Branding and Trademarks : 9.01.01.00 (formerly 1.03.01.10)
Policy/Guideline AreaMarketing and Communications
Applicable DivisionsTCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
To enhance, maintain and protect the brand identity for the Tennessee Board of Regents, the System Office, Colleges, and operational units, this policy governs the use of all words, logos or symbols used to identify or distinguish services affiliated with the TBR or any part of the TBR System for any purpose. It provides that all appropriate applicable guidelines pertaining to the words, logos, symbols or other brand identifiers must be followed.
College Trademark/Brand (hereafter “Brand”) - All logos, seals, names, symbols and slogans and trade dress used by and associated with the College, whether or not registered with either or both the state and federal government.
Definitions included in the overarching Marketing and Communications Policy (9.01.00.00) apply.
- College Brands are the exclusive property of the College. No person or entity other than the College may claim rights in or seek to register any design that uses the College’s Brands.
- College Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) should maintain a brand guide outlining the proper usage of logos, seals, fonts, and other assets deemed necessary by the College when using the logo.
- The brand guide for the TCATs is maintained by the System Chief Marketing Officer (SCMO).
- Any marketing or promotional materials representing or created on behalf of the College must be clearly identified with the College’s brand and follow the Publications Policy 9.01.02.00.
- Reproduction or use of these marks for any purpose not explicitly allowed by this policy, whether or not for commercial purposes, must have authorization from the CMO.
- Only the President or CMO can grant permission to use any College Brand.
- College Brands may not be altered in any way without the authorization of the CMO.
- Each use of a College Brand, unless specifically authorized by this policy, requires approval from the College CMO.
- Colleges should document appropriate procedures for units, programs, initiatives, and outside entities, including student groups and organizations, in local policy or guidelines to request Brand usage or licenses.
- Licenses cannot be granted indefinitely. Each license must have a specified and reasonable duration.
- Approval to use a Brand for a one-time application only does not constitute approval to use the Brand again, in connection with any other item, or to change the design in any way.
- College Brands may not be used in conjunction with the name or brand(s) of any other entity without the prior written permission of the College CMO.
- In the case that permission is granted to use the College Brand and another entity’s logo in a design, the logos must be distinct and separate.
- The College’s Brands may not be used to discriminate or imply discrimination against any person or group protected by federal or state civil rights law or in any other way that would violate the College’s non-discrimination policies or practices.
- College Brands are prohibited from use on, but not limited to, the following:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Inherently dangerous products - such as firearms or explosives
- Tobacco-related products
- Illegal drug-related products
- Obscene or disparaging products
- Sexually suggestive products
- Business names and or logos
- Products that present an unacceptable risk of liability
- Products that are inconsistent with, or harmful to, to the mission of the College or designs that would tend to damage the reputation or degrade the goodwill of the College
- Businesses may use College Brands in a non-permanent fixture (i.e., window painting, removable lettering on marquees) supporting a College event.
- Such displays may not contain solicitation for selling of products or services, but the company name/logo may appear.
- Individuals or organizations may not use the College’s Brands in conjunction with a candidate for political office or policy/legislative issue.
- A registered student organization or sport club team may use the College name in its title, publications or letterhead to show its status as a registered student organization, but may not use the name in a manner that creates confusion between it as an organization and the College itself, nor in a manner that would in any way constitute an endorsement, approval or underwriting of any organization, product, activity, service or contract by the College.
- The following use of College Brands by College departments does not require prior approval from the College CMO.
- The use of Brands in the ordinary course of conducting College business.
- Internal use of the College Brands remains under the jurisdiction of the College CMO, and applicable publications and advertising policies still apply.
- TBR System Office
- All TBR operating units, programs and initiatives must clearly identify themselves as functions of the Tennessee Board of Regents. Each should include the name at a minimum and graphic identifier where possible for the Tennessee Board of Regents (seal, word mark, etc.) on printed publications, marketing materials, on web sites, on social media accounts, and other applicable communications pieces.
- The TBR System identifiers must follow the graphic identity style guide.
- Exemptions and Exceptions
- Exemptions and exceptions outlined in the overarching Marketing and Communications Policy (9.01.00.00) apply.
- Exhibit 1 - TCAT Identity Style Guidelines (pdf /3.18 MB)
- Exhibit 2 - TCC Style Guide (pdf /3.47 MB)
T.C.A. § 49-8-203
New Policy established at Board Meeting, December 5, 2013. Updated TCAT style guide, September 8, 2023; December 12, 2023, Board approved (formerly 1.03.01.10).