Visual Identity Manual
Presenting a strong visual identity is a critical part of the Fitchburg State Athletic Department’s efforts to promote the University, recruit students, and display a high level of excellence. The Athletic Department is a public face of the institution and needs an identifiable “brand” that complements and enhances Fitchburg State University’s successful reputation.
A brand must tell everyone who you are or who you want to be. It must be easily identifiable and must be sharp, modern and flexible in order to work in a variety of applications, including apparel, broadcast, web, print and promotional materials. Most importantly, it must be professional and recognizable.
Our identity is an important communications tool and must be employed with care and consideration. Like any successful organization, we need to communicate our excellence with a unified identity, which strengthens our brand. This guide creates a framework whereby all athletes, coaches, faculty/staff, fans, and supporters can present Fitchburg State in a unified look. We hope you will find these guidelines to be useful and that you employ them in ways that suit your specific needs.
About Our Visual Identity
As Fitchburg State University continues to strive for excellence in and out of the classroom, it is imperative that the entire athletic department communicate with a clear, consistent public identity. The new athletic logos will provide the athletic department with the opportunity to bring uniform colors back to one standard and give the University a consistent look across all athletic teams. This consistent look will also ignite a new interest in the retail sale of clothing and merchandise to fans, alumni and students.
The new logos are flexible and give each coach choices as to how to use the logos without changing the overall feel and look of the University. The logos come in both color and black and white versions and will be used on all material to convey a consistent message from Fitchburg State University.
Protecting Our Visual Identity
Because visual identity plays an important role in shaping the image of the Fitchburg State athletic department, all members of the department and the campus community should strive to protect that identity in their internal usage of the official athletic logos and when working with external vendors to reproduce logos on apparel, gear, etc.
The graphic elements contained in this guide are not to be altered in any manner and are reserved for use by Fitchburg State University athletics only. The Director of Athletics or Associate Director of Athletics must approve any exceptions.
- Individuals may not order any merchandise (clothing, stationery, etc.) that do not conform to these guidelines, including all items purchased/produced in-house or by third-party vendors.
- Apparel-related items may require additional guidelines. Please contact the Director of Athletics or Associate Director of Athletics.
- All designs must be initiated through the Department of Athletics and approved by the Director or Associate Director of Athletics.
- When printing the names of individual teams and programs, a University approved font type must be used.
- Each of the images shown in this guide must appear in a horizontal and square position. No other format is acceptable.
- Use of any previous images, letterhead, and other athletic design elements must be discontinued as new items are ordered.
- In accordance with all graphic standards and uniform guidelines, images shown are only a sampling of how the logos will be personalized to fit each athletic program.
Official Fitchburg State Logos
The primary Fitchburg State Falcons athletic logo incorporates three essential elements: 1) The Falcon; 2) a stylized treatment of the words Fitchburg State and Falcons; and 3) a stylized treatment of the “F.” For the vast majority of applications, the Primary Logo should be used. The primary logo can be used standalone or be combined with the secondary marks listed below.
All word marks are fully acceptable to be used as a substitute to the Primary Logo. All word marks can be used standalone or be combined with the secondary marks listed below.
Live Text Logos
Live Text logos are available at the discretion of the Director or Associate Director of Athletics. Live Text logos allow the capability of writing a specific team’s name or group name in the yellow banner underlining the logo.
These elements were all designed to be mixed and matched according to each sport’s needs, while keeping with the specifications presented in the Visual Identity Guide. The primary logo and word marks may be used standalone, while the secondary marks must be used in combination with either the primary athletic logo, word mark or the words “Fitchburg State”. Any other exceptions should be approved by the Director or Associate Director of Athletics.
Three-Year Branding Process
The athletic department has approved a three-year branding process for all of its logos, starting beginning in the Fall of 2011. The branding process provides ample time for Fitchburg State athletic logo to reach its local, regional and national markets, while establishing the relationship between all eight logos and the Univeristy. The Process is as follows:
- Year 1 (2011-2012 Season) - Primary marks and word marks can be used standalone. Secondary marks can only be used in conjunction with either a primary mark or word mark.
