Brand Identity & Visual Standards

Guidelines for creating UofL-branded marketing materials and websites

Agency Policy

Created: Aug. 2017


As a public institution, the University of Louisville must maintain and protect its brand and image by producing high-quality internal and external messaging that is consistent with the university's mission, pursuit of excellence and inclusiveness, and strategic priorities. This requires a strengthened and clearly defined relationship between the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) and business-unit-level marketing communicators throughout the university. The decentralized structure of university management creates dozens of administrative areas with communications needs, often leading to conflicting and inconsistent messages. Successful marketing strategies and communications efforts cannot ensue from isolated or ad hoc tactics. For the university to properly communicate with a consistent voice, it is essential that communications activities be coordinated through a central office.

To aid the university in its efforts to build, enhance and promote the university brand, OCM is responsible for working with Procurement Services to select—via a competitive bid process—marketing communications agencies authorized to perform various advertising, creative, promotional and strategic marketing services for the university and its schools and departments. The solicitation, review and selection process for these agencies is conducted in accordance with Kentucky's procurement law.

OCM is the only department authorized to contract with marketing communications agencies. Individual units or departments should not contract directly with a marketing communications agency without prior OCM and Procurement Services approval. Units and departments also are required to inform and receive approval from OCM for any work to be performed by the university's selected marketing communications agency/ies.

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The University of Louisville is a nationally recognized metropolitan research university with a brand that conveys excellence in educational, social, healthcare, cultural, community and economic development. As such, all branding and messaging must be consistent across the university community. Effective, cohesive communication is key to the university's success. Whether it is through advertising, media relations, brochures and direct mail, promotional videos, TV commercials, web pages, or other means, the consistent application of strategies to promote and protect the university brand is of vital importance to the institution.

UofL has created a policy governing services performed via external marketing communications agencies to:

  • Protect and maintain the image of the university for internal and external audiences
  • Ensure adherence to Kentucky's procurement law.
  • Oversee all work performed by agency partners to ensure the university community avoids conflicts or agreements that devalue the brand. Units entering into independent agreements with agencies or freelancers without prior approval from OCM and/or Procurement
  • Services may violate existing, university-wide contracts or agreements.
  • Protect the university from misrepresentation of its name and harm to its reputation; and safeguard the integrity of the UofL brand.
  • Provide guidance to university units and programs; help prevent conflict-of-interest issues; and ensure compliance with university policies
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Related Information

Additional information is available at

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Marketing communications services covered by this policy include but are not limited to: marketing research; strategic marketing plans; creative campaign development; graphic design; publication development (including print and electronic publications); logos and unit identity; advertising; social media; creative projects that include collateral, advertisements, long-form writing, etc.; projects involving digital design and web/mobile development; projects involving the filming, editing and post-production of videos; and/or media buying, research and campaign evaluation.

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Visit the OCM website for additional information and procedures.

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OCM is responsible for overseeing all work performed by its marketing communication agency/ies and for managing each agency’s contract spend limit, as set forth by Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission (LRC). This policy is monitored by the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) in cooperation with Procurement Services. Any exceptions to this policy must have prior approval from OCM. Such exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Communications & Marketing

University of Louisville

2323 S. Brook St.

Louisville, KY 40208

(502) 852-6171