Office of Marketing and Brand Management

Brand Guidelines

An image of an open book atop a carpeted surface

The value of branding

Our collective goal is to create communications that consistently reinforce the University of Southern Maine (USM) brand to all outward-facing constituents such as prospective students, current students, community members, and donors.

There are basic rules for branding that should not be broken. Every piece of communication we create — from advertisements to flyers to tablecloths to campus signage — is an opportunity to visually promote the university brand in a positive manner and show our University pride.

A brand is a perception that constituents and the public develop through their experiences with an organization, company, product, or service. For our University — which is student-focused, every day — our brand is very much dependent on positive interactions and experiences with people.

The University of Southern Maine is our brand. Two logos represent our University of Southern Maine brand:

  • The official University of Southern Maine logo with the column
  • The Husky Head with Southern Maine Huskies, which represents Athletics and University school spirit
    • School spirit celebrates — through events or initiatives — the values, community, and connections of the University

A logo serves as a visual representation of a brand. When perception through experience is positive (in our case, through positive interactions) and the visual representation is consistent, our constituents and the public immediately recognize and respond favorably to our brand –– the University of Southern Maine.

Colleges, schools, offices, departments, events, organizations, and so forth operate within and represent the University of Southern Maine brand and should use the University of Southern Maine logo (not the athletics Husky Head).

For Athletics marketing, our “classic” logo should also appear on any marketing or communication materials.

Event or initiative graphics are a way to visually represent a University event or special initiative (such as our “Safe Zone” initiative). However, the "classic" University logo should appear on any piece promoting the event or initiative. This benefits the event, to have the power of the University brand behind it, and it strengthens the brand by showcasing the variety of events and initiatives at the University.

People are more likely to engage with a brand they recognize and trust. Using our logo correctly ensures the consistency of our brand, which in turn, instills confidence in our brand. Our university logo is a visual representation of our brand attributes outlined below. Our brand is more than just a logo — it is how people experience our University.

Our brand attributes

The University recognizes the importance of fostering a campus environment conducive to learning. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion speaks to our university being a place where no matter one’s age, background, or experience students will have access to a high-quality university education that combines academic excellence with real-world experience, is affordable, and is student-focused.

Our four pillars of academic excellence support this mission:

  1. A focus on relationships
  2. A future-forward curriculum
  3. The integration of learning and work
  4. A mission of service and citizenship

Our actions and voice in service to our students should focus on and reflect our commitment to their success.

The logo or brand mark for the University of Southern Maine should appear as shown in these Brand Guidelines and should not be disassembled, reassembled, or changed in any way. NOTE: The watermark shown is not part of the official logo.

This includes utilizing the column icon alongside other words, such as college, school, office, department, event, club, or organization names. These entities are part of the University of Southern Maine; they are not brands unto themselves. One way to think about it is if the University of Southern Maine — the brand — didn’t exist, there would be no colleges, schools, offices, departments, events, clubs, organizations and so forth.

The University of Southern Maine “classic” logo is for use on any non-recruitment materials, such as note cards, public events, student activities, and so forth. This logo does not have the “access” points of Portland, Gorham, Lewiston, and Online underneath.

Sample University of Southern Maine classic logo


Departments, Schools, and Colleges should make use of the University of Southern Maine “classic” logo, with the name of their area underneath in the Gotham Book font.

The University of Southern Maine “access points” logo should appear on materials used to recruit prospective students to inquire, apply, and ultimately enroll. This version of the logo aids prospective students in knowing that we have multiple access points to our University, including online courses and programs.

Sample University of Southern Maine access points logo


The “access” points logo may also appear on HR materials for the same reasons as recruitment.

Download a logo file.

University Champ

University Champ is an option for those seeking to utilize our Husky mascot on their materials but prefer an alternative to the “competitive” Athletics version. University Champ can be used on a variety of materials to support events and initiatives for students, faculty, staff, and even prospective students.

University Champ in a variety of customized iterations

For any customizations to University Champ, contact Greg Daly to discuss further. A nominal fee may be applicable.