- Year 2 (2012-2013 Season) - Primary marks and word marks can be used standalone. Secondary marks can only be used in conjunction with either a primary mark, word mark or the words “Fitchburg State”.
- Year 3 (2013-2014 Season) - Primary marks, word marks and secondary marks can ALL be used standalone.
The official colors of Fitchburg State University Athletics are Green (Pantone Matching System PMS 343C), Gold (PMS 123C) and White. All of the Fitchburg State visual identity marks must appear in their entirety in these colors.
Though the primary logos should be used most of the time, there are situations when a custom version of Fitchburg State’s athletic logos is appropriate for a specific sport or application. Usage of custom logo treatments must be approved by the Director or Associate Director of Athletics, who can help you select the custom logo that will work best for each specific application.
Incorrect Logo Usages
- The logo should never be reproduced from a website or previously printed item.
- The logo cannot be redrawn, re-set, re-proportioned or distorted.
- The logo should never be printed within a border or other type of artwork.
- To ensure legibility, the logo is best used on a solid background. Do not use on a heavily textured design.
- The primary logo, secondary logos or word marks should never be reversed or flipped horizontally/vertically.
- The logo should not be reproduced at an angle other than horizontal.
- No pre-existing artwork may be used on any Fitchburg State athletics material. All new artwork described in this manual must be used.
- The Primary Logo or Word Marks cannot be reproduced with anything other than:
- The text "Falcons"
- The individual sport team either in the banner or directly below the banner.
- Booster Club
Fitchburg State has paired with Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA), an Indianapolis-based collegiate licensing company to ensure protective rights of its logos. Through SMA, Fitchburg State allows manufacturers to acquire non-exclusive and exclusive, royalty bearing licenses to produce, market, and sell goods bearing the University logo.
All manufacturers wishing to use Fitchburg State’s athletic marks on its products must be properly licensed to do so. SMA is Fitchburg State’s authorized agent for trademark licensing purposes and is authorized to license manufacturers meeting Fitchburg State’s qualifications. Fitchburg State will not issue licenses directly. For all license inquiries, vendors should contact Jared Harding at email@example.com or Brian Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once approved, vendors will have direct access to all Fitchburg State logos, marks and seals. Vendors will submit artwork through the Approvals On Demand (AOD) system and artwork will be approved by the Associate Director of Athletics.
Fitchburg State’s athletic marks are currently registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This means:
- Neither the University marks nor athletic marks may be used to identify entities other than Fitchburg State University.
- The University’s right to generate revenue by the commercial use of its mark is protected.
- The University marks cannot be altered or used inappropriately without jeopardizing legal protective status.
- Marks, when used on apparel, should be displayed with the “TM” symbol, indicating trademark status.
In order to gain approval for production, each vendor must be licensed by SMA. Once licensed, vendors will have access to all the University logos, seals and athletic marks through the Approval on Demand system. With this system, vendors will submit artwork to be approved by the Associate Director of Athletics. Once artwork is submitted and approved, production may begin.
The approval process is not intended to slow down the production of a job. It is established to ensure proper use of all athletic logos. All artwork will be reviewed within 1-2 days of vendor submission and will be immediately ready for production once approved.
To protect the trademarks of the University, all items bearing the Fitchburg State name or logo must be officially licensed and approved.
Fitchburg State strongly encourages that ordering items (apparel, accessories, etc…) be done through the Department of Athletics by contacting the Associate Director of Athletics or the Operations Manager. This department must approve all merchandise bearing the name and/or symbols of the University prior to manufacturing or distribution.
Note to Vendors
The visual identity marks displayed in the guide are trademarks of Fitchburg State University. All standards and restrictions outlined in this manual apply to the production of all merchandise. Design alterations or substitutions are strictly prohibited without the written consent of the Director or Associate Director of Athletics.
*The Fitchburg State athletic department reserves the right to reject delivery of, and payment for, materials containing unauthorized or incorrect usage of the Fitchburg State University visual identity marks, including the University logo, seal and athletic logos.*
How To Obtain Visual Identity Marks
Fitchburg State University’s athletic marks are available by requesting files through the Department of Athletics or the Associate Director of Athletics/Sports Information Director.
Fitchburg State University
160 Pearl St.
Fitchburg, MA 01420