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University of Hawai‘i Graphics Standards

Posted May 2007


Email EAUR if you have problems or questions.

Thousands of people see materials representing the University of Hawai‘i and its campuses each day—correspondence, publications, websites, exhibits, merchandise, etc. Together, these representations build an identity that symbolizes who we are and what we do.

This graphics standards manual identifies the seal and signature of the university and governs its use on university stationery and business cards. It provides guidelines for proper UH identification on other publication materials and licensing rules governing the use of the university’s name and seal on products. This guide also covers appropriate use of affiliated identity marks.


The University of Hawai‘i seal

The University of Hawai‘i signature

Design applications

Alternate and secondary marks

Licensing and registration

EEO/AA, accessibility and other requirements

Why have a graphics standards manual?

A cohesive signature program reinforces the university’s stature locally, nationally and internationally. Correct and consistent use of the signature by all university units builds market equity for all parts of the university. Moreover, it authenticates and distinguishes the user. Inconsistent and/or poorly executed visual representations create confusion for the public, diminish the institution’s integrity and can actually dilute the university’s ability to legally protect its identity.

Consider this analogy provided by Educational Marketing Group Vice President Prescott Coleman: Which has more reach—thirty 1,000-watt radio stations or one 30,000-watt radio station?

This graphics standards manual identifies the seal and signature of the university and governs its use on university stationery and business cards. It provides guidelines for proper UH identification on other publication materials and licensing rules governing the use of the university’s name and seal on products. This guide also covers appropriate use of affiliated identity marks.


What is the authority for this manual?

The updated version of the UH seal with accompanying typographic signature were developed in 2006. The seal and accompanying graphics standards were reviewed by the Council of Chancellors and instituted by UH President David McClain, following consultation with Board of Regents Chair Kitty Lagaretta, effective May 15, 2007.

To whom do the standards apply?

All UH campuses, colleges, schools, departments, programs, offices, etc.

Are there exceptions to the rules?

Yes, but they are very limited. (See section on alternate marks.) As a general rule, all academic units and department-related research units must use the seal and/or respective system or campus signature for official correspondence and within external publications.


How do graphic standards relate to marketing?

The visual representation of an institution, through nameplates and publications, conveys that institution’s promise of value to its audience. Built on the institution’s values and strengths, the brand promise is the expression of what differentiates the institution from others.

What is the UH brand promise?

Adopted in 2002 after extensive consultation throughout the UH system, the UH brand promise is this: We provide a balance of educational excellence and real world experience in a unique environment that is Hawai‘i.


What is the origin of UH’s seal?

The University of Hawai‘i seal was adopted by the Board of Regents on April 7, 1921 and amended March 29, 1946. It contains a torch and book titled Malamalama—usually translated "light of knowledge," also meaning clarity of thinking and enlightenment. The date the institution was established, 1907, appears below the torch. The state motto, "Ua mau ke ea o ka‘aina I ka pono," is inscribed on the bottom rim. Assigned by King Kamehameha III on the restoration of the monarchy by Great Britain in 1843 and adopted by the Territorial Legislature in 1959, it translates as "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness" and reflects the Hawaiians’ reverence for the ‘aina, or land, from which first kalo (taro) and then the first human sprang.

In a March 6, 2000 directive, President Kenneth Mortimer established campus variations of the UH seal for all official UH stationery and business cards.

The 2006 update was developed to modernize the seal in a manner that reflects its history, spirit and global perspective while providing a readable version for modern print, electronic and product applications. It returns to a single UH version of the seal paired with campus-unique colors and signatures.


Why use the seal?

It is one of the University of Hawai‘i’s strongest emblems. It lends authority and authenticity to any communication where it appears.

Can the official seal still be used?

The 1946 version is reserved for very formal applications only (e.g., diplomas). Consult External Affairs and University Relations on proposed use.

When should the updated seal be used?

The 2006 seal should be included on any UH System or campus communication that reflects the university’s mission or administration, including printed materials, presentations, websites, merchandise items and signage.


How should the seal be used?

The seal may be used alone or in conjunction with the signature (see next section). If used alone, the seal can be

  • used in black or the respective system/campus color. (If another color is used for design reasons, avoid colors associated with other campuses.)
  • screened as a background element.
  • reversed.

But never, ever

  • stretch or distort the dimensions.
  • alter elements within the seal.
  • use smaller than 5/8 inch on publications or 1/4 inch on merchandise.
  • enlarge to a size that compromises graphic integrity. (Contact External Affairs and University Relations for assistance.)