The Southern Maine Huskies logo with Pantone color swatches

Southern Maine Huskies (Athletics)

Our university mascot is a Husky named Champ. The Southern Maine Huskies graphic, with or without Champ, represents our Athletics teams. It was designed to communicate competitiveness and fierceness and can be used to promote Athletics’ efforts or school spirit, such as on t-shirts or event banners.

This visual should appear in combination with the official University of Southern Maine logo on any materials created.

University Seal

The official University of Southern Maine seal

The University Seal represents the Office of the President. The seal is limited, but not required, to use on materials supporting presidential initiatives or at presidential events.

In 2018, the bookstore obtained permission to use the University Seal on giftware and merchandise.

If you are interested in using the University Seal, please contact Greg Daly.

Social Media Icons/Avatars

Social media is closely monitored and managed by Public Affairs. Please review the Social Media Toolkit for the required branding.

We recognize the need for flexibility with logos and developed supplementary visuals, used in combination with the official University of Southern Maine logo, to help visually support special projects or initiatives at the University.

A sampling of event and initiative graphics

Valid examples of the flexibility needed in branding include social media avatars since Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. often do not allow for any brand’s full logo to be used.

Those interested in having an Event or Initiative Graphic created, please contact Harrison Warren.

Primary Color Palette

Our primary color palette is blue and gold. It’s essential that these identifying colors appear to some degree in any outward-facing materials.

Color Swatch Color Name Pantone CMYK RGB HSB HEX
USM Blue (Print Blue) USM Blue 648C C: 100%
M: 86%
Y: 36%
K: 31%
R: 0
G: 45
B: 93

H: 211º
S: 100%
B: 36%

USM Gold USM Gold 130C C: 2%
M: 38%
Y: 100%
K: 0%
R: 245
G: 168
B: 0
H: 41º
S: 100%
B: 96%

The combination of these colors tends to be bold and vibrant. With that understanding, we established a balance between blue and gold by featuring, at minimum, 75% of one and 25% of the other in a given design. Our typical building signage illustrates our use of this balance.

An image of the wayfinding sign for Masterton Hall


Secondary Color Palette

Our secondary colors are complementary colors used sparingly in design layouts. They are intended to enhance the impact of your communication in relation to the accompanying imagery or artwork.

Color Swatch Color Name CMYK RGB HSB HEX
Dark Secondary Gray Dark Gray C: 75%
M: 65%
Y: 58%
K: 56%
R: 46
G: 51
B: 56
H: 210º
S: 18%
B: 22%
Light Secondary Gray Light Gray C: 33%
M: 22%
Y: 22%
K: 0%
R: 173
G: 182
B: 186
H: 198º
S: 7%
B: 73%
Dark Secondary Green Dark Green C: 74%
M: 49%
Y: 97%
K: 57%
R: 43
G: 62
B: 26
H: 92º
S: 57%
B: 24%
Light Secondary Green Light Green C: 23%
M: 0%
Y: 65%
K: 0%
R: 204
G: 223
B: 127
H: 72º
S: 43%
N: 88%
Dark Secondary Blue-Green Dark Blue-Green C: 92%
M: 62%
Y: 61%
K: 61%
R: 1
G: 47
B: 51
H: 185º
S: 97%
B: 20%
Light Secondary Blue-Green Light Blue-Green C: 49%
M: 2%
Y: 18%
K: 0%
R: 125
G: 201
B: 209
H: 185º
S: 54%
B: 82%
Dark Secondary Blue (Web Blue) Dark Blue C: 97%
M: 93%
Y: 46%
K: 60%
R: 14
G: 16
B: 51
H: 237º
S: 69%
B: 20%
Light Secondary Blue Light Blue C: 34%
M: 26%
Y: 0%
K: 0%

