Type of Policy
Administrative
Effective Date
Review Date
Policy Owner
Institute Communications
Contact Name
Brett Boatright
Contact Title
Director, Institute Creative Strategy
Contact Email
Brett.Boatright@comm.gatech.edu
Reason for Policy

The Institute has adopted a refreshed brand visual identity system as of September 2021. The following policy is currently under revision to reflect the updated brand standards available at https://brand.gatech.edu. All expectations for approval routing remain intact during this transition.

In the meantime, please direct any questions to Institute Communications via: https://comm.gatech.edu/about/contact.


The quality and consistency of Georgia Institute of Technology’s communication is critical to maintaining our reputation as a leading brand in academics and research. Institute Communications worked collaboratively with campus communicators to conduct a redesign of Georgia Tech’s print, digital, and messaging standards. This policy outlines standards for the use of brand elements and trademarks. The adoption of these standards provides a number of key benefits including building awareness of Georgia Tech’s brand and increasing efficiency in the creation of communications and marketing materials that represent Georgia Tech, its colleges, schools, units, and affiliate organizations.

Policy Statement

This policy exists to facilitate consistency and promote standardized Institute branding across Georgia Tech’s communications. Georgia Tech’s communications are the primary channel for connecting with key constituents including peers, prospective students, parents, legislators, corporate partners, faculty, staff, students, alumni, fans, as well as the general public. A consistent use of the Institute’s brand brings together the efforts of all who constitute the Institute, unifies and strengthens Georgia Tech’s reputation, and distinguishes Georgia Tech from other institutions of higher learning, thereby enhancing its relationships with all constituencies, public and private.

Scope

This brand identity policy governs the use of all Institute trademarks and brand assets for any purpose and applies to the entire Institute. Specific details of the approved Institute brand are outlined in the Georgia Tech Brand Identity Standards (http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand).

Colleges, schools, departments, and individuals may only use the Institute’s names, logos, and trademarks as permitted by this policy and in accordance with requirements listed on the Georgia Tech Brand Identity Standards website (http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand).

The following rules apply to all uses of Institute trademarks and brand assets.

Georgia Tech Nomenclature: The consistent use of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia Tech name helps build recognition and awareness. When used in external communications, the complete name “Georgia Institute of Technology” should be used upon first mention in copy. Thereafter, “Georgia Tech” may be employed to reference the Institute. Georgia Tech units may not use the acronym “GT” when communicating with outside audiences with the exception of social media applications that have character restrictions, and Athletics.  Exceptions to this policy include informal and interoffice correspondence, internal presentations, and other unofficial communication.

Georgia Tech Logo and Wordmarks: The Georgia Institute of Technology logo and Georgia Tech logo are key elements of the Institute’s visual identity system, and one or the other must appear on all official Georgia Tech print and digital communications and marketing material. The logos may not be modified in any way or attached to any other typographic or graphic elements. No other logos, symbols, or marks may be used by administrative or academic units to represent the Institute. Individual units may not create their own logo or visual identity.

Units are required to use the Georgia Tech wordmark in connection with official Institute business. Colleges, schools, and units may use their respective Georgia Tech wordmark for their unit in connection with official Institute business and in their official web headers.

Georgia Tech Seal: The seal is reserved for use by the Office of the President and the Office of Government and Community Relations. Executives whose offices are in the Carnegie building also have permission to use the seal on business cards and stationery only. Programs directly sponsored by the Office of the President, such as the Stamps President’s Scholars program, may also use the seal. No other Georgia Tech units are permitted to use the seal. The seal is also used on official Institute documents, such as certificates and diplomas. To request use of the seal, contact Institute Communications. More information about the use of the seal can be found at http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/visual.

Spirit Marks: Georgia Tech’s spirit marks — including but not limited to Buzz, the Interlocking GT, and the Ramblin’ Wreck — are licensed trademarks that require prior approval for use from Georgia Tech Institute Communications. Georgia Tech’s spirit marks are primarily used by student and alumni groups, and Athletics. More information about the use of spirit marks can be found at http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/visual.

Institute Words: The following marks are federally registered in the name of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia by and on behalf of the Georgia Institute of Technology. All other names, symbols, initials, colors, images, graphic designs, or other indicia that refer to Georgia Institute of Technology are protected by federal and state laws.

  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Georgia Tech
  • Yellow Jackets
  • Buzz
  • Ramblin’ Wreck

The word "Helluva" is only to be used for athletics activities, school spirit and related internally-focused/campus communications and should not be used for external marketing.

Institute Tagline: Creating the Next® is the official tagline of the Institute. Units should use the official Creating the Next® wordmark when representing the tagline graphically. More information about the Creating the Next tagline can be found at http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/visual.

Athletics taglines can not be used for academic or research activities.

