Logos: Questions and Answers

Can I use a UNK logo since I’m employed by or attend UNK?

UNK logos, marks and indicia are property of UNK. Ownership does not transfer to a student, faculty or staff. Neither does Communications and Marketing “own” the logos, marks or indicia, but this office is responsible for maintaining the marks’ use consistently and legally with regard to trademark and licensing. There is no reason to feel restricted by usage rules that are intended to protect UNK’s valuable brand. Most often the answer to a question of use is: It depends what you’re using it for, how you’re using it, and how you’re generating it. Hopefully these guidelines help. Best advice: Contact Communications and Marketing to obtain a mark that communicates your unit or department effectively and legally.

You will want to have a high-resolution logo image for print or digital use that is specially created for the usage. You’ve seen printed items or websites with fuzzy logos – that’s because they aren’t high-resolution. You can get high-resolution logos from any of our designers or soon, on the website.

If you are intending to use the UNK logo on apparel or items that will have wide circulation (off campus), or will be sold, you will need to obtain permission of your artwork and use through Communications and Marketing. If you are selling your items, they need to be licensed through our license agent, Learfield.

What are the current UNK marks?

View the Art Sheet

What are UNK’s colors?

UNK uses Pantone 294 (blue) and Pantone 131 (gold). These are listed on the PDF. All printers and designers are familiar with Pantone. View more information about color specifications.

Can I use any color on my designs or UNK’s logos?

UNK logos are never to be changed: No alterations to color, no shading or shadows, stretching, squeezing, and no substituting colors. The Loper head will never be conveyed in yellow/gold. Only white, black or blue (+gold metallic). The Loper head always faces right

The UNK mark is always in white, blue or black. Never yellow. Notice the UNK is open at the top of the columns. Do not change the color of the white N or alter this logo in any way.

UNK Icon

Can I use UNK marks on apparel or other items?

Consider your context: What is your item communicating? Who will wear or use this item? Where will it be seen? A UNK logo (UNK academic or athletic mark or Loper head) must be featured prominently on shirts that are depicting official UNK entities, programs, sports, or camps. UNK has a special-order arrangement with Barnes and Noble College through Promoversity, an officially licensed supplier of UNK merchandise, at unkpromos.com. At this website you can design your own apparel and special-order items with pre-loaded logos and art elements. In addition, several of our local t-shirt companies are licensees and work with us on design approvals. You will speed up the process and assure an approved t-shirt design by starting first with C/M office. All marks on the art sheet referenced are always approved. You are most likely wanting to convey a message about your department or unit. You can use the logo lockup created for your unit, or create something that communicates about your program as a secondary art element. Please visit with a Communications and Marketing designer.

Can I use any printer or an outside vendor to create stuff with UNK logos?

Sure. As long as they are licensed through Learfield and have access to our university logos. Most Kearney-area printers and material producers are licensees and we work with them often to print or create UNK material. UNK has a special-order arrangement with Barnes and Noble College through Promoversity, an officially licensed supplier of UNK merchandise, at unkpromos.com. At this website you can design your own apparel and special-order items with pre-loaded logos and art elements. UNK licensees seek our approval before printing, so, it would probably be easier to come to Communications and Marketing first to get your design developed. That will avoid any lost time due to changes. View list of licensees.

What about a logo for my department? Can I change the logo so it reflects a specific unit or program?

Logo “lockups,” or co-branded logos, have been or can be developed for each unit (see the brand/art sheets, where they are called “extension marks”). You are asked to use the co-branded marks that have already been developed. All marks on the art sheet referenced are always approved for use. An example of a logo lockup is <our office’s lockup> below. See how it combines the UNK logo with a department name?

I can’t create a logo for my department?

In short, no. The NU system has a secondary logo policy and the Board of Regents has authorized only the use of the system logos outlined here: http://nebraska.edu/identity-standards.html in the “University Identity Standards” guide. The policies explain that we “invest in a single visual identity, rather than maintain multiple marks that may interfere with the University’s message. … The creation of additional marks is restricted.” A university wide Identity Committee periodically reviews logo usage across the campuses, and considers requests for logos that are outside of and new to the identity standards. On page 2 of the secondary logo guidelines, it specifically says: “NOTE: Academic colleges, departments and programs are not eligible for secondary logos. Approved configurations of college, department and program names with the official campus logo are included in the (campus) identity handbook.” If you don’t have a logo lockup, we will create one for you.

