Frequently Asked Questions

I have a large supply of materials that do not use the logo properly. Can I still distribute them?

It is imperative that UCSF’s Visual Identity Standards become the guide for how UCSF represents itself to the world, and that these standards be uniformly adopted across the campus as soon as possible. At the same time, we have no desire to penalize groups or units that may have already invested in materials that do not conform. For that reason, already produced, nonconforming materials can continue to be used throughout 2007.

In addition, websites that do not carry the UCSF branding banner will be granted a one year grace period to make the appropriate changes. By March 1, 2008, this exemption will cease. Please note that the exemption does not extend to new materials, collateral or websites developed during the grace period. These will all be held to the standards in this document.

What if I don’t like the standards? Must I still use them?

All UCSF faculty, staff, schools, centers, institutes, departments, laboratories and other UCSF entities are required to use the Visual Identity Standards. Ignoring the standards could result in the shredding of improperly branded materials or the delisting of your website from the University directory. By producing and promoting this booklet and its rationale, we hope to introduce a culture of self-policing that will make punitive measures unnecessary. Please contact UCSF Public Affairs at with any identity and branding questions before you begin a new project.

I belong to a registered campus organization, and we want to use the logo on our poster advertising an event. Can we do so?

In general, UCSF endorses the use of “at UCSF” in the name of the sponsoring organization rather than the University logo or tagline because use of the latter implies an official sanction. The UCSF Campus Administrative Policy Guide, section 050.13, grants UCSF Public Affairs full authority over how the logo and tagline signature can be used, and by whom.

My academic department also runs an affiliated clinic, and we want to use the logo the way UCSF Medical Center does. Why can’t we?

By virtue of their national prominence, historical association with the larger University and lifesaving care with global implications, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children’s Hospital have been designated as sub-brands of the larger UCSF brand. As such, a special type-and-logo configuration has been created exclusively for them. Allowing that same configuration to be used by other units would dilute the visual impact and prestige of these medical sub-brands and confuse the hierarchy established within the overall UCSF standards.

Can I use the tagline on our department stationery?

No. While each component of the University contributes to the whole that is UCSF, the tagline has been created as a message that states what that whole means. Should the UCSF tagline advancing health worldwide™ appear on departmental stationery, it could be misconstrued as individual ownership of what is a Universitywide asset.

Can I use the tagline on my departmental brochure?

It depends. While the tagline is reserved for communications that promote the whole university, there might be good reasons why a particular departmental brochure serves the larger, if select, advertising, marketing and promotional needs of UCSF. That is why UCSF Public Affairs must always be consulted first, so as to forestall any problems later.

Do I have to use the tagline?

No. UCSF Public Affairs is charged with representing and promoting the larger UCSF interest, which is why use of the tagline has been reserved for certain types of communications. While no one is required to use it, it is hoped that the tagline will be used widely and often where appropriate.