What is the signature?

The signature is a graphic element comprised of two elements—a nameplate (typographic rendition) of the university/campus name and an underscore accompanied by the UH seal. Both vertical and horizontal formats of the signature are provided. The signature may also be used without the seal on communications where the seal cannot be clearly reproduced, space is limited or there is another compelling reason to omit the seal.

View the signatures for


How is color incorporated?

When using the University of Hawai‘i signature system, only the underscore and seal in its entirety should be used in the specified two-color scheme. When using the signature alone, only the underscore should appear in its specified color.

Are there other restrictions in using the signature?

Yes. Do not

  • alter the signature artwork, colors or font.
  • alter the placement or proportion of the seal respective to the nameplate.
  • stretch, distort or rotate the signature.
  • box or frame the signature or use over a complex background.
  • screen the signature or run type over it.
  • introduce drop shadows or other filters.

The seal may be centered below or above the nameplate or to the left of the nameplate. The "safe zone" indicates the appropriate amount of space between the two elements. This space reflects the "rim," the area from the outer edge of the seal to the edge of the globe. Consult External Affairs and University Relations—Creative Services with questions or requests for exceptions.


Which signature do I use?

The UH System signature is used for system administration offices and systemwide programs. Campus-based or administered schools, departments and programs should use the signature of the home campus. University of Hawai‘i Centers should use the signature of the administering campus. Consult External Affairs and University Relations for guidance.

The University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges signature is provided for collective marketing and recruitment materials only. The Office of the Vice President for Community Colleges and reporting units use the UH System signature for business cards and stationery.


What is the official business card and stationery design?

The UH stationery system and business card design incorporates the department, program or office information with the respective system or campus signature, and only the official design can be produced at university expense. Individual use of the university name, seal or signature on stationery or business cards is prohibited unless authorized and designed according to the university’s procurement procedures.

What are the procedures for ordering?

Procedures for ordering stationery and business cards are contained in the Office of Procurement and Real Property Management circular. Information is available at the EAUR webpage on stationery and business cards.


Can I use color?

Stationery and business cards can be produced in black or two-color (black plus the designated campus or system color). Units are not restricted to campus signature colors, but are encouraged to adopt them as appropriate. Official campus spot colors and Pantone® recommended HTML equivalent follow:

  • UH Manoa - PMS 3435 - HTML 024731
  • UH Hilo - PMS 485 - HTML DA291C
  • UH West O‘ahu - PMS 187 - HTML A71930
  • Hawai‘i CC - PMS 221 - HTML 91004B
  • Honolulu CC - PMS 322 - HTML 00747A
  • Kapi‘olani CC - PMS Reflex Blue - HTML 002395
  • Kaua‘i CC - PMS 2665 - HTML 716FB3
  • Leeward CC - PMS 2727 - HTML 3D7EDB
  • Maui College - PMS 3025 - HTML 005172
  • Windward CC - PMS 376 - HTML 7AB800
  • System - PMS 872 - HTML B3995D

Does the signature have to appear on other materials?

All publications, websites, presentations, etc. representing a University of Hawai‘i school, department, program or office must indicate that the unit is part of the university. This can be done with the seal and/or signature or a tag line (e.g., "A program of the University of Hawai‘i" or "Provided as a public service by the University of Hawai‘i.") Placement can be subtle and secondary provided the viewer does not have to search to find the information. Consult External Affairs and University Relations for advice.

Are certain type fonts required?

No, but Optima and Zapf Humanist fonts are recommended to designers because they work well with the nameplate type in printed communication materials. Their use provides continuity to university publications.


What about use on the Web?

Websites must identify programs as part of the UH System and/or its campuses. The seal and/or signature can be used. The marks should be used at a resolution that downloads quickly without compromising graphic integrity. Contact External Affairs and University Relations for assistance.


When are alternate marks allowed?

Requests to use alternate signatures or logos must be made in writing and transmitted via the respective chancellor or vice president to the associate vice president for external affairs and university relations. The request must state the exceptional circumstances that warrant deviation from the university signature system. The following criteria will be considered:

  1. Does the entity constitute an independent public attraction and/or and commercial operation that has established historical equity in its insignia? This exception does not apply to units whose primary purpose is delivery of credit or non-credit training.
  2. Is the entity a non–degree-granting, independent research unit that has historical equity in and widespread recognition of its identity mark?
  3. Is the unit named for a major benefactor whose gift stipulates provisions for an identity program?
  4. Is the unit a major programmatic entity administered jointly with another institution or agency? This exception does not apply to centers established to pursue specific investigations nor those funded, but not jointly operated by extramural agencies.
  5. Is the entity a campus NCAA athletic program?

