The MSU Extension brand is a distinctive and memorable representation of the organization that:
Using the MSU Extension wordmark and other brand elements consistently on programming and promotional materials, apparel, signs and elsewhere, helps us to positively shape the way our clients, stakeholders and partner organizations think and feel about MSU Extension.
This toolkit is designed to guide you in following the MSU Extension brand standards so that our audiences are exposed to a consistent message whenever they encounter or interact with MSU Extension. The toolkit draws from the MSU Brand (http://brand.msu.edu) website. The site was developed and is maintained by MSU Communications and Brand Strategy (CABS), the university’s central communications unit.
“A brand is not a logo, tagline, colors, TV commercials, or websites.
“A brand is perception. More specifically, it’s the sum total of people’s perceptions and experiences—what they think, feel, and respond to when they interact with an organization. And branding is the intentional process of shaping that perception.”
Source: “Brand Basics” (http://brand.msu.edu/brand-basics/index.html) from the MSU Brand website.
This toolkit is designed to explain how to use the various elements of the MSU Extension brand – the wordmark, Spartan helmet, color palette, typography (typefaces), key messages, and tagline – on various print pieces (such as brochures, fliers, and educational and promotional materials), business cards, email signatures, web pages and other online materials, signs, apparel, and more.
CABS has approved the official MSU Extension wordmark (see Figure 1) for use on educational and promotional materials, signs, and more, but not for use on apparel. (See “On Apparel” for information on the approved graphic for use on apparel.)
The Spartan helmet (see Figure 2) can be used on printed materials with or without the MSU Extension wordmark. The two elements may not be used so closely together (either side-by-side or above-below) that they appear to be joined, however. The helmet can also be used on MSU Extension apparel and signs (see the appropriate sections of this toolkit for guidance on those uses).
Figure 2: The Spartan helmet can be used with or without the MSU Extension wordmark on printed materials, but must not be placed side-by-side with or so closely above or below the wordmark that the two elements appear to be joined. The helmet can also be used on apparel and on signs.
MSU’s official school colors are green (see Figure 3) and white. Different applications and systems use different formulas to create the proper green for print, web, and other uses.
The colors shown in the secondary palette (see Figure 4) have been tested for their appeal with a variety of audiences. The formula for creating each color in various systems appears below it.
Two type families, Gotham (sans serif) and Californian (serif), are recommended for use in MSU Extension materials. If these typefaces aren’t available on your computer, you may substitute:
When writing MSU Extension News articles, web pages, brochures, fliers, and other materials, keep in mind these three key messages from the MSU Brand:
MSU’s – and therefore MSU Extension’s – official tagline is SPARTANS WILL. According to the MSU Brand “Editorial Content” page (http://brand.msu.edu/editorial-content):
“Michigan State University’s official tagline is a uniting theme that communicates our value and purpose in a common language. It’s a call to action that differentiates MSU from other universities and speaks to who we are and what drives us.
“The ‘will’ carries a powerful double meaning. As a verb, it reflects action and the work that Spartans do every day to make a difference. As a noun, it describes the tenacious and indomitable spirit that exemplifies Spartans.”
“SPARTANS WILL.” should always be punctuated with a period with both words capitalized. It is generally a standalone signature or used to answer the question “Who Will?” Beginning sentences with Spartans Will (i.e. Spartans will save the day.) should be avoided.
The fronts of all MSU Extension business cards include the following brand elements and information (see Figure 5):
The backs of all cards except for those of district coordinators, or DCs, are blank. The backs of DCs’ cards list their district numbers and the counties in their districts (see Figure 6).