But I see other units with logos. Why?

Policing existing non-conforming logos is a lower priority than getting new designs created. We have some work to do, getting a few logos phased out and updated. But because you see another department or unit using a non-conforming logo, doesn’t give you permission.

Where is UNK’s identity handbook?

See the art sheet and logo guidelines (February 2016). We are in the process of updating the handbook and will put it online as soon as it is completed. These Q/As will be a part of the handbook and an associated brand website, also under development (ETA fall 2016).

How do I become a UNK licensee?

Any manufacturer, retailer or designer who wants to obtain a license to produce UNK merchandise must submit a license application through Learfield. Learfield is UNK’s licensing representative, and is responsible for maintaining appropriate use of, and royalties from, UNK licensed materials. It administers our licensing program, including processing applications, collecting royalties, enforcing trademarks and pursuing new market opportunities for UNK. Contact Learfield at learfieldlicensing.com, or get our client rep’s contact from Kelly Bartling, bartlingkh@unk.edu.

What is “trademarked” by UNK?

The University of Nebraska has obtained federal trademark on the words “University of Nebraska at Kearney,” “Lopers,” and the creative artwork/images, “UNK,” “Loper head” (see below.) These words and marks are registered. The UNK logos are required to feature the Circle R insignia ®. It is not necessary to use a ™ or ® after the words University of Nebraska at Kearney, or Lopers, unless the image is for sale. For more information about registered trademarks, contact Kelly Bartling. The trademark was obtained in 2015 so many older items do not have the appropriate marks on them. That’s ok, those are grandfathered in. From 2015 on, all logos and marks should have the appropriate insignia on them.

Lopers Icons and Loper Head

Why is a licensing program necessary?

The traditions and spirit shared by the students, alumni and friends of UNK have created a demand for products that display our marks, symbols and insignia. We have an obligation to protect and benefit UNK and constituents through licensing. Licensing, through our agent, also returns revenue through royalties back to the Athletic department. Our licensing agent assists us with increasing our market by contacting retailers and encouraging them to sell our merchandise, it advises us on marketability of products and increasing demand for our products, and it gathers the royalties from retailers selling and making money off our marks.

Can I use the Loper head on a non-athletic item?

Keep in mind the Loper head is a licensed/registered trademark and you are subject to the guidelines above. The Loper head has been used, traditionally, to communicate about UNK athletics. The Loper head is also our school spirit mark, conveying pride, energy, and accomplishment, most often through UNK sport. If you are communicating about UNK team spirit, the Loper head may indeed convey this. Again, it’s best to consult Communications and Marketing before deciding on a design element or mark; context is everything.

What rules exist for students related to logos?

Student groups should follow the guidelines of the regents related to developing official logos for their student organizations. They also should be encouraged to be creative and use art and imagery that is legal for them to use, and is not offensive and doesn’t portray the university in a negative light. The rules for trademark and licensing do apply to students. Students may not use our registered marks without permission. They may not sell items with our licensed marks without going through the process and paying royalties. UNK has a special-order arrangement with Barnes and Noble College through Promoversity, an officially licensed supplier of UNK merchandise, at unkpromos.com. Students are encouraged to use this site.

Can I use a UNK logo on my social media or website?

See our social media guidelines for guidance. If you are directing a UNK or Loper social media account, yes, you will want to have a logo as an element in your avatar or cover image. But consider this: variation will be necessary in order to convey that your social network is different than dozens of other UNK social networks. Think about what image conveys what you do, in relation to UNK. But, don’t create a new logo that changes the existing UNK logos for an avatar or cover. Best advice: Work with Communications and Marketing to create something that conveys the uniqueness of your network presence while communicating that it is an official UNK channel. If it’s your personal channel, use a personal image, not a UNK logo. Visit with us if you have questions about this.

What if I see someone using a logo and I have a question about it?

Contact Communications and Marketing.

Who is authorized to make decisions about UNK licensing and trademarks?

Under Board of Regent policy memorandum the campus Vice Chancellors for Business and Finance are responsible for overseeing licensing on the campus level. At UNK and on a number of the other campuses, the vice chancellor directs the campus’s senior marketing or publications officer to execute and process the licensing guides. At UNK, that is assistant vice chancellor Kelly Bartling.