Branding FAQs

The new Oregon State University brand identity and logo were introduced on April 24, 2017. There is a new logo and companion logos, new fonts, new photographic style and visual guidelines, and new “tone of voice” for how we talk about OSU. A new OSU creative platform—Out There—incorporates all the new brand elements.

University Outreach and Engagement and OSU Extension Service will leverage the work that has been done for the OSU master brand. We are working with Ologie, the agency that helped define the new OSU master brand, and expect the OSU Extension sub-brand to roll out in August/September 2017.

There is a lot for everyone--professional communicators included--to discover and learn.

What does the new brand mean to you and to Extension? We will use the FAQ format to provide as much information as possible. This information will be updated as we learn more in the coming weeks. We will also provide updates in the ConnEXTions newsletter.

What additional questions do you have? Please email them to Ann Marie Murphy using the subject line “Brand Question.” Your questions will help us improve our communication and training plan. 

FAQ categories:


Q: Why is OSU undergoing new branding and adopting a new logo?
A: To communicate and enhance the university’s reputation in Oregon and around the world. Higher education is very competitive for students, research funding, and donors. Showcasing the unique strengths, contributions, and quality of the university through branding is essential to capturing OSU’s share of these markets. As OSU’s 150th anniversary approaches, it was the perfect time to reengineer and reenergize the OSU brand and logo. Note: the Beaver (athletic) logo is not changing.

To learn more:

Q: Why do I need to follow brand guidelines?
A: All colleges, departments, and units across campus are required to adopt the new brand identity guidelines for consistency and unity in all Oregon State materials. Compliance is vital for achieving our shared outcomes:

  • Elevate the university’s brand awareness, both within the state of Oregon and across the nation and the world.
  • Promote Oregon State’s quality, contributions and unique strengths.
  • Build greater awareness and appreciation of Oregon State’s impact.
  • Establish a sense of place that describes OSU’s unique role as Oregon’s statewide university.

Q: What impact will the new brand have on our marketing materials?
A: Please refer to the brand guide for details on typography, colors, photography, icons, and more. Here is a summary.

New brand fonts should be used in marketing materials once they are licensed and installed on our workstations. Alternative system fonts may be used as substitutes when brand fonts are not available (e.g., in Word or PowerPoint). Two headline fonts and a font for body copy provide options.

Color palette
The primary colors (orange, black and white) stay the same, but Beaver Orange will take the leading role. Secondary colors should be used in moderation. Photography will provide the injection of color in marketing materials. Colors must be used at 100 percent color intensity; no tints are to be used.

Landscape images should convey a sense of magnitude. Candid images of people doing work in their element, showing what the work is really like will be important. Detail shots (close-ups) of the tools of the trade are also important and will add versatility. The existing photography style for Extension is already in close alignment. The EESC photo archive is an available resource.

The icon system is changing. The most popular icons are already available in the new line drawing style. Icons can appear in any color in the brand palette, but all elements must be a single color within the icon. It is important to maintain sufficient contrast when selecting colors. Going forward, no “people” icons will be used. Inevitably, we will want new icons developed to represent the work of Extension.

If you see a need for an icon that does not currently exist, please contact Ann Marie Murphy. She will coordinate icon development by working with Extension and Experiment Station Communications and University Marketing.

Q: What will an Extension sub-brand look like and why is it necessary?
A: Work is just beginning on the Extension sub-brand. Consequently, we will not know what the Extension sub-brand will look, sound, and feel like until the work is completed in August/September 2017. We do know the Extension sub-brand will complement the OSU master brand, but will have a distinct Extension flavor. The most important outcome of the sub-brand work will be the tone of voice we use to talk about Extension and outreach and engagement work, and key messages we use to describe the work and value of Extension and outreach and engagement.

To build awareness of Extension in the state—and that Extension is part of Oregon State University—we need strong messaging, consistent visuals, and a unified voice. Using the new OSU master brand as the impetus, we have an opportunity to reboot and refine how OSU Extension is perceived by legislators, voters, and the people we serve. Launching an Extension sub-brand is our opportunity to create consistency across the state and to learn from each other so we strengthen awareness of Extension in our communities.

Q: What do we do if we have questions about incorporating the new brand?
A: If the Oregon State Brand Guide website does not answer your questions, please contact Ann Marie Murphy, communication and marketing manager for University Outreach and Engagement and OSU Extension Service.

Timeline and transition

Q: What can/should I do right now with the new OSU brand and logo?
A: Remember, you do not have to change anything immediately or everything all at once! Use existing supplies and transition to the new logo and visual identity as it makes sense, such as when you reorder items or create new event materials. Before creating new materials, please spend time with the brand guide.

Social Media Avatars and Profile Pictures
To bring visual consistency and credibility to the OSU brand on social media, University Marketing is asking every Oregon State affiliated social media account to use consistent avatars and profile pictures. The background color of the avatars varies according to a hierarchy. University Outreach and Engagement and Extension Service will use the gray social avatar. The social branding guidelines provide direction on cover photos, account names and account handles. You are encouraged to make the changes to social media as quickly as possible.

Q: When can we begin using the new OSU logo? When will we have access to the new Extension logo?
A: The new logos are available now. You can request the OSU logo from the Oregon State Brand Guide website. The Outreach & Engagement, Extension, and branch experiment station companion logos are available to download from Box. Please read the Brand Guide, especially the logo guidelines, before using the new logos.

