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Logos and Marks

A logo or wordmark is a standardized graphic representation associated with an organization.

When used consistently, it helps create a clear and memorable identity and becomes a symbol that provides audiences with immediate and powerful recognition and association with the institution.

The Spartan helmet and other official MSU trademarks are a distinctive visual shorthand for the name “Michigan State University.”

When used in a way that represents the university, our marks are treated like logos and should align with the standards for their use as marks. Logos function like stamps that are placed in designs in proportions that never change, allowing the university’s official marks to remain definitive.

The marks may be used flexibly as graphic elements in a design. When the helmet is used as a graphic element, it can be filled with appropriate images, patterns, gradients or fades to support the purpose of the artwork or the overall design. If the helmet is used as a graphic element within a design, a representative mark (combination mark, wordmark or unit signature) should also be included in the layout.

Michigan State University has four official marks, all of which are registered trademarks, as are the words “Michigan State University.” See additional MSU trademarks.

  • Michigan State University wordmark
  • Spartan helmet mark
  • University seal
  • Block S

The wordmark and helmet may be used widely by the MSU community, while the university seal and block S are available for more selective use.

A wordmark/helmet combination mark also is available.

In addition, a standardized signature system provides options for university colleges and other units to combine a unit name with the wordmark or with the wordmark and helmet. No other visual marks may be used.

See Guidelines for Use of Individual Marks for details and specifications. For an overview of appropriate use of marks and signatures in various types of communications, see the logo usage chart(980k PDF)

Access to these files is limited to faculty and staff of Michigan State University. Student employees requiring asset files for their work should ask their supervisor to download the necessary files. Authorized external vendors working with units to produce items using licensed logos should obtain the asset file from their client.


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