Logo Requirements

Western Michigan University logo

The promotional mark, introduced in 2007, is the block W, used with or without the Western Michigan University name. Both the University name and block W were carefully rendered and must not be reset with any other font. When the block W is used without the University name, the University name must be in a prominent place relative to the block W.

This mark should be used in all University communication, including—but not limited to—advertising, recruitment publications, promotional products and websites.

logo measurementsMinimum size requirements

The clear space surrounding any WMU logo should be, at a minimum, .25 inches on all sides. The height of any WMU logo should not appear any less than 1 inch in print. Contact the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications to obtain permission to use the promotional art at any size smaller than described here. A decreased size may be necessary for printing on novelty items for instance.

Color requirements

The primary color palette for the University promotional mark and signatures are WMU gold, now available as a custom mix, WMU brown (Pantone 4625), black and white. The University promotional mark may only be reproduced in these colors. Printing the promotional mark in brown is only permitted for gold novelty items. 

To learn more about how to obtain the custom spot color mix for both a coated and uncoated stock contact Kim C. Nelson, Director of University Creative Services.

 SwatchPrint (for coated and uncoated paper) Web
  Spot color Process color HSL/RGB/Hex
  WMU Brown
Pantone 4625
(c0 m60 y100 k79) 18, 50%, 18%
68, 36, 22
  *WMU Gold
Custom Mix
(c0 m28 y100 k6) 41, 100%, 50%

classic gold W logo with a black strokeclassic gold W logo with a brown strokeblack W logowhite W logo 

Avoid common errors

Below are examples of common mistakes that have been made across the University campus.

university seal with a red X overlaidThe University seal or seal signature is not for general use and may only be used with the approval of the director of university creative services in the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications.

skewed university logo with a red X overlaidLogos must be sized proportionally. Do not squeeze horizontally or vertically.

unique university logo with a red X overlaidDo not cover the W with line art or type.
blue university logo with a red X overlaidDo not change the color of the promotional mark.
university signature with a red X overlaidLogos no longer being used must be discarded and replaced with current art.
custom university logo with a red X overlaidThe W must not be redrawn.
custom university logo with a red X overlaidSecondary or custom logos are not permitted.
old university logo and athletic bronco logo with a red X overlaidLogos must not be combined with other WMU logos or repeated on a page.

Individualized promotional marks for university units

An individualized promotional mark for each major unit demonstrates a clear and direct association between the University and its individual units. Because these unit marks require special spacing of the elements, the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications will prepare the final artwork.

Examples of individualized college, departmental or office marks





Other marks used by the University

Special marks have been approved for selected units that have been designated subbrands or brand extensions of the core Western Michigan University brand. These marks recognize the unique identity needs of the units and their audiences while maintaining a strong relationship to the central University brand.

Requests for permission to continue using an established mark or create a new mark should be made to the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications. Exemptions will be considered for non-academic units that can demonstrate a compelling, market-based need. The following units are good examples of entities that meet those criteria:

  • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Miller Auditorium
  • WMUK
  • Business Technology and Research Park

Please note

The above named areas are non-academic units. All academic units are required to follow the guidelines stated in the Visual Identity Program. The University promotional mark represents all departments and offices. To preserve the clarity and impact of the University’s brand identity, no individual unit logos should be developed or used with University communications. The names of individual units should be developed and presented using the promotional mark guidelines herein. Use of that mark as a base for unit identity will serve to avoid the confusion that comes from competing logos.

Western Michigan School of Medicine is a collaboration involving Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo’s two teaching hospitals, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare. It has been in planning since 2008 and was granted preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in October 2012. Welcoming its first class in fall 2014, the school is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation supported by private gifts, clinical revenue, research activity, tuition from students and endowment income. As an independent entity, the medical school has developed a visual identity that is closely related to but not within the WMU Visual Identity Program.


The Western Michigan University Thomas Cooley Law School has a co-branded visual identity developed to reflect the formal affiliation between WMU and the private law school previously known as the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. The WMU Cooley Law visual identity is closely related to but not part of the WMU Visual Identity Program. The logo and combination of colors and fonts that are the elements of the WMU Cooley Law visual identity are for for the exclusive use of the law school and are not available for use by other units at the University.

Secondary (commercial) marks

Secondary or commercial marks for the majority of the institution’s units, departments, centers and other entities are not allowed. Existing icons or logos may be repurposed as illustrations or graphic elements. However, there are select instances when use of a secondary or commercial mark is appropriate. Units meeting these primary criteria will receive consideration for approval to use a secondary mark when:

  • The unit must operate in a retail environment and have a storefront (e.g., WMU Bookstore).
  • The unit has multiple funding sources and operated as a true consortium (e.g., a program receiving funding from an external source as well as the University).

Units approved to use a secondary mark must also use the authorized University promotional mark with their communication materials. The University promotional mark should receive more prominence than the approved secondary mark.

Athletic marks

Athletic marks are the identification for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. Questions about or requests to use these marks should be directed to the marketing and promotions office in intercollegiate athletics.

With written approval of both the Division of Intercollegiate Athletic and the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications, the W logo and the Bronco logo may be combined. This may include, but not be restricted to, jewelry or special external purposes.

Event-specific marks

Secondary marks may be created to promote a specific event, such as an annual lecture or a special anniversary. But, event-specific secondary marks must be used in conjunction with the University promotional mark.

Some special campus events like Homecoming may have their own event marks.

Contact the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications for more details.