R: 165
G: 176
B: 218

H: 227º
S: 22%
B: 85%
Dark Secondary Purple Dark Purple C: 84%
M: 100%
Y: 30%
K: 47%
R: 50
G: 14
B: 70
H: 278º
S: 81%
B: 28%
Light Secondary Purple Light Purple C: 48%
M: 50%
Y: 0%
K: 0%
R: 141
G: 130
B: 190
H: 250%
S: 31%
B: 74%
Dark Secondary Brown Dark Brown C: 38%
M: 75%
Y: 100%
K: 48%
R: 101
G: 53
B: 19

H: 25º
S: 81%
B: 40%

Light Secondary Brown Light Brown C: 10%
M: 21%
Y: 67%
K: 0%
R: 232
G: 195
B: 111
H: 42º
S: 52%
B: 91%
Dark Secondary Red Dark Red C: 31%
M: 100%
Y: 100%
K: 44%
R: 115
G: 16
B: 18
H: 359º
S: 86%
B: 45%
Light Secondary Red Light Red C: 14%
M: 57%
Y: 100%
K: 2%
R: 211
G: 127
B: 40
H: 31º
S: 81%
B: 83%


Typefaces for print materials

A screenshot depicting what each of the approved University typefaces look like

The only typefaces approved for use on print materials are:

  • Gotham (all fonts and weights)
  • Helvetica Neue LT Std Condensed (all fonts and weights)
  • Helvetica Neue LT Std (all fonts and weights)
  • Garamond (all fonts and weights)

These fonts can be used in an array of combinations and weights to give the illusion of more variety. If you don’t have these fonts available on your computer, contact us, and we can provide them to you.


Replacement typefaces for print materials

A screenshot depicting what each of the approved replacement typefaces look like

Sometimes the typeface files we provide won’t work on your computer. In that case, these standard system fonts are acceptable* replacements:

  • Century Gothic (all fonts and weights)
  • Arial (all fonts and weights)
  • Times (all fonts and weights)

*Note: Replacement fonts are mainly for body text or header/footer text. These fonts are not acceptable for large displays such as posters, banners, etc.


Typefaces for digital materials

In print, serif fonts like Garamond or Times New Roman help keep your eyes following one line of text across a page; the opposite is true of reading text on a screen. It's easier to consume digital copy when we use serif fonts sparingly (in headlines) and stick to sans-serif fonts like Helvetica or Arial for the bulk of the text on-screen.

Universally available typefaces for websites and customized HTML emails are few due to the vast number of internet-enabled devices available. To help stay on brand, font stacks allow us to serve up a predefined, ordered list of approved typefaces or fonts. If a font stack cannot load the first font in the list, it will move through the list until one can load on your device.

Website font stacks:

  • Headline: Adobe Garamond Pro, serif
  • Body Text: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif

Email font stacks:

  • Headline: Times, Times New Roman, serif
  • Body Text: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif


The purpose of all written communication is to provide our audiences with clear, error-free information about the people, places, and events occurring at and relating to the University of Southern Maine.

Writers should pay particular attention to Voice, Audience, and creating an effective Call to Action (CTA) — the action users should take, e.g., “Register Today” or “Apply Now” — in all University written communications. There are also specific considerations for print and digital communications outlined below.

As our audiences engage with our brand, we’d like to ensure that they encounter a clear, consistent voice no matter the medium.

The University of Southern Maine voice:

  • Speaks directly to the reader
  • Uses the active voice — not the passive voice
  • Uses “you,” “we,” and “our”
  • Is engaging, lively, and welcoming
  • Is familiar and personable
  • Is positive and supportive
  • Is formal and scholarly when writing about academics (such as program descriptions)
  • Does not use internal jargon or abbreviations
  • Celebrates diversity and believes in the University of Everyone

Who are you trying to reach? There may be many different audiences who will view your print piece or webpage or email, but you should direct your copy toward one specific group — your primary audience.

Primary Audience

The key group of people you’re trying to reach. Your copy should present clear, concise information that will lead your audience to take an action you desire.

  • Points to consider:
    • Why is your primary audience interested in your copy?
    • What does your primary audience need to learn or accomplish?
    • What are the top five questions your primary audience may have?
    • What action do you want your primary audience to take after reading your copy?