To help maintain a consistent look and feel across the organization, all MSU Extension business cards must be ordered through the dedicated MSU Extension business card website. The site only accepts payment by MSU purchasing cards (also known as p-cards) or the credit cards listed there. Follow these instructions to order MSU Extension business cards:
1. Go to orderprinting.com and log in using the following information:
2. On the Order Menu page, choose either:
3. On the next screen, choose a template by clicking on the correct sample card (layout MSUE1 or MSUE2), then:
4. Enter your shipping address and payment information.
The email signature block (see Figure 7) is designed to convey a professional image that is consistent with the MSU Extension brand. Preferred font is Arial with a font size of 9 or 10. Employees may add the MSU Extension wordmark and (when applicable) the 4-H clover, but it’s not recommended for two reasons. Email messages with graphics:
Important note: All email signatures must contain the MSU Extension anti-discrimination statement and must not include superfluous content such as quotes, photos, or background graphics.
To set up or edit an email signature in Outlook:
1. Click on the “New Email” button.
2. Click on the “Signature” button, then click on “Signatures . . .” at the bottom of the dropdown menu that appears.
3. Check the popup window to make sure the “E-mail Signature” tab is active. Then follow the prompts.
Detailed instructions for Outlook 2013 are available here http://bit.ly/2e5vnsx. If you need more help, contact the ANR Tech Services Help Desk by phone at 517-355-3776 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The signature block on second and subsequent email replies can be condensed to help shorten the overall length of an email conversation. (see Figure 8).
Use only the MSU Extension wordmark on envelopes (see Figure 9). You don’t need to replace your current supply of envelopes right now, just use the new design when it’s depleted and you order new stock. Contact ANR Creative (email@example.com) for help with envelope designs.
The Spartan helmet can be used in conjunction with the MSU Extension wordmark in print and online materials. However, there must be enough spacing between the Spartan helmet and the MSU Extension wordmark that they don’t appear to be a single unit (see Figure 10).
The MSU Extension sign format (see Figure 11) is appropriate for indoor and outdoor freestanding and building signs. There is no need to do a wholesale change on all of your office signs right now, but if your office moves or you have another chance to buy new signs, work with your district coordinator to ensure that you’re using the correct design.
Figure 12 shows the only design that has been approved for use on MSU Extension apparel. The Spartan helmet appears directly above the words MSU Extension. (Note: This design does not include the MSU Extension wordmark, which is not permitted on apparel.) The MSU Extension apparel graphic may only be placed on the left side of apparel such as shirts. No other graphic or text may be placed on the left side.
The 4-H wordmark or a limited approved graphic may be added to the right side of MSU Extension apparel, but must be smaller than the MSU Extension graphic. Contact ANR Creative for help with apparel designs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MSU Extension employees must work with approved vendors for printed materials (such as brochures, fliers, and educational materials) and with licensed vendors for apparel or promotional items (such as keychains, water bottles, and memory sticks) that include the following graphic elements or text:
MSU funds, including county DS and operating DN accounts (formerly known as checkbook accounts), may not be used to pay unapproved vendors when buying print materials and unlicensed vendors when buying apparel or promotional items. Any MSU Extension staff member or person acting on behalf of MSU Extension (such as a Master Gardener or 4-H volunteer or a county employee) ordering materials through an unlicensed vendor will be held personally responsible for payment for those materials. (Note: T-shirts created by and for 4-H clubs that individuals or families are paying for are may only use the 4-H clover or text with 4-H, Michigan 4-H or Michigan 4-H Youth Development. They may not use the MSU protected graphics.)
MSU accounts can be used to buy apparel from the 4-H Mall and other 4-H vendors if the items will be given to volunteers, young people, or both. However, when purchasing apparel for MSU Extension staff members, the MSU Extension mark must be the most prominent mark on the clothing.
For more information about these parameters or to verify that vendors you’re considering are approved by MSU, please contact Fran Adelaja at email@example.com.
All purchase orders, p-card documents, and disbursement vouchers related to orders that include any of the MSU Extension brand elements will be routed to Fran Adelaja for approval.
For more information about the MSU Extension brand standards or about ordering materials that include any of the MSU Extension brand elements, please contact Fran Adelaja, MSU Extension marketing specialist, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 517-355-4698.
MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. This information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. The name 4-H and the emblem consisting of a four-leaf clover with stem and the H on each leaflet are protected under Title 18 USC 707. 1P-DRAFT-07:2016-FA/RM