NOTE: Although excepted from using the official signature, these units must identify themselves as part of the University of Hawai‘i on all printed and electronic materials. Units not specifically identified here as exceptions must request permission from the associate vice president for external affairs and university relations before establishing a joint or alternate identity mark and must submit the mark for review before using it.


Are there other exceptions?

Independent but UH-affiliated organizations develop their own signatures (e.g., UH Foundation, UH Alumni Association, Research Corporation of the University of Hawai‘i).

What about secondary identity marks?

Individual unit logos are not allowed. Although the drive to "have our own identity" is pervasive, proliferation of such marks dilutes the university’s integrity and creates confusion on the part of the public.

This doesn’t mean everything has to look alike. Schools, colleges, departments and programs may develop design themes and elements, including use of color and graphic images, to provide continuity to their print and electronic communication. External Affairs and University Relations can assist units in developing and implementing appropriate design elements in conjunction with the official seal and/or signature.


What alternate and affiliated identity marks are permitted?

Use of the following marks is governed by the respective units or agencies and should be used only in relation to, and with the permission of, those entities. (E.g., the athletics mark is not appropriate on materials related to academic programs.) All alternate marks are subject to licensing regulations.

  • Quasi-commercial operations: ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center | Lyon Arboretum | UH Press | Rain*Bow*Tique | Waikiki Aquarium
  • Independent research organizations: University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center | Institute for Astronomy
  • Benefactor directed: Shidler College of Business
  • Jointly administered programs: Hawai‘i State Center for Nursing | International Pacific Research Center | Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research
  • NCAA athletics programs: UH Hilo Athletics | UH Manoa Athletics
  • Related but independent organizations: Research Corporation of UH | UH Foundation | UH Alumni Association

What is the ® in the UH signature?

The mark indicates that the University of Hawai‘i name and affiliated names, marks and designs are registered trademarks. Increasingly, universities across the country are registering their trademarks and applying the ® to all uses of their names, in publications as well as on commercial products.

Why have a licensing program?

The licensing program regulates and protects the commercial use of the university’s name and identifying marks locally, nationally and internationally. It stimulates public awareness of the university’s identity and ensures that products bearing university marks are of high quality and reflect positively on the institution.


What qualifies as a University of Hawai‘i trademark?

Any name, mark, logo, insignia, seal, design, word, letters or symbols that have come to be associated with the university, even those that don’t specifically include the words "University of Hawai‘i," are subject to licensing. Commercial use is restricted to official licensees. Examples include University of Hawai‘i; UH; campus, college and school names and abbreviations; athletic department symbols, names and nicknames; buildings and building names; any other symbols, designs, artwork, words or groups of words that have come to be associated with the university or its campuses.

When must the trademark symbol be used?

The ® must be used with the university signature or tagline on communication, recruiting, informational and promotional publications. Products or merchandise must carry the trademark symbol and be produced by licensed vendors, whether for internal use (e.g., department t-shirts) or for sale.

Why use licensed vendors?

Licensed vendors pay for the right to reproduce items bearing the university names and marks. They have made a commitment to abide by university standards and pay royalties that support university scholarships. Unauthorized use of the university indicia may be judged an infringement of trademark ownership, for which the unauthorized user may be required to pay damages to the trademark owner.

For a list of licensed vendors and more information about the licensing program, see the licensing webpage.


Is the EEO/AA statement required?

Publications, websites, advertisements and other materials should carry an abbreviated statement that the University of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Catalogs and similar documents should carry the full EEO/AA policy statement. See discussion in the University of Hawai‘i Style Guide.

Are there additional considerations?

Publications should carry a statement indicating they are available in alternate form for people with print disabilities. Consult with the KOKUA office at Manoa or the EEO representative at other campuses on how this can be accommodated if requested. Invitations and event notices should provide a contact number for individuals with disability access concerns.

What about Hawaiian diacriticals?

The University of Hawai‘i strongly encourages the correct use of the ‘okina and kahako in Hawaiian words. See the discussion of Hawaiian language in the University of Hawai‘i Style Guide.