Secondary Audience

Your copy may include some information beneficial to an additional group of people outside of your primary audience. For instance, a print or digital piece with a primary audience of alumni may also include relevant information to a secondary audience of local businesses.


Examples of University audiences:

  • Internal
    • Current students
    • Faculty
    • Staff
  • External
    • Alumni
    • Donors
    • Prospective students
    • Parents
    • School administrators, teachers, coaches, etc
    • Local businesses

There may also be other audiences or specific segments of audiences you need to reach.

All print and digital marketing communications should compel the reader to complete a specific action, such as:

  • Register today
  • Visit us
  • Call for more information
  • Learn more

Make it as simple as possible for your audience to accomplish the Call to Action. For instance, on a webpage, once a user selects a Call to Action of “Learn more,” they should be directed to a webpage that provides more details or information about the topic they were just reading about.

Determine the University staff and faculty who hold the facts about the program or event you’re promoting. Gather all pertinent information from these Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and then craft your copy to communicate the information for your primary audience as clearly and succinctly as possible.

Before drafting copy for print material, determine the following:

  • Format: Trifold brochure, booklet, postcard, etc.
  • Delivery method: Mail, handout, poster, brochure rack, etc.
  • Size: This affects the amount of space available for text
  • Lifespan: How long will this information be accurate?

While drafting your copy, consider the following:

  • Be clear and concise
  • Include a short URL to your website
    • Readers will not take the time to type a long URL into their mobile device or desktop browser
    • Detailed and time-sensitive information is quick and easy to add or update digitally
  • Allow for white space — eyes need to breathe

Web users do not read websites — they scan or skim, so be brief.

More than 45% of the users on our public website are accessing the site on their mobile device. Keep this in mind as you structure your copy.

Here are some general guidelines:

Communication objective

Each page within a subsite should have one communication objective.


Copy (or text) length

  • Copy should be brief and browsable
  • Limit copy to a maximum of 700 words per page — shorter is better
  • Use short paragraphs with a maximum of 4 sentences
  • Use short sentences



  • Use headings, when appropriate, to break up your copy into separate categories
  • Use bullets whenever appropriate
  • Use bold or italics to emphasize text — do not underline text for emphasis, this implies that there is a hyperlink


PDF use

Avoid using PDFs to share content as they do not generally meet accessibility standards. Most PDF content can easily become a webpage, which is quicker to update and distribute.



When drafting copy for the web, resize your application window to the approximate width of a mobile phone screen to determine if the text is still readable and browsable on a small screen.



When including a text link (or hyperlink), avoid using calls to action like “click here” or including the entire URL — these kinds of links are not screen reader-friendly. Instead, add a hyperlink to action words (calls to action) that describe where the link will take your audience, like “learn more” or “email us” or “register now.”

Every link is a chance for your audience to leave your webpage and not return. Consider the following:

  • Does this link pertain to your primary or secondary audience?
  • Does this link support your communication objective and your Call to Action?
  • If you plan to link to content on another subsite within the University's website, check with the department, college, or school to ensure that they are regularly maintaining that page.
  • If you must link to a website outside of the domain, set the link target to “new window.”


Ongoing maintenance

If a web user visits your webpage, they will assume it’s up-to-date. If it’s not up-to-date, that harms the credibility of both your subsite and all other pages on our website.

  • When planning your webpage or subsite, determine who will be responsible for regularly reviewing the content to ensure accuracy.
    • Determine which Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) should be looped in on the process.
  • If your webpage content expires at a specific time, schedule a reminder in your calendar to update the content or unpublish/delete the page.
    • Don't forget to update any other pages, content, or navigation items that link to this page.
  • Event items: You can schedule these to unpublish on the day following the event.
  • News items: These include a date stamp below the page title and can remain published at your discretion.


Text in, on, or as images

Avoid using text in an image format (.jpg, .gif, .png, etc.). Due to website accessibility standards, images on any digital platform should not include text. Screen readers, for example, are unable to distinguish words from other elements in the image — everything blends into pixels and the copy will be invisible.

