Brand Architecture

Decorative graphic for Brand Architecture

Virginia Tech’s brand architecture has six levels. At the top of the architecture is the master brand, followed in order by primary brand extensions, secondary brand extensions, tertiary brand extensions, sub-brands, individual brands, and endorsed brands. Each level of the architecture has its own unique relationship to the master brand and, therefore, its own set of rules.

Primary Brand Extensions

The primary brand extensions are the university-level colleges, research institutes, and divisions of the university, as well as some presidential and provost leadership areas. These entities have brand extension lockup logos that are tied directly to the master brand. Primary brand extensions must use the Virginia Tech brand guidelines.

Horizontal and Vertical layout examples for primary brand extension - Honors College Logo -

• Office of the President

• Office of the Provost

• Office for Inclusion and Diversity

• Office for Strategic Affairs

• College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

• College of Archiecture and Urban Sciences

• Pamplin College of Business

• College of Engineering

• College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

• College of Natural Resources and Environment

• College of Science

• Corp of Cadets

• Graduate School

• Honors College

• Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

• School of Medicine

• Fralin Life Science Institute

• Hume Center

• Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology

• Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science

• Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment

• Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

• Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation

• Outreach and International Affairs

• University Libraries

• Operations and Administration

• Research and Innovation

• Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC

Secondary Brand Extensions

The secondary brand extensions are the college-level and main unit-level schools, departments, and centers under each primary brand extension. Secondary brand extensions names are built into lockup logos with the master brand and the primary brand extension. Secondary brand extensions must use Virginia Tech’s brand guidelines.

Secondary brand extension example - Horizontal and Vertical - Apparel Housing and Resource Management

Tertiary Brand Extensions

Tertiary brand extensions are all other entities affiliated with a primary brand extension under the secondary brand extension level, including degree programs and department-level research centers. The tertiary brand extension’s name is added under the lockup logo after a space that is the same height as the wordmark in the lockup logo. Tertiary brand extensions must use the Virginia Tech brand guidelines.

tertiary brand extension example - College of science - center for autism research

tertiary brand extension example - Horizontal and vertical

Sub-Brands

A sub-brand of Virginia Tech closely supports the master brand, but has a mission that deviates from the primary educational mission of the university. Instead of using the master brand name and logo as its main identifiers, the sub-brand has its own name and logo and references the master brand name and logo in a secondary position whenever possible in its materials and assets, depending on space to do so. A sub-brand uses its own brand guidelines that are created with University Relations to complement Virginia Tech’s brand guidelines.

Moss Arts Center Logo
Moss Arts Center

Individual Brands

An individual brand exists under the master brand but uses its connection to the master brand in name only. An individual brand would not exist without the master brand. An individual brand could reference the master brand logo in its materials and assets, but is not required to and usually does not. An individual brand does not use Virginia Tech’s brand guidelines. An individual brand has its own logo and brand guidelines. The trademarks of the university’s individual brands are registered and protected by the Office of Licensing and Trademarks.

Virginia Tech Athletics Logo
Virginia Tech Athletics

Endorsed Brands

Unlike an individual brand, an endorsed brand does not exist under the master brand. The university grants an endorsed brand permission to use the university name only to express its endorsement of the entity or to express a business relationship with the entity. Endorsed brands use the Virginia Tech name but not the logos in its materials and assets. An endorsed brand does not use Virginia Tech’s brand guidelines.

Virginia Tech Foundation Logo
Virginia Tech Foundation Inc.

QUESTION? If you have questions about the brand architecture, please consult your college or unit lead communications director or email University Relations at vtbrand@vt.edu.

Distinct Identities

For our purposes, we define distinct identities as symbols presented together with an entity’s name to create a single, separate identity from the university. Distinct identities that include the Pylons or the motto Ut Prosim are rarely permissible and must be approved by University Relations prior to use.

Research Entities

Because of historic practice at Virginia Tech, research institutes, centers, and labs are allowed to create distinct identities. A distinct identity for a research institute or center must be submitted to vtbrand@vt.edu for review before use by the lead communications representative for the institute or center. For a list of communications representatives, please go to the online brand center at brand.vt.edu.

