity. This includes, but is not limited to, any third party’s use of an Emerson Mark on its website or in any advertising.
- Statements that the College is a customer, purchaser or user of any goods or services.
- Use of Emerson Marks or facilities in films, television programming or media.
- Any registration of any trademark or service mark in any jurisdiction, including state, federal or international.
- To the extent not already listed, any statements that indicate that the College endorses, approves or is affiliated with any person, entity, product or service.
Emerson College’s most important marketing & communications platform is its website, emerson.edu, and associated web properties. The College’s website serves a breadth of audiences and a variety of goals – ranging from student recruitment to the promotion of faculty accomplishments, brand marketing to emergency communication. To the extent Emerson Constituents wish to register domains for official College business, they must first consult with the Office of Communications & Marketing for approval. The Office of Communications & Marketing will then assist them in working with Emerson Information Technology to facilitate registration of the domain. Individuals may not use Emerson Marks in domain names that are not approved and not for College business.
To the extent Emerson Constituents previously registered domains with Emerson Marks or otherwise developed sites which conflict with this policy, the College reserves the right to transfer registrations or bring about compliance as appropriate.
Any language in this policy extends to use of the Emerson Marks on social media as well. Please refer to College policies and guidelines on social media for other general social media guidance.
- Effective marketing campaigns are dependent on robust messaging, exceptional content curation, and a rigorous, continual assessment, analysis, and performance management effort. Effective media planning is predicated on reaching the right audience at the right time, and with the right message.
- Emerson Constituents are not permitted to purchase advertising or media planning services without coordinating with the Office of Communications & Marketing.
- By leveraging the economies of scale created by a unified strategy and buying approach, we can ensure that the College’s advertising dollars are well spent, that we comply with platform partners’ terms of service and regulators requirements, and that our agreements are favorable to the College. In addition, using the resources of the Office of Communications & Marketing will ensure that Emerson Constituents reach their target audiences, utilize strong messaging and imagery, and harness the power of new and existing media channels.
Violations and Enforcement
Emerson College may enforce its rights related to Emerson Marks as appropriate under state or federal law. In addition, if an Emerson Department violates this policy, the Office of Communications & Marketing or other appropriate office will determine the appropriate remedial measure, which may include redesign of print and/or electronic materials. If the violation causes the College to violate a law or contractual obligation to a third party, appropriate remedies may be disciplinary in nature.
Individuals with questions about this policy should contact the Office of Communications & Marketing at marketing [at] emerson.edu.
John Malcom, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Key Offices to Contact Regarding the Policy and Its Implementation
- Office of Communications & Marketing
- Office of the General Counsel