Abbreviations, formatting, and grammar

The University follows the Chicago Manual of Style for all print and digital marketing communications, including our website. To help maintain consistency of how we communicate specific details, we created this brief guide to proper usage. For additional grammar guidelines, please consult the Chicago Manual of Style.

Degree abbreviations

Do not include periods.

Correct format:

  • MS
  • MM
  • MBA
  • MFA
  • MSEd
  • PhD

Incorrect format:

  • M.S.
  • M.M.
  • M.B.A.
  • M.F.A
  • MS.Ed.
  • Ph.D.


Degree Types

Always use apostrophes when referring to individual degrees.

Correct format:

  • master’s
  • bachelor’s

Incorrect format:

  • masters
  • bachelors

Order and Formatting

Event details should appear in the following order:

  1. Time
  2. Day
  3. Date
  4. Location

Correct format:

4 – 6 p.m., Monday, March 30, 2019
Abromson Community Education Center, Portland campus
88 Bedford St., Portland, ME 04101



  • Do not spell out “O’clock”
  • Include either a.m. or p.m. in lowercase letters with periods
    • If the time ends a sentence, do not add an additional period
  • A colon and two digits after the hour are optional
  • Use an en dash, not a hyphen, with a space on either side within a range of time

Correct format:

  • 4 – 6 p.m.
  • 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Incorrect format:

  • 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • 9:30am–2pm
  • 8a -- 4:30p
  • 3-5 pm
  • 4 – 6 PM



  • Do NOT add extra letters such as “th” or “nd”
  • Always include the year for clarity
    • Exception: The year is not required for character-limited web copy, like Information Blocks, provided it is removed promptly after the date has passed
  • Include a comma between the day and year

Correct format:

  • April 10, 2019
  • Apr 10 [for character-limited web copy]

Incorrect format:

  • Apr 10th
  • April 2nd, 2019

Phone numbers

Use dashes in a 10-digit number, not parentheses.

Correct format:

  • 207-780-2356

Incorrect format:

  • (207) 780-2356
  • (207)-780-2356


Web address (for print materials)

  • Do NOT use “https://” or “www.”
  • Use lowercase letters for the URL
  • If a URL falls at the end of a sentence, add a period

Correct format:

Incorrect format:


  • Avoid using acronyms when referring to programs or courses — they're considered internal language and risk reader confusion.
  • If an acronym is needed, include the full name upon first use, followed by the acronym in parenthesis. All subsequent instances may use the abbreviation.

Correct format:

  • The Greater Portland Transit District (METRO) offers a bus line between the University of Southern Maine (USM) Portland and Gorham campuses. Students, staff, and faculty must show their USM Campus ID cards to ride the METRO lines for free.

Incorrect format:

  • The METRO offers a bus line between the USM Portland and Gorham campuses. Students, staff, and faculty must show their USM Campus ID cards to ride the METRO lines for free.



  • Always use a reverse apostrophe to denote the graduating year of alumni
  • “Alumnus” refers to one male graduate
  • “Alumna” refers to one female graduate
  • “Alumni” refers to two or more former students
  • “Alum” refers to one non-binary graduate

Correct format:

  • Lisa Johnson ’09
  • Matt Smith ’77

Incorrect format:

  • Lisa Johnson, ‘09
  • Matt Smith, 1977



When listing multiple items in a sentence, use the Oxford (or serial) comma.

Correct format:

  • He had a textbook, a backpack, and a laptop.

Incorrect format:

  • He had a textbook, a backpack and a laptop.



The word “campus” should always be lowercase when attached to one of our three locations.

Please note: Lewiston-Auburn College is on the Lewiston campus

Correct format:

  • Join us on the Portland campus for a fun event.
  • We will meet on the Gorham campus.
  • The Lewiston campus is a 45-minute drive from the Portland campus.

Incorrect format:

  • Join us on the Portland Campus for a fun event.
  • We will meet on the Gorham Campus.
  • The Lewiston Campus is a 45-minute drive from the Portland Campus.