As primary brand extensions, university-level research institutes must also use the master brand logo on any print, display, or merchandise item where the distinct identity is used. In cases of extreme space limitations when only one imprint area is possible, such as on a pen, the university-level research institute must use their primary brand extension lockup logo. University-level research institutes need not develop a distinct identity; using only their primary brand extension lockup logo is always preferred.

Research institutes, centers, and labs that are not primary brand extensions should use both their distinct identity and the master brand or appropriate brand extension lockup logo on merchandise. The master brand or appropriate primary or secondary lockup logo must always accompany the distinct identity on merchandise unless spacing is an issue (i.e., lapel pins).

QUESTION? All distinct identities must be professionally designed and approved by University Relations. For review, send the design to vtbrand@vt.edu.

Only licensed vendors may produce merchandise with university trademarks. To find a list of licensed vendors, visit the licensing website from the link below.

Institutes, such as:

Logo for Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology
Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology
Center for Research in SEAD Education Logo
Center for Research in SEAD Education

Groups

Groups of university faculty, staff, and/or students who chose to come together around a common purpose whose efforts are outside of academic instruction are allowed to create a distinct identity. A distinct identity for a group must be submitted to vtbrand@vt.edu for review before use by the lead communications representative for the unit over the group. For a list of communications representatives, please go to the online brand center.

University groups should use both their distinct identity and the master brand or appropriate brand extension lockup logo on apparel. The master brand or appropriate primary or secondary lockup logo must always accompany the distinct identity on merchandise unless spacing is an issue (i.e., lapel pins).

Innovate - A Virginia Tech living-learning Community

Distinct Identities - Groups Logo Example

1872 Society Logo

Distinct Identities - Groups Logo Example

University Entities Commercialized For Business Purposes

Division and department led university entities that are commercialized to provide business services are allowed to create distinct identities. A distinct identity for a university entity that is commercialized for external audiences must be submitted to vtbrand@vt.edu for review before use by the lead communications representative for the entity. For a list of communications representatives, please go to the online brand center.

Division and department led university entities commercialized for business purposes should use both their distinct identity and the master brand or appropriate brand extension lockup logo on merchandise. The master brand, appropriate primary or secondary lockup logo, or some reference to the university must always accompany the distinct identity on merchandise unless spacing is an issue (i.e., lapel pins).

These entities include:

Virginia Tech Helmet Rating Logo

Logo Examples for University Entities Commercialized For Business Purposes
Virginia Tech Police

Initiatives, Campaigns, Events

Initiatives, campaigns, and events are allowed to create distinct identities. A distinct identity for an initiative, campaign, or event must be submitted to vtbrand@vt.edu for review before use by the lead communications representative for the unit over the initiative, campaign, or event. For a list of communications representatives, please go to the online brand center.

University initiatives, campaigns, and events should use both their distinct identity and the master brand or appropriate brand extension lockup logo on merchandise. The master brand, appropriate primary or secondary lockup logo, or some reference to the university must always accompany the distinct identity on merchandise unless spacing is an issue (i.e., lapel pins).

Initiatives, Campaigns and Events Logo Example - Heads Up Hokies
Initiatives, Campaigns and Events Logo Example - Gobblerfest

Graphic Elements

Academic colleges, departments, and programs are not allowed to create distinct identities. These entities must use their appropriate brand extension lockup logos or the master brand logo. If an academic entity would like to use a symbol without combining their unit name on materials so that its repeated use causes it to intentionally become associated with the unit, that is allowed. However, the master brand or appropriate brand extension lockup logo must be used in addition to the graphic element, but separate from the graphic design. Academic colleges, departments, and programs cannot present their name together with or on top of a graphic element to create a distinct identity.

Distinct Identities - Graphic Elements Example
Graphic element is not allowed with lockups

Partnership Logos

Partnership logos may be created between Virginia Tech and an external entity with which there is a partnership when the partnership is meant to be permanent. The master brand only of both entities may be used to form the partnership logo. Each partnership logo must be approved by University Relations and the lead administrator in the Virginia Tech unit forming the partnership on a case-by-case basis. Temporary partnerships, such as events and grant funding, do not rise to the level of a partnership logo. Partnership logos must also be approved by the University Relations and lead administration equivalent of the partner institution. The entity that the two master brands create together is written under the partnership logo in text to become part of the overall logo. When the college name is not part of the entity that is created by the partnership, the college name will be included in editorial content.

Partnership Logos Example - Wake Forest University
Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University: School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences