Michigan Tech Brand Guide


Visual Identity


A view of campus from across the waterway with sailboats.

Who We Are

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan's Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.

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The Place to Be (Real).

Students walking on campus.


Michigan Tech's brand platform inspires external messaging that is uniquely ours: real.

More than a logo or tagline, our brand platform establishes the brand and is the foundation from which all marketing decisions are made. If a message falls outside our brand promises— real people, opportunities, and experiences—we argue it's a story probably not worth telling.

Promise to Make it Real

Real people
faculty, students, alumni, friends, prospective students, you

Real opportunities
facilities, location, traditions, research, events, classes, weather

Real experiences
in class, in the field, internships, co-ops, abroad

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Person watching a researcher pour into a funnel.


Brand attributes are characteristics that speak to the personality of the brand.

  • Smart
  • Hardworking
  • Unpretentious
  • Relentless in the pursuit of better

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Skier in air with the Michigan Tech campus in the background.


Differentiators are a set of enduring features separating Michigan Tech from competitors.

We celebrate tough:

  • Research
  • Location
  • Traditions
  • Events
  • Snow
  • Water
  • People

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A student working on a scale bridge.


It's easy to rely on data to tell our brand story (salaries, placement, expenditures). We want to focus on the journey—not just outcomes: Demonstrate what life is like for a first-year engineering major. Showcase a day-in-the-life of a researcher. Or talk about what it's like to be president of a student organization.

We want STEM to not only be seen as necessary and important for our world, but also as just plain cool.

Share stories that are:

  • Compelling
  • Current
  • BIte-sized
  • Relatable

More than Features and Benefits

A feature is a factual statement about a product or service. A benefit answers "What's in it for me?" Our external messaging doesn't center on features and benefits, but rather real, emotive brand stories. Narratives about students, alumni, and research get to the heart of why our audiences care about Michigan Tech, and what they'll come to believe about our brand through storytelling.

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Student working on peat moss.

Tone of Voice


It's how we say what we say—and it's essential that all external communications consistently share our trademark tone of voice.

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Students playing broomball with a sunset in the background.
Student looking at a equipment that is shining a laser beam.

Honest Means . . .

Down to Earth. Straightforward. Confident. A Little Quirky.

Use simple, active, staccato sentences. Avoid jargon and fussy words.

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Students playing tug of war in the snow.

Power Statements

Memorable phrases that can be infused in messaging as headlines, subject lines, cutlines, social media, body copy, and more.

  • Location—Bound together by distance, STEM, and snow.
  • Second Family—We're a pack—in it together.
  • Research—Roll up our sleeves to analyze, dig, compare, and deploy.
  • Value—Michigan Tech grads get jobs.

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Student looking at equipment in a lab.

Frequently Used Words

Simple, active words and verbs create a sense of liveliness and urgency.

  • Analyze
  • Build
  • Choose
  • Collect
  • Connect
  • Create
  • Do
  • Engineer
  • Explore
  • Find
  • Fuse
  • Grind
  • Grit
  • Haul
  • Innovate
  • Lead
  • Load
  • Measure
  • Pack
  • Research
  • Smart
  • Submerge
  • Tenacity
  • Work 

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Visual Identity


Full Name

Full-Name Horizontal

Logo: full name horizontal

Full-Name Wordmark Stacked

Logo: full name wordmark stacked

Full-Name Wordmark

Logo: full name wordmark

When to Use

Use our stacked horizontal or full-name mark to provide immediate identity recognition in scenarios where the University brand is unfamiliar.

Download Logos

University Logos are Trademarked

All Michigan Tech logos downloaded from this page are registered trademarks of Michigan Technological University. The use of the Michigan Tech name, logos, seals, and/or other symbols of the University, in commercial venture, even fundraising or promotional activities, requires prior written approval. Only licensed vendors are authorized to produce merchandise and apparel featuring the University name and/or logos. For more information and a list of licensed vendors, please visit our trademark licensing page.

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Michigan Tech

Michigan Tech Vertical

Logo: Michigan Tech vertical

Michigan Tech Horizontal

Logo: Michigan Tech horizontal

Michigan Tech Wordmark

Logo: Michigan Tech wordmark
When to Use

Use these marks only when the full University name is included elsewhere.

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Husky Icon

Logo: husky icon

When to Use

Use this mark only when the name of the University is present elsewhere. On campus, this mark may stand alone when used in conjunction with signage, events, and internal communication.

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Clear Space

visual showing clear space around logo

Maintain .25 inches of clear space around logo.

Clear space is the protected area around the logo that maximizes its impact. This space must be kept free of all other graphics and text, including other logos.

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Minimum-Size Restrictions

Minimum-size requirements ensure legibility of the logo. Contact University Marketing and Communications with questions or concerns regarding logo size.

The full-name horizontal logos should never be smaller than .5 inches tall.

Michigan Technological University Logos

example of logo on a business card

The Michigan Tech wordmark should never be smaller than 1.5 inches wide.

Michigan Tech Wordmark

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Business Cards

Front side (two options)

business card front options

To place a business card order, use Print Services' online storefront.

Reverse side (three color options or blank)

business card back options

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Department Letterhead

To place an order, contact umc@mtu.edu.

Digital Letterhead

Download digital department letterhead. Digital letterhead is not intended for print.

Download Letterhead

Minimum-Size Restrictions

Minimum-size requirements ensure legibility of the logo. Contact University Marketing and Communications with questions or concerns regarding logo size.

letterhead example

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Unacceptable Applications

Do not re-create the Michigan Tech logo, change the logo's color, stretch the type, alter, move elements of the logo, or add or subtract design elements.

Use only official logos prepared by and available from University Marketing and Communications.

example of logo stretched vertically 

Do not stretch the logo vertically.

example of logo condensed horizontally

Do not condense the logo horizontally.

example of transparent logo

Do not make the logo transparent.

example of logo with elements moved

Do not move elements of the logo.

example of the logo with the color changed

Do not change the one color logo to any other color.

example of another color within the logo

Do not use another color within the logo.

example of a blurry logo

Do not use a web logo on a print publication.

example of logo positioned vertically

Do not tilt or position the logo vertically.

example of logo with mixed color options

Do not mix the one color logo options.

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How to Use the Logo

Color Variations

These are approved logo variations when applied on color backgrounds.

white logo on a dark background

White logo on a dark color background

black logo on a light background

Black logo on a light color background

color logo on white background

Full-color logo on white

black logo on white background

Black logo on white

black logo on gold background

Black logo on gold

gold logo on black background

Gold on black

white logo on black background

White on black


The following are recommendations of logo use on photographs. The designer should use their best judgment when overlaying the logo. Never place logo over people, complex images, patterns, or main focal points in the photograph.

full-color logo on a photograph

Use full-color logo on a light photo.

black logo on a photograph

Black logo may also be used on a light photo.

white logo on a photograph

Use white (or gold) logo on a dark photo.

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University Seal

  • Black and white seal
  • Full color seal

When to Use

The University seal is used for formal and official documents, such as diplomas and communications from the president. It is not for general use. The seal may not be used on apparel. The seal may not be altered in any way or blended with other designs or symbols.

The seal may be used on pre-approved specialty items.

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Color Palette

Primary Palette

The official colors of Michigan Tech are black and gold.

gold swatch

PMS 116
CMYK: 0/18/100/0
RGB: 255/206/0
HEX: #ffcd00

black swatch

CMYK: 40/40/40/100
RGB: 0/0/0
HEX: #000000

Secondary Palette

The secondary color palette provides additional options when working on publications. These colors ensure University publications share a cohesive and unified theme.

PMS 7549 C deep gold color swatch.

PMS 7549 C
CMYK: 0/36/100/0
RGB: 251/173/24
HEX: #fbad18

PMS 423 gray color swatch.

PMS 423
CMYK: 48/39/39/4
RGB: 138/140/140
HEX: #8a8c8c

PMS 310 C teal color swatch.

PMS 310 C
CMYK: 66/0/26/0
RGB: 62/192/197
HEX: #3ec0c5

PMS 717 C copper color swatch.

PMS 717 C
CMYK: 0/70/90/10
RGB: 220/102/45
HEX: #dc662d

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Primary Font Family

Avenir Next—Our sans-serif typeface for body copy and headlines.

avenir next

Secondary Print and Web Font

Georgia—Serif typeface, use for print headlines, call outs, and display copy and for long web blockquotes.

Georgia font sample.

Primary Web Font

Open Sans—Our sans-serif typeface, primary web font used for body copy and headings.

open sans

Typography for Print

Sample Paragraph

Sample paragraph with Avenir Next Bold headline.

Sample ParagraphSample paragraph with Georgia headline.

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Department Identifiers

Horizontal and Vertical Variations

While the University logo system is available to all Michigan Tech colleges, schools, and departments, unique identifiers are available. They include the department name with the University logo and name.

Vertical Identifier

vertical identifier example

Horizontal Identifier

horizontal identifier example

Unacceptable Applications

Do not re-create the Michigan Tech identifiers, change the color, stretch the type, realign the text, move elements of the identifier, or add or subtract design elements.

Use only official logos prepared by and available from University Marketing and Communications.

example of stretched logo

Do not stretch the logo vertically or horizontally.

example of mis-aligned logo

Do not center align or reformat the text in any way.

example of identifier with  moved elements

Do not move elements of the logo.

example of identifier with another color

Do not change the logo to any other color.

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Person and dog next to water.
People with a large bird in the water.
Students drawing art on a wall.


What makes a Michigan Tech photo?

  • Our shots are not staged; they are honest examples of who our students, faculty, and alumni are and what they do.
  • Our photos show students and faculty doing real work—in the lab, in the field, on campus, and abroad. We work hard and play hard in all types of environments.
  • We avoid unnatural filters, gels, and lights.
  • We capture images from eye level—our subjects are not always smiling at the camera.

Photos should highlight our:

  • Natural environment
  • Extreme adventure
  • Extreme conditions

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What makes a Michigan Tech video?

  • Our videos are made on location. Wherever our faculty, students, and staff are, we go.
  • Our campus is active, gritty, and adventurous. Our lens doesn't live on a tripod, it follows the action.
  • We film with natural light whenever possible.
  • Students, faculty, and alumni use their own words—to the point and with conviction.

Videos should highlight our:

  • Culture, campus, and beautiful spot on the map
  • Passion for the subject at hand, from both sides of the lens
  • Secure identity—we are not everything to everyone

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Contact Information

Ian Repp

Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communications

Web Resources

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