• WMU logo art treatment

A strong visual identity is a powerful communication tool for any institution

The use of consistent colors, logos, fonts and images in print and electronic communication signals a sense of unity and common purpose among and across all of the units that fall under the umbrella of the organization known as Western Michigan University.

WMU’s Visual Identity Program is designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of Western Michigan University and its multiple audiences, while creating a strong brand presence for the University in the higher education marketplace. The campus community’s enthusiastic application of these guidelines is integral to building public awareness of the University’s prestige and support of its mission.

The visual identity guidelines are intended to cover all publications, signage, promotional materials and the plethora of visual ways used to represent Western Michigan University to University audiences, including, but not limited to, promotional gear, uniforms, vehicle signage and printed materials. While each visual representation may not be included in these general guidelines, design assistance for all such needs is available through the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications.

Four major design elements are used to communicate the University’s visual brand identity consistently in print and electronic communications:

  • W and name
  • Color palette
  • Typography 
  • High-quality photography

Applying the elements 

In general, the goal is to ensure that all communications produced by University units and student groups are immediately recognizable as part of the same visual brand identity. A comprehensive list of art and how to use the promotional W mark is available by downloading the Visual Identity Program guidelines booklet. Please consult with the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications design staff whenever you have questions about how and when to use the elements so that your product best represents the University and your department.

VIP Guidelines

Building on the foundation of the Visual Identity Program, the University launches a marketing campaign every three to five years. In fall of 2016, the GOLD campaign was introduced. Campaign information, a downloadable guide booklet, art and templates are available.

Promotional mark (logo)

The promotional mark is the block W, used with or without the Western Michigan University name. The W and University name were carefully rendered and must not be reset with any font. When the W is used without the University name, the University name must be in a prominent place relative to the W.

Unit names used with University promotional mark

The promotional mark should be used to represent all departments and offices. No individual unit logos should be developed or used with University communications. The names of individual units should be presented typographically as part of the promotional mark to avoid competing logos. The Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications design staff will create the mark for each individual University unit.

Color palettes

The specified colors represent the University’s brand in all communications. All University materials and messages must use colors from the approved color palettes.


The following families of type should be used for all print publications. Licenses for these fonts are available by contacting the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications.

  • Adobe Garamond family
  • Arial
  • Open Source
  • Source Sans Pro


The Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications houses thousands of high-quality digital images that are available to WMU departments, units and organizations. Call (269) 387-8400 to schedule an appointment to search the photo database.