Illinois students have a wide range of experiences and eagerly establish, join, and build organizations based on different interests. Hundreds of student organizations exist on campus, and despite their variety, all have one thing in common: a connection to the University of Illinois brand. With that connection comes a responsibility to follow brand guidelines that protect both the University and you as a student.
The University of Illinois brand includes names, wordmarks, logos, and images that are valuable, legally-protected assets. The standards set by the Office of Strategic Marketing and Branding and supported by the Student Code and Campus Administrative Manual are your guide to being proud brand ambassadors.
Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)
Student organizations that are registered with the Department of Student Engagement are independent and autonomous and cannot represent themselves as speaking on behalf of the University. Likewise, RSOs should not imply that their organization is an official unit of the University.
RSO names must not be preceded by “University of Illinois,” “Illinois,” or any abbreviation of either. However, the descriptor “at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign,” “at Illinois,” or similar, may follow the organization’s name. In addition, “Illini” and “Illinois” may be used in the name.
- “Chemistry Club at Illinois” is acceptable.
- “University of Illinois Chemistry Club” is not acceptable
When used as part of a logo, the student group name must avoid resembling an official University wordmark or using the ILLINOIS typeset.
- use Illini Orange and Illini Blue
- design their own logo as long as it does not include any Illinois registered trademarks
RSOs may not:
- use the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign logo
- use the Block I as part of their logo
- use a slab serif letter “I” as a standalone letter
- use the athletics Victory Shield badge
Organizations can create their own artwork as long as it does not replicate or resemble protected University marks. Groups can also create and use illustrations and drawings of U of I buildings and landmarks (e.g., the Alma Mater). However, groups are not allowed to use artwork featuring or portraying U of I people (alumni, faculty, etc.) or any copyrighted materials or objects on campus (e.g., artwork on display at the Krannert Art Museum).
Apparel and Merchandise
Student organizations are allowed to create apparel and merchandise for their members. However, these items cannot use official University logos or wordmarks in their design and must be sourced from approved vendors.
A license agreement is required for all apparel and merchandise bearing a University trademark and made available for sale. Because RSOs are not using protected trademarks, the license agreement and associated royalties are not required.
Student organizations are encouraged to strengthen their connection to the University by using University colors when sourcing apparel and merchandise.
If you are interested in joining or starting a registered student organization, please contact the Student Organization Development & Administration (SODA).
If you have questions about creating artwork for your RSO, please contact the Office of Strategic Marketing and Branding.