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. 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.
In 2013, the Visual Identity Standards were revised to incorporate suggestions made by various focus groups across campus, including consistency of web pages, use of secondary logos, email signature requirements, and additional logos developed since 2008.
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 Company were approved in October, 2008 by then-Interim President Vance H. Watson.
In order to protect the symbols which may be referred to as marks, logos, or verbiage, the symbols must be clearly identified each time they are used in any situation—printed material, websites, commercial goods, etc. Therefore, each mark must be identified by adding TM or ®.