Official Colors: White and gold are key components of Georgia Tech’s visual identity system and are the primary colors available for use by all Georgia Tech units. Consistent use and careful matching of colors are essential in establishing and maintaining a consistent and unified image. Detailed color information can be found in the Georgia Tech Brand Standards. More information about Georgia Tech’s colors can be found at http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/colors.

Trademarks and Licensing: Campus use of trademarks includes items and materials produced and consumed internally by the Institute, its departments, and official campus clubs and organizations. Items and materials that are made available for sale, such as a T-shirt for a fundraiser, must follow the commercial use policies in the next section.

• Items and materials bearing any of Georgia Tech’s trademarks must be approved, in writing, through Georgia Tech Licensing and Trademarks (http://www.licensing.gatech.edu/).

• Trademarks must adhere to Georgia Tech’s brand standards and may not be altered in any way without approval, in writing, through Georgia Tech Licensing and Trademarks.

• Georgia Tech trademarks are not to be used in conjunction with alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, gambling products, national flags and symbols, and/or religious programs. Trademarks should not be used in conjunction with the color red.

• Georgia Tech trademarks are not to be used in conjunction with other brands, names, or trademarks in a way that might appear as an endorsement by the Institute.

• Designs using Georgia Tech trademarks must be approved prior to printing or manufacturing through Georgia Tech Licensing and Trademarks.

• All items and materials bearing any Georgia Tech trademarks must be printed, produced, or manufactured by an official licensed vendor. Georgia Tech Licensing and Trademarks has more than 400 approved licensed vendors. Please visit http://www.licensing.gatech.edu/ vendors  for a current list of approved licensees.

• A registered trademark symbol, either ® or TM, is to be used next to every trademarked logo. The symbol should appear near the bottom right of the trademarked logo. It is not necessary to include the symbol following trademarked words appearing in copy text. For example, when writing about Georgia Tech’s mascot, Buzz®, a writer may exclude the ® and simply write Buzz.

The Institute’s trademarks are protected by federal law, either by federal trademark registrations or through common law use, and by the State of Georgia through state registrations. The Institute’s trademarks are federally registered in the name of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia by and on behalf of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The Institute has delegated the responsibility for maintaining, managing, licensing, and protecting the Institute’s trademarks to the vice president of Institute Communications.

The Georgia Tech licensing manager is the sole authority for granting permission to use any Georgia Tech trademark. For trademark usage permission and questions, contact Georgia Tech Institute Communication’s licensing manager. More information about Georgia Tech’s Licensing and Trademarks can be found at http://www.licensing.gatech.edu./

Information about the University System of Georgia policy 6.2 on the Use of Institution Names, Symbols, and Trademarks can be found at https://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section6/C351

Use of Trademarks

As outlined in the University System of Georgia policy 6.2 on the Use of Institution Names, Symbols, and Trademarks the name, logo, or trademark of any University System of Georgia (USG) institution may only be used for products, projects, events, and services officially sponsored by the USG or a USG institution. The name, logo, or trademark of any USG institution shall not be used by an independent business enterprise that is not under the complete control of the USG, excluding approved Cooperative Organizations, to imply an official relationship with the institution or USG.

  • By Faculty, Staff, and Students
    No individual faculty or staff members, students, or groups may use any Institute trademark, stationery or the official web template header and footer, or refer to his or her affiliation with the Institute, in any manner that suggests or implies Institute support or endorsement of a point of view or personal or political opinion, business, activity, movement, or program that is not official Georgia Tech business. Faculty, staff, and students are required to use an approved licensee to produce any merchandise or apparel with the Georgia Tech name and/or trademarks.
  • By Student Organizations
    Affiliated Georgia Tech student organizations are required to use an approved licensee to produce any merchandise or apparel with the Georgia Tech name and/or trademarks. This includes merchandise used within the organization (staff shirts, pens, etc.), given as gifts, or sold.

Student organizations are not allowed to alter trademarks without permission from Licensing and Trademarks.

  • By Persons and/or Entities Outside the Institute
    Institute trademarks may be used by persons or entities outside the Institute only pursuant to a license, memorandum of understanding, or sponsorship agreement stating the terms and conditions of such use. Persons or entities outside of Georgia Tech are required to use an approved licensee to produce any merchandise or apparel with the Georgia Tech name and/or trademarks.

Prohibited Uses of Institute Trademarks

  • No Endorsements
    Neither the name of the Institute nor any Institute trademark, including Institute colors, may be used in any way that gives a false impression, is misleading, or could cause confusion regarding the Institute’s relationship with any person or entity. Statements that the Institute is a user or purchaser of a product or program are permitted if true. Statements that imply the endorsement of a product, service, or event are prohibited by state law.
  • General Prohibition
    Neither the name of the Institute nor any Institute trademark may be used in connection with any person, entity, product, or service if the association could adversely affect the Institute’s image or standing, or would for any other reason be inappropriate for a state agency or public research Institute. Such proscribed uses include, but are not limited to, the use of Institute trademarks in connection with alcoholic beverages, cigarettes or other tobacco products, sexually oriented products or services, religious products, political parties or organizations, gaming or gambling products, and firearms.

