Branding Policy (MPF1193)

  • Category: Engagement
  • Review due by: July 21, 2021
  • Version: 5
  • Policy Steward: Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
  • Approved on: August 16, 2019
  • Supporting Processes: External Relations Processes
  • Effective date: September 2, 2019
  • Policy Approver: Vice-President (Strategy & Culture)
  • Status: Published

1. Objective

The objective of this policy is to protect and enhance the University’s reputation by establishing and promoting correct and consistent use of the University brand.

2. Scope

This policy applies across the University.

3. Authority

4. Policy

4.1.  The University logo and other branding materials confirm University ownership or interest, or further the University’s image and standing.

4.2.  The University Brand Guidelines are the official register and reference source of all approved University brand marks.

4.3.  All staff and students, when using the University logo and any other brand marks, must comply with the Brand Guidelines to communicate a consistent, standard University visual identity, and have a general authorisation to use brand marks in this way.

4.4.  The Brand Governance Panel, chaired by the Executive Director, Marketing and Communications:

(a)   ensures alignment of the brand with the University’s strategic direction and values;

(b)   approves use of the University logo for official University purposes in accordance with the Brand Guidelines;

(c)    reviews and updates the Brand Guidelines

(d)   assesses and approves, if appropriate, use of the University logo and brand materials at variance with the Brand Guidelines;

(e)   approves the use of the University logo and brand materials by third parties;

(f)   recommends changes to the University brand to the Vice-Chancellor for approval by the University Executive; and

(g)   takes action to rectify breaches of policy or address disputes.

5. Procedural principles

Use of University logo and brand marks

5.1.  All staff and students must comply with the Brand Guidelines by:

(a)   using only approved brand marks such as logos, devices, emblems, colours and typefaces;

(b)   setting out University brand marks according to the Brand Guidelines;

(c)   using brand marks only when and where allowed;

(d)   following the style templates for word documents, letterhead, business cards, PowerPoint displays, charts, tables, signage, photographs, devices, emblems, advertising and other communications;

(e)   complying with the terms and conditions governing use of brand marks; and

(f)    following the key brand messages.

5.2.  All staff and students must:

(a)   obtain the approval of University Marketing and Communications before using any brand mark in association with the University, a division or entity where the intended use of the brand mark is not in accordance with the Brand Guidelines; and

(b)   use only the approved logo to identify activities and functions (including academic divisions, schools, offices, units, research centres, educational institutes, businesses, facilities and controlled entities of the University).

5.3.  University entities and affiliated student bodies must obtain the approval of the Brand Governance Panel before using any brand marks.

5.4.  Deans and division heads are responsible for ensuring their staff adhere to the Brand Guidelines.

5.5.  Staff wishing to use any University brand mark in a manner that does not conform to, or for a purpose not approved in, the Brand Guidelines must submit an application through University Marketing and Communications to the Brand Governance Panel.

5.6.  University Marketing and Communications may approve standard terms and conditions of use for a University logo or other brand mark.

5.7.  A third party organisation may use a University brand mark, as supplied by University Marketing and Communications, on the approval of University Marketing and Communications and on condition that it complies with the approved terms and conditions of usage as outlined in University standard agreements.

5.8.  University Marketing and Communications maintains a register on behalf of the Brand Governance Panel containing all applications for use of University brand marks and relevant approvals.

5.9.  The University may take legal action for unauthorised use of the University logo or other brand marks.

Criteria for use of University logo

5.10.  Use of the University logo is subject to criteria including:

(a)  a proposed use congruent with the University’s image and standing;

(b)  the nature of the existing or proposed relationship between the University and a third party;

(c)  visual display and design standards of the proposed use of a suitable standard;

(d)  any implied relationship or implied endorsement resulting from use of the logo;

(e)  a proposed use consistent with the University’s teaching, research and community development objectives;

(f)   the proposed use endorsed by a relevant dean or head of department;

(g)  the reputational risk to the University of approving or not approving the proposed use; and

(h)  advice from President of the Academic Board in the case of the University logo being used in association with an academic award or qualification.