Colleges, schools, and departments

When referring to the formal name of a college, school, or program, use title case capital letters. Do not capitalize general areas of study.

Correct format:

  • We offer several majors in the School of Business.
  • Learn more about our School of Nursing.
  • College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
    • School of Music
  • College of Management and Human Service
    • School of Education and Human Development
    • Muskie School of Public Service
    • School of Social Work
  • College of Science, Technology, and Health
    • Lewiston-Auburn College
  • University of Maine School of Law

Incorrect format:

  • Learn more about our Nursing programs.
  • We offer several options for Business majors.
  • College of arts, humanities, and social sciences
  • School of education and human development


Hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes

Use a hyphen for clarity in forming complex compound adjectives. It connects two words that function together as a single concept or a joint modifier.

Correct format:

  • Call us toll-free at 207-780-5670.
  • We believe that academic strength begins in our low student-to-faculty ratio classrooms and flourishes through real-world learning experiences.

Incorrect format:

  • Call us toll free at (207)7805670.
  • We believe that academic strength begins in our low student to faculty ratio classrooms and flourishes through real world learning experiences.

An en dash
, roughly the width of an N, with a space on either side is used to show number ranges or time and date spans. The en dash is a stand-in for “through” or “to.”

Correct format:

  • The internship lasts 2 – 3 semesters.
  • Attend our open house, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Incorrect format:

  • The internship lasts 2-3 semesters.
  • Attend our open house, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

An em dash
, roughly the length of an M, with a space on either side is typically used as a stand-in for commas or parentheses to insert another thought — or even just a word — into a sentence. In a pinch, a double-dash is acceptable.

Correct format:

  • Our university is a welcoming community of nearly 8,000 students — representing 44 states and 22 countries — spread among three dynamic campuses.
  • Our university is a welcoming community of nearly 8,000 students -- representing 44 states and 22 countries -- spread among three dynamic campuses.

Incorrect format:

  • Our university is a welcoming community of nearly 8,000 students - representing 44 states and 22 countries - spread among three dynamic campuses.

Please note: To insert an en dash or em dash into your document, you may need to use the “insert special characters or symbols” function on your computer.



When referring to the University of Southern Maine in a sentence that doesn't require the full institution name or “USM” seems too informal, substitute “the University” and always capitalize “University.”

Print materials

To maintain consistency of the “look and feel” of print materials, they must follow brand guidelines, regardless of the scope of the project. We have several options available for developing print materials through the Office of Marketing & Brand Management.

Our Print Design Template System meets many project needs. You can create a variety of common print materials using pre-built templates while working at your own pace. These templates have all been brand-approved, making your work less complicated.

You can also obtain cost estimates and place your order through this online tool. All orders placed through this system will be reviewed and approved by the Office of Marketing and Brand Management prior to printing.

Available templates include:

  • Brochures
  • Buckslips
  • Business cards
  • Envelopes
  • Flyers
  • Letterhead
  • Notecards
  • Notepads
  • Posters
  • Postcards

If you need a printed piece not covered by our Print Design Template System, we can custom design materials for you and work with one of our vendors to get them printed and delivered.

Custom design work requires appropriate lead time, and you will be responsible for providing and proofing the final copy and photos or artwork unless otherwise noted.

Any associated design time is billable at $55/hour. This charge is strictly for design; any meeting or discussion about the project is not charged. Learn more about our Custom Print Material Request process to get started.

Digital content

Digital Content — such as website and email content — is not only viewed hundreds or even thousands of times each day, it is also easily shared.

As such, special attention should be given to every piece of digital content that is created for the University. 

Please review the information below to help ensure that all digital content — from creating and editing web pages to the proper set up of individual University email signatures — is done in a way that aligns with our brand standards.

The Content Management System

In order to effectively manage the public University website, we use a highly customized content management system (CMS). Using a CMS for website management has many benefits, but in terms of branding, it helps to ensure that every page on our website meets brand standards. It also standardizes and simplifies the user experience which can help strengthen our brand.


