Registered Student Organizations — Use of Name, Brand and Logos

A Registered Student Organization (“RSO”) may seek permission to use the University’s name, brand, and/or logos per University Rule 40-03-01. Those RSOs who have submitted the appropriate forms through the Center for Student Involvement to use the University’s name, brand, and/or logos must follow these branding guidelines and complete all required processes and forms. Failure to follow the branding guidelines may result in a referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Use of University Name

“University name” means a word, short phrase, or letters identifying the University, including terms containing the words “Bearcats,” “UC,” “University of Cincinnati” and/or “Cincinnati Bearcats.”

When using the University’s name in conjunction with an RSO’s name, the RSO must do the following:

  • Include the word “student,” “students,” “club,” or “at the University of Cincinnati”

Examples: College Artists at the University of Cincinnati; Bearcats Students for Books; UC Knitting Club

  • Use the full RSO name — acronyms and other abbreviations are not permitted unless specifically approved by the Center for Student Involvement

Use of University Brand when Creating a Logo

RSOs are permitted to create their own logo in conjunction with the University’s brand. This is a benefit specific to RSOs. “University brand” is defined as the University’s name, trademarks, service marks, trade names, logos, seals, symbols, mascots, images, and slogans associated with or referring to the University of Cincinnati.

RSOs must follow the Brandling Guidelines and the Office of Trademarks & Licensing policies when designing their own logo using the University’s brand.

If an RSO’s logo incorporates the University’s brand and it would like to use its logo on products (e.g., apparel, drinkware, stationary, writing utensils, etc.), the RSO must first seek permission from the Office of Trademarks & Licensing. Click here to submit a request.

The following are dos and don’ts for creating your own logo:


  • Adhere to University’s branding guidelines.
  • Keep proper safe space around all University’s logos.
  • Use the appropriate trademark symbol designation (® or ™) next to the University’s marks (includes stylized logos and word marks).
  • Develop an original design.
  • Observe any rules and standards set by another organization when using their symbols, imagery, and styles.
  • Use only the official logo for your student organization.
  • If you are using the University's brand in conjunction with a third party's brand, you must receive permission in writing from both the University and the third party prior to use. See the Endorsement Policy for more details.
  • When appropriate, an RSO may be granted the right to use a University athletic logo.  When using an athletic logo, the RSO name must appear next to the logo.
  • Contact the Office of Marketing + Communications or Trademarks + Licensing if you have any questions about artwork design.


  • Do not combine University logos with University athletic logos.
Graphic showing the incorrect use of a University of Cincinnati logo used alongside the University of Cincinnati Athletics logo
  • Do not copy University unit lockups.
  • Do not merge multiple University logos or marks.
  • Do not replicate or appropriate the artwork or intellectual property of others without permission or proper authorization.
  • Do not use the University’s brand on products to indicate the University’s approval or disapproval, endorsement, or sponsorship of any political issue, social issue, or any other publications, activities, statements, purposes, actions, or positions supported by the RSO.
  • Do not use the University’s brand to promote products that could be used to injure or kill; alcohol products; tobacco-related products; illegal drug-related products; or sexually suggestive products or language. 
  • Do not alter or modify the University brand in any way.
  • Do not replace a letter or letters in a word with one of the University's logos.
Graphic showing the incorrect use of a University of Cincinnati logo replacing letters or words in a graphic
  • Do not use a flag in the design. See the Flag Policy for more details.
  • Do not claim copyright or trademark any design that utilizes the University's brand, because all rights belong to the University.
  • Do not use the name, numbers, images and/or likeness of a University of Cincinnati student athlete in the design.

Helpful Hints

  • Generate your logo as object or vector artwork.
  • Create a logo along with variations appropriate to use (background color, format of placement space, type of collateral, etc.).
  • Ensure your logo is clear and legible at its minimum size. Be considerate of contrast, and of how your logo will appear in only black and white.


RSOs who use the University name or logos for activities, materials, publications, websites, or other social media must include a disclaimer. The disclaimer must state the following:

“[Enter RSO name] is registered at the University of Cincinnati. Registration shall not be construed as the University of Cincinnati’s approval, disapproval, endorsement, or sponsorship of the student organization’s publications, activities, statements, purposes, actions, or positions.”

The disclaimer must be readable with appropriate contrast. The font must be Arial or Times New Roman, and cannot be condensed or distorted, or light or thin variants.