Communications and promotions

5.11.  The Brand Governance Panel may, for and on behalf of the University, approve:

(a)   how the University brand is to be applied in communications and promotions including advertising, marketing, public relations, signage, websites and electronic media, merchandise and other communication mediums;

(b)   advertising and promotional campaigns using the brand, where appropriate and relevant;

(c)  development and use of approved devices, consistent with the brand, from time to time for particular campaigns or activities;

(d)   use of a permanent device to define a program, event or service where it is necessary to distinguish it from general University activities to the extent that the device is consistent with the brand; and

(e)   use of an emblem by affiliated student groups, sporting clubs or student associations to be used alongside the University logo.

5.12.  University Marketing and Communications incorporates approved devices and emblems into the Brand Guidelines on behalf of the Brand Governance Panel.

Co-branding and corporate logos

5.13.  The Executive Director, Marketing and Communications or Brand Governance Panel may approve, subject to the logo being displayed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Brand Guidelines, co-branding linking the University logo with one or more third party logos for a common function or activity, such as:

(a)   acknowledgements, sponsorships and promotions (eg in advertising where the University is one of a number of sponsors or supporters of an activity);

(b)   memberships (eg where the University is a member of a professional association); and

(c)   approved collaborations or joint ventures between the University and another entity.

5.14.  The Brand Governance Panel may approve a distinct corporate logo only in very limited circumstances:

(a)   formal legal joint venture – where the University has entered into a legal joint venture agreement establishing a distinct or separate legal entity, for which, by agreement of the parties, the agreement expressly approves creating a distinct corporate logo; and

(b)   controlled entity of the University – where the Brand Governance Panel is satisfied that the functions or activities of the entity are entirely separate from those of the University (ie it does not provide educational or research services, or does not provide services to the University) or where the use of a distinct brand would improve the capacity of the entity to market its goods or services in a competitive market.

5.15.  Where the University proposes to enter into a joint venture agreement requiring the creation of a distinct corporate logo, the need for a distinct logo must be discussed with the Executive Director, Marketing and Communications.

6. Roles and responsibilities



Conditions and limitations

  • Provide advice and assistance on management and protection of the University’s brand and reputation
  • Chair the University’s Brand Governance Panel

Executive Director, Marketing and Communications


  • Ensure alignment of the brand with the University’s strategic direction and values
  • Recommend changes to the University Brand to the Vice-Chancellor for approval by the University Executive
  • Approve the processes and guidelines for the use and protection of the University brand, name and reputation
  • Take action to rectify breaches of policy or address disputes

Brand Panel


  • Ensure processes are developed and implemented in support of this policy, are aligned with this policy at all times, and are regularly reviewed and revised in a manner that facilitates their continuous improvement

Executive Director, Marketing and Communications


Deans, Faculty Executive Directors, School Executive Directors, division heads


7. Definitions

Brand mark means the University logo, logo elements, devices, emblems, images, colours or typefaces that indicate or imply University ownership or interest.

General authorisation means use of the brand mark in accordance with the Brand Guidelines.

University logo means the unique combination of the University of Melbourne crest, motto, and the words ‘The University of Melbourne’.


Vice-President (Strategy & Culture)


Executive Director, Marketing and Communications


This policy is to be reviewed by 21 July 2021.



Approved By

Approval Date

Effective Date

Sections Modified


Senior Vice Principal

27 July 2012

27 July 2012

New version arising from the Policy Simplification Project. Loaded into MPL as Version 1.


Vice-Principal, Engagement

21 July 2016

21 July 2016

New version arising from the Policy Consolidation Project.

3 Policy Officer 2 May 2018 2 May 2018 Fixing links to branding guidelines for all sections with references to the Branding Guidelines.  
4 Vice-Chancellor 7 March 2019 2 September 2019 Changed Policy Approver to Vice-President (Strategy & Culture) (previously Vice-Principal, Engagement)
5 Vice-President (Strategy & Culture) 16 August 2019 2 September 2019

Updated sections 5 and 6 to reflect Chief Operating Officer portfolio changes.

Editorial amendments to correct minor errors or align with the University’s policy style guide.

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