University of Southern California

USC Identity Guidelines

External Organizations and the USC Brand

External Organization Logos: Print, Merchandise, and Display Materials

Marketing and Product Display on Campus:  The marketing of products or services on USC’s campus and/or the display of commercial products on USC’s campus for promotional purposes is not permitted unless the activity:

In either case, such marketing and/or display must also be consistent with all other policies governing commercial activity on campus. Unrelated business income is revenue generated by activities that are not related to USC’s academic or research missions and may have tax implications for the University.

Merchandise: All merchandise (including marketing items as promotional giveaways) bearing the USC name, marks, icons, photography, etc., is reviewed and overseen by the Office of Trademarks and Licensing. When such items are made available for commercial purchase, appropriate licensing agreements must be reviewed and approved by this office.

Third Party Service Providers Engaged for service to USC: Corporate brands providing service to USC as a contracted vendor may be referred to in copy language; use of third-party logos is not permitted. Exceptions may be made if using identifying marks makes it considerably easier for USC audiences to identify and access services in a time-sensitive situation (pick-up and drop-off locations, temporary signage related to an event). Consultation with University Communications Marketing group is required in these circumstances. Note: decisions to designate logos as location identifying marks must be made in consultation with the University Architect and appropriate signage committee.

Use of Third Party Names (Corporation and Organizations) in Connection with USC Academic and Research Programs: Third party names should not be included in the names of USC academic, research and other programs without approval by the appropriate dean(s) and the Office of the Provost.

USC Logos on Third Party Materials

Press Releases: USC Media Relations prohibits the issuance of joint press releases. In the case of multiple party media announcements, it is recommended that each organization should produce independent releases and are  coordinated in terms of timing and media pitches. USC logos are prohibited on external organization press releases.

Event Sponsorship Materials: Academic units may use their specific logos to identify sponsorship of nonprofit, academic, or professional events and programs. If the event/program is sponsored by a city/state/county office, units are advised to consult with the Office of Government Relations for guidance.

If the event is sponsored by a central administrative office, the main USC logo may be appropriate and recommended for use. If the event is sponsored by multiple (three or more) USC units, it is recommended to use the main USC logo as artwork, with copy recognition of the individual units.

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