Content development

When developing content (such as text, images, and video) for our public website, please refer to the sections on Writing, Photos, and Videos. Be sure to use the text and image formatting options available in the CMS. Finding ways to bypass the CMS settings is against brand standards.


Third-party sites and subdomains

Please contact Andrea Tripp if you are interested in creating a third-party site or subdomain.

Standard email signature

Maintaining brand consistency extends to your email signature, which is often considered an electronic business card. In addition to your name and title, you need to include your contact information. You may also include optional text, such as a favorite quote, your preferred pronouns, Strengths Finder or MBTI profile, temporary announcements, or Box office/ticketing information.

A screenshot displaying the email signature settings in Gmail on a Chrome browser

Learn more about creating and branding your email signature.


Email marketing

If you are interested in creating and sending branded email marketing campaigns, the Office of Marketing and Brand Management has a centralized online email software that can be used to create, send, and track email campaigns.

This software is very user-friendly and preferred over other software such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. We also provide training; a branded, versatile, and mobile-friendly email template; and ongoing support.

The costs to your department are nominal:

  • One-time template cost: $65 (unless you request customizations over and above what is typically provided)
  • Email software cost: $5 per campaign + approximately $0.01 per email address in your list
    • Non-profit discount: 15% off

Please contact Andrea Tripp if you are interested in learning more.

Social media at USM is closely monitored and managed by Public Affairs. Please review the Social Media Toolkit for required branding as well as best practices, how-to guides, and our social media directory.


All University advertising is carefully crafted and purposely distributed to communicate specific messages to specific audiences at thoughtfully planned intervals. From radio and TV to online and print, the Office of Marketing & Brand Management is responsible for managing all advertising activities for the University of Southern Maine.

Any College, School, Office, or Department wishing to engage in advertising should contact the Office of Marketing and Brand Management to start. Our experienced staff can help you understand specific needs and how best to spend your time and money.

TV advertising is prohibited without involvement from the Office of Marketing & Brand Management at the start. This is to ensure we are getting the best costs, reach, and production values. This is also to ensure we do not have a clash of commercials in the marketplace.

Radio advertising is prohibited without involvement from the Office of Marketing & Brand Management at the start. This is to ensure we are getting the best costs, reach, and production values. This is also to ensure we do not have a clash of commercials in the marketplace.

Print advertising can be expensive and limited in its reach. A single ad may not be worth the money you spend, especially if it’s small. Please consult with the Office of Marketing & Brand Management if you are considering print advertising. We often can help you achieve better reach for the same budget.

Online advertising consists of many options, the most popular being:

  • Social Media
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Digital Display (static or animated)
  • Video

If you are interested in online advertising, we strongly encourage you to reach out to the Office of Marketing & Brand Management when you begin thinking about it. We can help you work through what can be a confusing landscape. We often can help you achieve better reach for the same budget.


The best practice for images used in print and digital materials is to start with the largest available version of your image. Images cannot be made larger if they start too small — they become visibly distorted, or pixelated, and the quality diminishes exponentially as you increase the image size.

Consider bedsheets; a fitted sheet for a full-size mattress will not cover a king-size mattress — no matter how hard you try, that fitted sheet will not get any larger. On the other hand, a full-size fitted sheet is more than enough fabric to cover a twin-size mattress.

For images used in print, start with the largest available version of your image — the final dimensions will be determined by the context in which the image will appear, but as long as the photo has a high resolution and is saved at 300 dpi we should be able to adapt it to our needs.

Images that have been saved for the web or downloaded from a website (aside from our Photo Library) will be compressed for digital use and it is unlikely that they will meet print resolution requirements.

For digital imagery, your original image should be at least 2000 pixels across the smallest side and, ideally, horizontally oriented. Then you can scale it down to fit your needs.

Use a tool like Pixlr or Adobe Photoshop and one of our templates for CMS images or email images (which are provided when you receive email marketing training) to scale down and crop your image to the size you need.

