University of Ottawa Brand Policy

Approved by the Administration Committee 2321.2


1. The purpose of this policy is to establish a framework for ensuring clear and consistent use of the elements of the University’s brand identity, both internally and in materials aimed at external audiences, in order to:

  1. help University community members and the general public recognize and identify with the University as well as its programs, services and initiatives; and
  2. help the University prevent other parties from trading improperly on its reputation or infringing upon the University’s wordmarks, trademarks and copyrights.


2.   This policy applies to all academic and administrative units of the University.


3.   For the purposes of this policy, the University’s brand identity consists of all branding elements used by the University to differentiate itself from other institutions, reflect its values as a university, and create, support and maintain recognition of its image. The University’s brand identity includes, but is not limited to, the following branding elements and all their variants:

  1. the University of Ottawa and uOttawa names;
  2. the University of Ottawa logo, comprising the graphic expression of the Tabaret building and the uOttawa logotype in the unique uOttawa font;
  3. the University’s coat of arms;
  4. the University of Ottawa Alumni Association logo;
  5. the Gee-Gees logo;
  6. the Telfer School logo;
  7. any slogans, taglines or signatures that may be created by, or for, the University from time to time to support advertising, promotional or fundraising campaigns and activities, such as the Defy the Conventional signature and logotype;
  8. other supporting graphic elements, such as the University’s official colours, official fonts, two-tone branding band and the uOttawa tab and footer used in Web and digital applications, among others; and
  9. any mark or trade-mark adopted by the University under the Trade-marks Act.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Communications Directorate

4.   Reporting to the Vice-President, External Relations, the University’s Communications Directorate:

  1. is the University’s sole design and use-granting authority for the University’s branding elements and brand identity;
  2. is responsible for establishing, updating and publishing the Brand Identity Guidelines governing the use of branding elements that constitute the University’s brand identity;
  3. is responsible for overseeing use of the University’s branding elements and brand identity;
  4. is the sole design authority for all printed University stationery, and the sole design and production authority for all digital University stationery, including all business cards, letterhead, envelopes, folders and invitations used by all academic and administrative units of the University;
  5. is responsible for reviewing and approving requests that the University apply to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for registration or renewal of registration of a mark or trade-mark under the Trade-marks Act; and
  6. is the University community’s primary resource for advice and guidance on all questions relating to the University’s brand identity.

5.   Unless expressly pre-authorized in the Brand Identity Guidelines published by the Communications Directorate, the prior written consent of the Communications Directorate shall be required for use of one or more of the branding elements described in section 3 in any printed or digital material, including, without limitation:

  1. printed brochures, pamphlets, books, flyers, posters, certificates, awards and promotional material;
  2. digital or electronic material on websites; in emails; on social media, television or computer screens; in presentations, videos or photographs; or in any other digital or electronic form;
  3. signage, including building identification, directional and wayfinding signs, temporary signage and University-owned advertising structures such as gateways, tri-towers and other mounted or free-standing signage units;
  4. third-party material, including but not limited to:

    marketing or communications material used at or in relation to events sponsored by the University;

    material produced by a third party on behalf of the University;

    material displayed on advertising units owned or managed by third parties, either on or off campus;

  5. official print or digital stationery, including business cards, letterhead, envelopes, folders and invitations; and
  6. merchandise and products, including those produced under license from the University or in the context of the University’s business partnerships.

Responsibilities of Academic and Administrative Units

6.    Academic and administrative units shall respect the roles and authorities of the Communications Directorate as defined in sections 4 and 5 of this policy, as well as the Brand Identity Guidelines published by the Communications Directorate.  Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, academic and administrative units shall:

  1. identify themselves as units of the University in all printed or digital materials, in a manner that is consistent with the Brand Identity Guidelines;
  2. order their printed stationery from the University’s designated supplier(s), as determined from time to time by the Communications Directorate;
  3. order their digital stationery and administrative forms from the Communications Directorate; and
  4. cover the cost of tariffs set by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for applications for registration, registration, and renewals of registration of marks or trade-marks under the Trade-marks Act requested by them.

University Coat of Arms

7.    The University’s coat of arms is reserved exclusively for use in official documents, such as transcripts and diplomas and other documents required to be under the corporate seal of the University, and shall not be otherwise used for brand identity or other purposes.


8.    No exceptions may be made to this Policy without the written consent of the Communications Directorate.


9.    This Policy shall be reviewed periodically by the Office of the Vice-President, External Relations, in consultation with the Office of the Secretary.

Reviewed May 17, 2017.

(Administration Committee)