June 30, 2011

A message about the branding initiative from President Perman

Dear Colleagues

Whether you are walking past the new street banners, seeing the new signage on buildings around campus or visiting our websites, it's obvious that the University of Maryland and the University of Maryland Medical Center have taken on a new visual identity.

The new logo is based on our iconic Davidge Hall, which will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2012. The logo has been welcomed with open arms since its unveiling on May 12. I am most grateful to all of you for your help in this transition as we begin to use this new logo in correspondence, publications, and on school and department websites and signage.

Marketing experts will tell you that inconsistent use of a brand is the No. 1 factor that reduces its strength. The colors we use and the typefaces and placement we choose are all vitally important and help to ensure that all communications are a true reflection of the University. A brand is more than a logo. It is a series of elements that together project the University's personality and reinforce our core values to both our internal and external audiences.

For that reason I must stress that units of the University may not create their own logos. Utilizing just parts of the University logo, rather than the entire logo, is not permitted, nor is adding words to the logo. The Office of Communications and Marketing is developing a branding stylebook that must be strictly followed. It will soon be available for download on our website.

Responding to a need and initiative first identified and spearheaded by the Board of Regents' Francis X. Kelly Jr., former state senator and chairman of the University's $650 million "Making an Impact" capital campaign, this unified image will bring value and distinction to the University. It also will heighten visibility and recognition that will assist us in recruiting students, researchers, faculty and staff, and financial support.

We are proud to call ourselves the University of Maryland. It is a special distinction. As the founding campus of the University System of Maryland, we were granted the right by the Maryland General Assembly in the late 1990s to call ourselves the University of Maryland (as was the University of Maryland, College Park). It is a privilege we have chosen to accept, and we will hereafter use UM as our acronym. I want to thank you for your patience during our rollout. I am pleased to tell you that logos and electronic letterhead for the schools and approved centers and institutes are now available for download. This website will be updated regularly, so please check it for new items. A username and password will be sent in a subsequent email.

Business card and letterhead designs also have been approved. Please see the website for the design and ordering instructions. This week the business cards and letterhead templates have been provided to Ridge Printing and WebbMason. Ridge Printing can accept orders immediately, while WebbMason will have online ordering available by early July.

By consistently following our branding guidelines, you will help us build a strong, unified image for the University and the Medical Center. Brand ambassadors have been identified from across the campus to help you with this process. The list of brand ambassadors is on our website. Please contact the brand ambassador for your unit to help you use our new logo.

This new logo is just the beginning. It is merely one piece of a branding portfolio that includes the brand mission, brand rationale, and brand attributes. I have formed a Branding Steering Committee to further develop this portfolio using insight gained from the University's strategic planning process.

Look for more information about our branding mission and strategy during the next few months. This is an exciting time for our University and I thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Jay A. Perman, MD