We provide a library of University-approved images that are available for use in both digital and print projects. These images are categorized and assigned keywords to make searching and browsing easy.

Images used to promote or represent the University should only be downloaded from our Photo Library or an approved stock photo purchase. Using images from other sources — or using images without the proper permissions — could lead to legal issues for the University.

In order to keep the University's brand and image standards consistent across platforms, we advise that Photo Library images not be edited, altered, or changed without consulting the Office of Marketing and Brand Management. Cropping images is permitted.

The Photo Library is also home to USM logo files and image templates for your CMS subsite.

Please contact Sam Lavoie if you have questions about our Photo Library or image usage.

The Office of Marketing & Brand Management conducts several photo shoots throughout the year for photos to use in our marketing efforts across print, web, email, and digital advertising.

If you are in need of photos for an event or for use promoting your programs, initiatives, departments, schools, colleges, etc., please connect with our office for freelance photographer recommendations. Photographers have different rates based on their experience as well as different fee structures, depending on the project. We are happy to guide you on what to consider when selecting a photographer.

If you intend to use photos of individuals for promotional items of your own (such as an event poster), you must have the individual(s) sign a release. This release provides the University legal permission to use a person’s image for promotional purposes.

If you happen to have success with a photographer that we have not worked with previously, please feel free to send their information to us! We benefit from having several freelancers available at any time.


The University of Southern Maine brand should appear on all videos produced by and representing the University.

If you have any questions about creating or using video, please contact Sam Lavoie.

The same basic principles that apply to taking a great photo also apply to creating a great video. The most important things to remember are:

Do not use vertical video

Turn your smartphone sideways before starting to record — your computer screen and television are formatted for widescreen, plus you will be able to get more of the action in the frame.

Zoom with your feet

Walk closer to your subject rather than letting your camera do the work for you — the resolution and the sound will both benefit.

Consider your surroundings

Be aware of objects and people in the background that may draw attention away from your subject. If there is a lawnmower running nearby or a helicopter flying overhead, this will overpower your audio.

Use a mic if you have one

Smartphones and personal video cameras all have built-in microphones, but if you have access to an external microphone your audio will be more focused on the subject you want to record and less on the surrounding sounds.

Pre- and Post-Roll

We created five-second video clips, called pre- and post-roll, that should appear at the very beginning (pre-roll, with the “classic” logo) and the very end (post-roll, with the access points logo) of each university video. We recommend a Fade To White transition between the pre-roll and the start of your video.

No other University logo is required to appear in the video when the branded pre- and post-roll is used.


Lower Third and Title Card Graphics

The graphics that appear at the bottom of a video while someone is speaking to provide more information are called lower thirds. The preferred way for this branded graphic to appear is on the right-hand side of the screen with a wipe in from right to left, and a wipe out from left to right.

The full-screen text graphics that appear at the beginning of a video, or as a segue, are called title cards. We offer a branded PSD template that can be edited and then imported into your video editing program.


View all University branded video graphics — If you need access to this Google Shared Drive, please contact us.

Only videos hosted on the official University YouTube Channel are permitted on our public website*.

Videos produced by and representing the University should not be hosted on any personal or separate YouTube channel, Vimeo account, Google Drive, Box, or other platforms unless it has been approved by the Office of Marketing and Brand Management.

All YouTube videos are captioned in compliance with accessibility policies.

*Please note: YouTube videos are the only type of video that can be embedded in the CMS for our public website.

If you’d like to host your video on our official YouTube Channel, please contact Sam Lavoie.

If you are in need of a videographer for an event, please connect with our office for freelance videographer recommendations. Videographers have different rates based on their experience as well as different fee structures, depending on the project. We are happy to guide you on what to consider when selecting a videographer.

If you intend to use videos of individuals for promotional items of your own (such as an event website), you must have the individual(s) sign a release. This release provides the University legal permission to use a person’s image for promotional purposes.

If you happen to have success with a videographer that we have not worked with previously, please feel free to send their information to us! We benefit from having several freelancers available at any time.