Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to representing the University’s identity across communications, physical items, and signage, we understand that you may have additional questions that may not be covered on our website. Here, we answer some of the most common questions we are asked.
Is there a difference between “logos” and “lockups”?
The University only has one logo: the NYU logo. Our logo is the combination of our logomark and logotype. Through consistent and proper logo usage, we create a distinctive, recognizable visual identity that is protected from imposter brands or unauthorized users.
NYU has many lockups. Lockups contain our NYU logo and an individual unit’s name, which are connected by a vertical rope between them. We call these lockups within our brand system because the unit name is “locked up” next to the logo. Units include degree-granting campuses, schools, global academic centers and programs, and offices and departments.
Can my office or initiative have its own logo or lockup?
Separate logos for units, projects, departments, institutes, or centers are unnecessary and add to the complexity and clutter of NYU’s visual landscape.
By using the NYU logo or a school lockup, rather than creating a new one, you are instantly tapping into a globally recognized brand identity and a reputation that has been built over NYU’s nearly 200-year history. Separate or unique logos or lockups often confuse the audience and your message.
How do I get an office lockup?
If you need a lockup for your central administrative office, please contact Marketing Communications through the MarComm Service Request Form. We will promptly get back to you with questions and scheduling.
How can I get guidance on flags, banners, and wayfinding signage?
For interior signage, refer to the Interior Directional, Office ID, and Wayfinding document.
For exterior signage, refer to the Flags, Banners, and Maps document.
Marketing Communications has created manuals for both NYU interior and exterior signage. These manuals provide approved brand guidelines, graphic elements, and fabrication materials for all standard interior and exterior signage.
Contact Marketing Communications to access these documents.
How do I get advice on adding a logo to promotional items?
Every year the New York University name and logo are placed on a wide variety of merchandise—apparel, gifts, and promotional materials—circulated around the world.
The University contracts with the Collegiate Licensing Company to ensure that the New York University name and logo are used appropriately and that merchandise is manufactured under a code of conduct designed to reinforce fair-labor practices.
For more information, visit the NYU Brand Licensing page.
Why doesn’t NYU allow additional or new logos or lockups?
We don’t allow new logos or lockups for the following reasons:
- The NYU logo and your unit’s lockup are powerful tools. In the vast majority of cases, new logos or lockups for your project, department, institute, or center add complexity to NYU’s visual landscape and are, therefore, unnecessary.
- A coordinated visual identity builds and reinforces the larger NYU brand. Seemingly unrelated logos and lockups serve neither the interests of the individual unit nor NYU as a whole. The collective power of a single brand strengthens the name recognition of individual NYU units.
- The NYU logo’s professional design has endured the test of time. Logos that are not designed by professionals can negatively impact an initiative and undermine the University’s reputation. Tom Geismar of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, the renowned branding firm behind some of the world’s leading logos like NBC, Mobil, PBS, and the Smithsonian Institution, designed the NYU logo.
- Using the NYU logo and lockups makes communications clear. The most effective communications are simple. Unfamiliar or multiple logos or lockups add to the complexity of communications and place an extra burden on the audience to decipher the message.
- NYU has sufficient resources to effectively promote its brand, to the benefit of all units within the University. Promoting a brand and its logos and lockups takes considerable financial resources and time. Most initiatives do not have the resources or expertise to effectively brand themselves through widespread advertising and marketing.
Whom do I contact if I have a design or branding project?
All NYU units can reach out to the Office of Marketing Communications (MarComm) for help with design and branding projects. Centrally located within the Office of University Relations and Public Affairs, MarComm is a creative agency that has helped tell the NYU story for decades.
Using strategic content development and tailored creative design, we build integrated marketing campaigns that tell the NYU story and empower our colleagues across the University to reach their goals, from recruitment and retention to communications and rebranding.
Fill out the Service Request Form and we will promptly respond with follow-up questions and scheduling.
Does NYU Marketing Communications charge for services?
While Marketing Communications does not charge for consultations, we do charge for some of our services at rates well below industry standards.
Tell us about your project by filling out our Service Request Form, and we will promptly respond with follow-up questions to give you some idea of the cost of our services.
What is a creative brief? Is there a template I can use?
A creative brief is an important tool when starting any creative project. A good brief will outline background information, goals, audience, deliverables, and more. Good strategy at the beginning of a project will allow a creative team to design more effective solutions.
Marketing Communications provides the editable NYU Creative Brief Template in Google Docs for the NYU community to use and edit to fit their needs.
What are the guidelines for email signatures?
The basic advice here is to keep signatures simple. Avoid complex formatting that includes unnecessary graphics, links, and superfluous content like quotes.
For accessibility, describe additional website or social media handles in plain text, then highlight the text and insert an HTML link.
Refer to the Email Signatures section of the NYU Editorial Guide for further guidance and examples.
Email Signature Example
Mark H. Courtney
Senior Director Creative and Brand Experience
Office Number: 212-998-6820
Mark’s Identity Group on Google