Visual Identity Standards
Mississippi State developed a comprehensive visual identity program for the first time in 1992 with the introduction of its first-ever wordmark and specifications for how graphic symbols, including the university seal, should appropriately be used. Those standards did not incorporate athletic symbols.
In 2008, under the leadership of then-president Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong, the trademarks and licensing committee, working with University Relations and a campus committee, was charged with revisiting the guidelines with the goals of:
- bringing all university symbols under a uniform umbrella that would brand Mississippi State;
- modernizing the university wordmark to give it a more corporate look;
- modernizing and standardizing spirit symbols such as the bulldog and M-State.
Why have standard symbols?
In addition to providing recognizable symbols that create brand consistency for the university, all registered MSU symbols generate licensing revenue for Mississippi State. Popular, appealing and unique MSU symbols bring great returns to the university in terms of institutional visibility and funds that support university scholarships and programs.
To accomplish its goals, the committee worked with the university's licensing group, LRG of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Joe Bosack Design Co. of Pottsville, Pa., a firm specializing in brand identity development. Symbols generated by the Joe Bosack Design Group were approved in October, 2008 by then-Interim President Vance H. Watson.
In order to protect the marks/logos of the university, the marks must be clearly identified each time they are used in any situation—printed material, websites, commercial goods, etc. Therefore, each mark must be identified as a registered mark of the university either by adding TM or ® after the mark. The seal of the university is a federally registered mark and must be identified as such with the ®. All of the new marks being introduced will carry the TM identifier until the federal registrations are finalized.
When will the symbols be used?
New symbols began being introduced in November 2008 so that retailers would have adequate lead time to order merchandise reflecting updated MSU marks. University units may begin using the marks simultaneously, replacing the 1992 version as they order new supplies of letterhead, design new publications, or have other official uses for the institutional symbols. Please use existing supplies before re-ordering with the new graphics.
If, after reviewing the information here, you have questions about appropriate use of the symbols, please call University Relations at 662-325-3442.
Trademark and Licensing Committee/Logo Committee (2008)
Maridith Geuder, chair, Director of University Relations
Libba Andrews, Associate Director, Alumni Association
Dr. Angi Bourgeois, Assistant Professor, Art Department
Braxton Coombs, President, MSU Student Association
Charlie Guest, MSU General Counsel
Dr. Lisa Harris, Associate Vice President, Student Affairs
Sharon Hewlett, MSU Licensing Manager
Cathy Lammons, Director, Shared Advancement Services, MSU Foundation
Melissa Mixon, Interim Vice President, Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine
Mike Nemeth , Associate Athletic Director
Dr. Melvin Ray, Associate Vice President for Research
Heather Rowe, Publications Coordinator, Bagley College of Engineering