Use of Non-Georgia Tech Logos
The use of non-Georgia Tech logos on official Georgia Tech digital and print communications and marketing requires prior approval from Institute Communications. Lists acknowledging use, sponsorship, or donor gratitude are permissible.

Under no circumstances, through word or display, may any Georgia Tech unit imply endorsement of a product or company. The unit may state what the company does but may not include any measure of quality, performance, improvement, enhancement, or endorsement.

Sponsorships, Partnerships and Co-branding
Using a corporate logo to acknowledge a donor, sponsor, joint venture, partnership, or in co-branding arrangements is allowed with some important restrictions, but should not be used routinely. NOTE: For a joint venture or partnership, a written agreement of partnership should exist and must have been approved by the Georgia Tech Office of Legal Affairs.

In the case of a contract that calls for the display of a corporate logo on a Georgia Tech website, specific approval of the contract must be obtained from Georgia Tech’s Office of Legal Affairs. Legal Affairs must review and approve all contracts. Should Georgia Tech’s Office of Legal Affairs approve such contract language, then displaying corporate logos under an approved contract is allowed.

Non-Georgia Tech logos, when used, must be preceded by this statement: “The following companies support this program” or something similar, followed by, “The listing of corporate logos on this site does not constitute an endorsement by Georgia Tech.” All variations of this language must be reviewed and approved by Institute Communications prior to publishing.

Websites:
Georgia Tech websites hosted on Georgia Tech web servers or cloud service(s) centrally managed by or on behalf of Georgia Tech must comply with the standards outlined in the website standards (http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/websites). This includes the colleges, schools, and administrative and research units.

Exceptions to the web standards include:

  • Student, faculty, and staff personal pages, course management pages, intranets and internal sites (defined as sites requiring a restricted-access login), web applications that are open- or closed-sourced and cannot be easily modified, and student organizations and academic research labs and centers that are not part of an IRI or IRC and are not funded through the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research.
  • Any sites that exist to communicate the work of a consortium or other multi-party organization of which Georgia Tech is a part, but which is not an affiliated Georgia Tech organization. 

Sites that are being redesigned are required to meet the Georgia Tech web standards (http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/websites). Legacy sites will be updated as time and resources allow. Institute Communications will provide official font, color, and header and footer Drupal templates to campus. Web standards will be reviewed by Institute Communications in collaboration with campus periodically to determine when updates are needed.

Units that are creating new sites or redesigning existing sites are encouraged to work with their respective Institute Communications consultant to coordinate their efforts. To find your unit’s communications consultant, go to http://www.comm.gatech.edu/account-management.

While units of Georgia Tech are free to develop or modify the content of their own communications, Institute Communications is responsible for ensuring adherence to the standards in this policy and for maintenance and upkeep of the Institute’s brand communication standards. 

In the instance of non-compliance, Institute Communications will make reasonable efforts to contact the unit’s communications manager and/or the individual responsible for creating and maintaining the content. Institute Communications will work with the unit to establish a schedule for compliance. More information about Georgia Tech’s web standards can be found at http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/websites.

Domain Names
The internet domain name assigned to the Georgia Institute of Technology is gatech.edu. The Institute recognizes gatech.edu as its official domain name. The name gatech.edu is legally registered to the Institute and, like other marks of the institution, is subject to the Institute’s use, policies, and guidelines.

In order to create a cohesive web identity and to ensure the integrity of the Institute’s commitment to a unified web presence, the Institute has established the following standards with respect to domain names.

  1. All websites that are funded and/or sponsored by the Institute are required to have a gatech.edu-based web address. This includes all websites for academic, administrative, student-sponsored, and/or other organizational units within the Institute. This also includes personal websites that are hosted by the Institute.
  2. Unless otherwise permitted by Institute Communications, Institute funds may not be used to purchase or maintain non-gatech.edu domain names
  3. Organizational units within the Institute do not have the authority to register internet domain names on behalf of the Institute or their respective organizational unit. The Office of Institute Communications is the official institutional contact for domain names on behalf of Georgia Tech. The Office of Information Technology is the official registrant of Institute domain names.
  4. Georgia Tech’s domain name criteria are outlined at: (http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/websites/domain_names)

Requesting a Third-Level Domain Name
To request a third-level domain name (www.xxxxx.gatech.edu), contact the Office of Institute Communications. This office is responsible for approving/disapproving requests.

