Logo Usage FAQs

This guide provides answers to common questions about the use of UW–Madison logos and trademarks, including the crest and Bucky Badger. Can’t find an answer to your question? Let us know.

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Where can I download UW–Madison’s primary institutional logo, the UW crest?

The crest logo — with several variations — is available for download on the UW brand site for print applications and web or digital applications.

For embroidered or specialty print applications, such as on apparel, contact University Marketing for a specialized logo file (tan gradient in crest substituted for flat Pantone color 468c) or thread-color recommendations.

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How do I request a secondary/departmental UW crest logo?

You can request and create a secondary/departmental crest logo via the UW brand site’s logo generator. University Marketing will review the request and supply logo files within three working days. You can also search for existing secondary/departmental logos via the logo generator.

All UW–Madison departments/units with an institutional mission are encouraged to use the UW crest logo, which provides instant credibility and a clear, recognizable connection to the university. Unique logos for a department/unit must be approved by University Marketing.

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May I use the UW crest logo without the “Wisconsin” wordmark?

Yes, in moderation — for example, when you are trying to use the logo at a small size that renders the wordmark unreadable. Another example would be using the standalone crest as a recurring element in a PowerPoint presentation.

In limited circumstances, with size constraints, it may also be acceptable to keep “Wisconsin” (or, for secondary logos, the department/unit name) and remove the “University of Wisconsin–Madison” line of the wordmark. For approval, contact University Marketing.

For most applications, the UW crest should be used at a minimum height of .5 inch.

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May I use the Numen Lumen seal on my materials?

No. UW–Madison’s official seal, the Numen Lumen, is reserved for use on official administrative materials, such as certificates from the chancellor’s office.

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May I use the Terrace sunburst chair logo on my materials?

Use of the Terrace logo and other Wisconsin Union marks must be approved by the Wisconsin Union marketing director.

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May I use UW–Madison’s athletics logo (the Motion W) on my materials?

The Motion W is the official logo for UW athletics and is restricted to such use. It should never appear in nonathletics materials.

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May I use Bucky Badger on my materials?

Bucky Badger, UW–Madison’s official mascot, is represented in logos that are most often used for UW athletics. Given Bucky’s long history as a spirit symbol, some nonathletic uses are allowed (for example, on materials with a student-facing or a statewide audience). If you are considering using Bucky on your materials, contact University Marketing for approval and access to logo files.

Note that the Bucky logo may only be used as a spirit symbol on materials. It should be treated as an accent design element that evokes UW–Madison awareness and pride. It may not be used as a core part of a department’s visual identity, adopted as a substitute for a departmental logo, or appear as part of another logo.

Bucky may not be altered in any way, such as adding clothing items or symbols.

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May I use a uniquely illustrated version of Bucky Badger on my materials?

In limited cases, uniquely illustrated versions of Bucky Badger or the animal badger may be acceptable. Typically, these will only be approved for nonpermanent uses, such as a special occasion or a one-time promotional item. The illustrated Bucky or badger may not be used as a department’s logo or as a core part of its visual identity.

For approval, contact University Marketing.

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May I alter the Bucky logo or other UW–Madison logos?

No. UW logos may not be altered in any way.

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May an outside organization or business use UW–Madison logos?

UW–Madison marks may not be used by non-university entities, or in connection with non-university products or services, without institutional approval. Approval for use of university logos is required regardless of whether the entity has a formal business relationship or sponsorship agreement with UW–Madison.

For use of marks on commercial products, such as apparel, approval is granted by the Office of Trademark Licensing.

For use of marks on non-commercial but external items, such as non-university websites or publications, approval is granted by University Marketing.

For more information, visit the UW’s use of marks policy.

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My department/unit is one of several UW–Madison co-sponsors for an event. How should our logos appear on event materials?

The UW brand site provides guidance for co-branding with other units on campus or with external partners. For best results, the UW crest logo should only appear once.

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Which vendors may I work with to produce promotional goods and apparel?

All promotional goods and apparel using UW–Madison logos or trademarks must be produced and purchased through a licensed vendor.

For items intended for internal use (e.g., department T-shirts), UW–Madison departments/units are strongly encouraged to work with an internal-use licensed vendor, a subset of all licensed vendors. Working with an internal-use vendor ensures that your purchase can be approved and that your department isn’t being charged for royalties on UW–Madison trademarks. If a particular product isn’t available from any internal-use licensed vendors, contact the Office of Trademark Licensing for assistance.

A purchasing contract for internal-use promotional goods and apparel is also available, allowing UW–Madison departments/units to place orders of $5,000 or more. You can work with three vendors on this contract: 4imprint, Ad Madison, and Brown & Bigelow.

Please note, we are unable to issue a license to a new vendor simply because an individual campus unit wants to work with the vendor or has already placed an order with the vendor. The university’s licensing process is strictly controlled.

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Which UW–Madison logos and names are officially trademarked?

For a full list of UW–Madison logos and names with active trademarks—including the UW crest, Motion W, and Bucky Badger—visit the Office of Trademark Licensing website. Individuals and companies that produce promotional goods and apparel using these logos or graphically represented names must comply with trademark policies, including licensing agreements and royalty payments.

Revenue from trademark licensing and royalty agreements fund need-based scholarships for UW–Madison students called Bucky Grants.

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When must the registered trademark symbol (®) accompany a UW–Madison logo?

The registered trademark symbol must appear next to UW–Madison logos (UW crest, Motion W, Bucky Badger) when they’re used on promotional goods and apparel — size permitting. Other uses, such as on a website or in a publication, do not require it.

Most licensed vendors will add the trademark symbol to the promotional item or apparel design for you. Alternatively, you may request logo files with the trademark symbol from University Marketing.

For a list of UW–Madison logos and names with active trademarks, visit the Office of Trademark Licensing website.

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May UW–Madison students use university logos on business cards or other personal materials?

University students and employees should not use official university letterhead or logos to conduct personal business. There may be limited exceptions. For approval, contact University Marketing.

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May student-athletes use UW–Madison logos/trademarks to profit off their name, image, and likeness?

Use of UW–Madison trademarks by student-athletes is covered in the 2021 Temporary Name, Image, and Likeness Policy:

“Student-athletes will only be allowed to use University trademarks, logos, symbols, phrases, slogans, or any other University intellectual property to further the student-athlete’s opportunities to earn compensation for use of her or his name, image, and/or likeness, if those rights have been secured through existing channels and in connection with a valid agreement granting those specified rights. Licensing agreements pertaining to retail products may be sourced through the University’s Office of Trademark Licensing, to the extent the desired rights are available, and are appropriate in the judgment of that Office.”

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I noticed an outside organization or business using a UW–Madison logo (or an altered version of it). What should I do?

You may notify the Office of Trademark Licensing. UW–Madison takes the protection of its trademarks seriously to maintain the university’s reputation. The university works with independent licensing agencies and lawyers to ensure legal compliance with its trademarks.

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May student organizations use UW–Madison naming conventions and logos?

Registered student organizations may not use any form of UW–Madison (UW, UW–Madison, University of Wisconsin–Madison, etc.) at the start of their names. The UW–Madison affiliation should be listed at the end of the organization name, following a comma or parenthesis. For example: Checkers Club, UW or Checkers Club (UW–Madison). All references to the organization should adhere to this guideline.

Student organizations must follow standard brand guidelines and trademark policies related to UW–Madison logos, including royalty payments on items intended for resale. For detailed guidelines, visit the Center for Leadership & Involvement website.

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