Correct Use of Marks

Note: We are updating our "Guide to Using Marks, Colors, Trademarks, and Logos" to conform with the university's new branding guidelines, and it will be available soon. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Ellen Barnes at 847-491-3274.

Before the University's name or mark is reproduced, whether the imprinted item is for internal use or for resale, the Trademark Licensing Office must approve the product and the associated artwork.

Rules used to determine the correct use of University marks and colors:

Color Use

The following colors may be used. The Trademark Office must approve exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

  • Purple: PMS (Pantone Matching System) 267
  • Gray: PMS 408
  • White
  • Black

Color Values

For print:

  • Spot color (coated and uncoated paper): PMS 267
  • Process color (CMYK): 90c, 100m, 0y, 0k

For web:

  • RGB color: r = 82, g = 0, b = 99
  • Hexadecimal: 520063

Clothing and Manufacturer's Logos

  • Manufacturer's logos will be limited to one inch (1") square. The Trademark Office must approve exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
  • No more than two manufacturer's logos may be placed on any item of clothing. No more than one manufacturer's logo may appear on the front of the clothing. No more than one manufacturer's logos may appear on the backside of the clothing.

Specific Logo Use

Northwestern University Seal and Signature:

  • Northwestern University's official seal is a single unit; the two elements of the seal and the words "Northwestern University" are always to be presented together in the relationship
  • Neither the name Northwestern, Northwestern University, nor any design may be imposed on the seal.
  • No other marks may be used with the University seal and signature.
  • The Northwestern seal must be used on a solid background. The seal must be white, purple, gray, or black. The Trademark Office must approve exceptions on a case-by-case basis. The wording must be very readable with maximum color contrast.
  • The official colors of Northwestern are purple and white.
  • The seal in the logo should never appear smaller than 1/2 inch (1/2") in diameter. Do not crop the logo or bleed it off a page. Allow a reasonable amount of space around the logo.
  • The typeface used in the seal and the signature is a version of Goudy that has been altered slightly for improved reproduction and legibility at all sizes. Core pieces of the identity system (stationery, signage, etc.) employ Univers Bold Condensed as a contrasting sans-serif typeface. Northwestern's identity system has been designed to work within a wide variety of design styles and implementations. No restrictions exist concerning the typefaces that may be used in conjunction with the logo.
  • Show the logo as one color (purple, if possible; if not, in the strongest color available - i.e., in a brochure printed in black ink, show the logo in black). Do not tint or screen the logo or make different elements different colors.
  • Maintain the orientation of the logo. Do not tilt or rotate the logo.
  • Treat the logo elements as a single unit. Do not bleed the logo off the page or crop it.
  • Keep the logo whole and intact. Do not separate the logo elements or change the orientation of one to the other.
  • Do not print type or images over the logo or use the logo as a background elements.

Northwestern University "N"

  • When used alone, and not as part of the word "Northwestern," the University's stylized, registered "N" must be used. No other "N" will be approved by Northwestern University.
  • The University's stylized, registered "N" should be white, purple, or black. The Trademark Office must approve exceptions on a case-by-case basis. The "N" must be very readable with maximum color contrast. Gray accent is acceptable.

Wildcat Logos

The N-Cat head must be used as a unit. The name "Northwestern" or "Northwestern University," "Northwestern Wildcats," or "Wildcats" may be used with it.

Use of University marks by the news media for informational purposes is not subject to Trademark Licensing. Schedule cards and photographs of campus scenes are not subject to licensing unless the feature the University's name or marks and are exploited commercially. These items will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.