To appeal a denial of a www.xxxxx.gatech.edu domain name, submit additional written information or clarification in support of the request to the appropriate Institute Communications consultant (www.comm.gatech.edu/account-management) and request a review

Domain Name Exceptions
The Institute may consider granting an exception to the domain name requirement in these cases:

  1. External organizations that have been approved to be hosted by the Institute are permitted to have non-www.xxxxx.gatech.edu domain names if they are not wholly owned or controlled by the Institute. Examples of this exception include non-Georgia Tech organizations, professional affiliations, consortia, and cooperatives in which Georgia Tech is a member institution.
  2. On a case-by-case basis and in unique circumstances, the Institute may grant an exception to the above requirements. Such requests must be reviewed by the Office of Institute Communications. Requests for an exception must establish that a non-www.xxxxx.gatech.edu domain name is necessary as part of the normal web operations of the organizational unit.

Publications: Georgia Tech’s print and digital communications offer opportunities to build Georgia Tech’s identity. To achieve the greatest effectiveness, communication materials should reflect that they are part of the Georgia Tech visual identity system. Official Georgia Tech publication templates are available for download at http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/downloads-templates.

  1. Publication Covers: The front cover of publications for Georgia Tech or a Georgia Tech unit must prominently display the Georgia Tech name. The Georgia Tech logo is the preferred method for identifying the piece. The suggested positions for the Institute logo are the upper left-hand corner or lower right-hand corner. The Georgia Tech logo should be set apart from other graphic elements, and clear space around the logo should be maintained.
  2. Publication Back Covers: The Georgia Tech logo (or relevant Georgia Tech college, school, or unit) should appear on the back of multipage publications.
  3. Brand Elements: Georgia Tech trade dress is made up of several key elements including the Georgia Tech wordmark, chevrons, color, fonts, and the Creating the Next® tagline. These elements should appear on all Georgia Tech publications and collateral. These elements are available for download at the Georgia Tech Brand Standards.

Existing graphics, symbols, or icons unique to individual units within Georgia Tech may not be used as dominant, freestanding components resembling a logo. Other visual elements may be used as secondary elements. They must be subordinate to the Georgia Tech logo.

Photography and Video

Model Releases: All photo or video subjects should sign a model release form prior to filming. The signed release form should be kept on file by the project’s manager, in perpetuity. For large events, general signage indicating that photography will be taken and potentially used in communications should be prominently posted. Model releases can be found at http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/photography#release.

Photo and Video Archiving: Photography and video taken by staff and freelancers for use in publications and digital media paid for by Georgia Tech is required to be archived in Georgia Tech’s Image Portal photo database. A Georgia Tech account login is required to access this database. The Image Portal database is located at http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/photography#download.

Video Brand Standards: When producing digital content for Georgia Tech external websites or audiences, it is important to maintain an experience that reflects Georgia Tech’s identity. Using Georgia Tech’s branded lower thirds and closing slides is required for public-facing video. These file requirements and branding guides apply to all digital content produced by Georgia Tech communicators and outside vendors. More about Georgia Tech’s video branding can be found at http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand/video/style-guide.

Stationery: The use of official Institute letterhead and business cards is required in all matters of official Institute business. Official Georgia Tech stationery is provided through Printing and Copying Services (PCS). More information about Printing and Copying Services can be found at https://www.oit.gatech.edu/service-item/custom-printing.

Definitions:

Brand Standards

See the following link for brand standards: http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand

Procedures
5.1 Web Standard Compliance

Implementation

Communications that are being redesigned are required to meet the brand standards. Legacy communications will be updated as time and resources allow.

5.2 Official Header and Footer

Subject

Institute Communications will be the official source of policy and information regarding the correct use of Institute brand standards including logo, colors, fonts, design style, and use of visuals in a range of applications.

http://www.comm.gatech.edu/brand

Responsibilities

Institute Communications
Institute Communications is responsible for the management of Georgia Tech’s trademarks, brand identity, and web standards. Institute Communications is responsible for communicating, interpreting, revising, and enforcing the policy.

Institute Communicators
Communicators in the colleges, schools, and administrative units are responsible for knowing and understanding this policy and assisting with communicating and interpreting it in their respective areas.

Office of Legal Affairs
Georgia Tech’s Office of Legal Affairs is responsible for reviewing and acting on memoranda of understanding sponsorship agreements and contracts, and will consult with Institute Communications when such documents include marketing, trademark, or branding considerations.

Enforcement

While units of Georgia Tech are free to develop or modify the content of their own communications, Institute Communications will be responsible for ensuring adherence to the standards in this policy and for maintenance and upkeep of the Institute’s Brand Standards.

In case of violations, Institute Communications will make reasonable efforts to contact the unit’s communications manager and/or the individual responsible for creating and maintaining the content. Institute Communications will work with the unit to correct issues and establish a schedule for compliance.

Policy History
Revision Date Author Description
July 2018 Institute Communications New Policy