Q: When will new Extension letterhead be available?
A: Letterhead templates with the new OSU logo that have been reviewed and approved are posted and available for download. Additional templates are added daily as they are approved. For content changes to letterhead, contact Denise Ashley.

Q: What do we do with things that have the old logo, such as letterhead and logo gear?
A: Use up current supplies and use the new logo as you reorder. We anticipate it will take at least a year to fully transition to the new brand. Templates for letterhead, business cards, and other materials will be available on the Oregon State Brand Guide website. We anticipate that it will take at least a year to fully transition to the new brand.

Tools, templates, and logo guidelines

Q: Do we have to use the new fonts?
A: It will be important to adopt brand fonts for external marketing pieces in the coming months.

New fonts are part of the new OSU brand and require a centrally managed usage license. We are working with CN to find the best way to make the new fonts available to everyone in the Division. Watch for updates in the weekly ConnEXTions newsletter.

There are circumstances (e.g., Microsoft Word or PowerPoint) when the brand fonts will be unavailable. In those circumstances, alternative system fonts (which are freely available on all computers) should be used in lieu of the brand fonts. For headlines, use Impact and/or Georgia. For body copy, use Verdana (except for letterhead, where Cambria is used).

Q: Will new branded templates be available? Will they still be available in Publisher?
A: New university templates are available on the Oregon State Brand Guide website. Extension may need additional templates, for example co-branded with 4-H or Sea Grant. These will likely be available beginning in September 2017, after the sub-brand work is complete.

If university templates do not meet your needs, please contact Ann Marie Murphy, communication and marketing manager for University Outreach and Engagement and OSU Extension Service.

Q: How long do we continue to use the co-branded 4-H templates?
A: Continue to use the current co-branded 4-H templates until the Extension sub-branding work is complete, at which time we will have new co-branded templates designed.

Q: Are vertical versions of the logos available?
A: The new Oregon State University logo has a horizontal and vertical format. The horizontal logo is the dominant format and will be the one used most often.

Vertical formats are not planned for companion logos; however, there is some flexibility for promotional items. For example, the crest can be used on the center of a shirt when the wordmark is used on the sleeve. Both elements are still included; however, the size and placement of each is adjusted in order to maximize the impact based on the design.

For questions about logo usage, including consulting about placement on promotional items, please contact Ann Marie Murphy.

Q: Where should I place the logo? How can I co-brand properly with other entities?
A: For details, please refer to the logo guidelines section of the Brand Guide.


  • Logos are placed at the bottom of the flier, poster, advertisement or other document.
  • Companion logos (e.g., Extension Service logo) cannot be placed on the front of materials but may be used on the back cover, next to contact information.


  • When Oregon State partners with other established organizations or institutions, the Oregon State University logo should be placed in the bottom left corner and appear in equal proportion to the other logos.
  • 4-H, Sea Grant, and Juntos are national logos. To display them properly, follow the co-branding guidelines.
  • When multiple campus entities partner together, the Oregon State University logo should appear in the bottom left corner and the individual college, department, or unit names should be listed in the bottom right corner.


Q. Will Extension employees receive training on the OSU master brand and Extension sub-brand?
A: University Marketing is committed to providing simple, effective, and easy-to-manage tools to support brand efforts. We will work closely with them to support you during the brand transition.

Everyone can access the Oregon State Brand Guide. Extension sub-brand guidelines will be published in September 2017.

Orientation to OSU brand will be part of new-hire orientation for all employees (via HR orientation). Extension key messages, visual identity and more will become part Extension onboarding.

For those located near Corvallis, University Marketing will hold monthly brand collaboration open labs where you can bring work or troubleshoot specific questions or challenges in using the brand.

Extension marketing and Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC) will work with the Extension marketing steering committee, program leaders, regional administrators, and county leaders to identify training needs and preferred training formats (e.g., webinar, in-person, and videos).

Look for a brand update at the May 19 Outreach and Engagement Quarterly Conversation, which will be broadcast live to answer immediate questions and recorded for later reference.

Regular updates and tips will appear in the weekly ConnEXTions newsletter. Our approach will be guided by the mantra of the Extension marketing steering committee: Make it easier to do it right than to do it wrong!

Q: How can I learn more abou the OSU master brand and brand guidelines?
A: The videos of the Brand Launch Symposium (April 25) sessions are now available on the Brand Guidelines website. If you were not able to attend the symposium and want to learn more about the OSU master brand, these videos will be helpful. The links are at the bottom of the Brand Positioning, Our Voice and Visual Identity pages in the Brand Guide.

Promotional items, clothing, and signage

Q: When will promotional items be available for purchase through Extension Administration?
A: Denise Ashley, Extension Administration, will reorder popular items soon after the OSU Extension companion logo is available. We are evaluating new items to add to the mix, including some clothing options.

Q: Can we continue to wear gear with the old OSU logo?
A: Yes! Continue using the old logo gear until it is time to replace the item due to wear and tear, or there is a need to replenish supplies.

Q: How will building signage be handled?
A: Extension Administration will develop a sign replacement plan in conjunction with University Marketing. There is no expectation that building signage will change immediately. If you are replacing exterior signs in the next year, use the new logo.