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Branding Guidelines

As a community of creative makers we are continually producing materials connected with our activities, programs, exhibitions, classes, and presentations. Stamps benefits from the diversity of graphic communication styles that target its many audiences. But without unifying visual guidelines, the materials we produce can appear disconnected, making us less recognizable as a school and confusing our audiences about who we are and what we do.

We have a common interest in reinforcing our reputation for institutional excellence and increasing our visibility as a school. In order to this, we must be disciplined about our visual identity.

The following materials present not just a visual mark to unify our activities but a means for collectively communicating who we are to all our audiences —internal and external. At the same time, these guidelines allow considerable discretion in expressing the unique qualities of Stamps and its various creative activities.

This document, prepared by the Stamps communications team, provides guidelines for using the key graphic elements of the Stamps visual identity: the Stamps logo and wordmark, the Stamps typeface, and Stamps colors.

It focuses on print publications, with general guidelines for the web, and provides resources and downloads to ensure consistent usage. It also provides guidelines for use of the Stamps School name in text.

Together, these materials provide a foundation for organizational visual identity—along with a strong connection to the University of Michigan—without constraining the range of graphic possibilities.

DIY Grad Cap Template

Download this DIY commencement cap pattern, then customize your mortarboard and share a photo of you in your creation on your Instagram or Facebook page using #stampsgrad anytime between April 20–May 3, 2020. When you post using the hashtag, we'll pull your post into the Commencement Celebration portion of the website.

Documentation Workshop

This presentation covers some of the basics of documenting your work at home, as well as some resources to take advantage of at the Art & Architecture building

Email Signatures

Use the following instructions to create/edit your signature in GMail.

  1. Open GMail: http://email.umich.edu.
  2. Click the gear icon ( in the upper right, then select Settings.
  3. Enter your new signature text in the box at the bottom of the page next to the Signature option. Use the Rich Formatting buttons above the box to format your text, if desired. Recommended formatting is as follows:

    Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design
    University of Michigan

  4. To add an image of our new logo, place your cursor after your signature text, then click the Insert Image Rich Formatting button.
  5. In the next window’s Image URL field, copy and paste the following URL: https://stamps.umich.edu/images/uploads/stamps/Stamps_email_logo_2013.png
  6. Click Save Changes.

If you're editing your signature and only have an option to create a plain text signature, this is due to your current compose message settings. Click Compose to create a new message, then click the Rich Formatting option in the message. Once this change is made, you'll be able to create a rich text signature.

Event Promotion Social Media Tips

As you contemplate using your personal social media account(s) to promote your event, consider these tips.

Event Promotion Timetables

While every event varies, please see the files below for general (4+ months in advance) and rush (5-6 weeks in advance) timetables that can be used for basic promotion of high-level events. 

General Waiver and Permission Release

The general waiver permits the University of Michigan to create materials to capture, record, otherwise document you or your works of authorship in programs and activities at the U-M Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.


The Stamps logo is designed to support a visual identity that aligns with the overall University of Michigan brand while marking us as bold, confident, and creative. Please follow these guidelines to ensure that the logo retains its impact as the official mark of the School.

The Stamps logo can only be used in non-Stamps publications or event displays with the approval of the Stamps School Director of Communications.  

Please see our Branding Guidelines document for full information on using our logo, including pallettes, guidelines, different use cases, and what is - and is not - allowed. 

Contact the Communications team with any additional questions.

MDes Faculty Communications Toolkit

This toolkit includes tools for Stamps faculty to use in communicating about the MDes program at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. 

Style Guide

The Stamps School of Art & Design utilizes the Chicago Manual of Style for editorial consistency. Please download the full Stamps Style Guide below for detailed guidelines on style, usage, and grammar when referring to the school, programs, faculty/staff titles and positions, committees, studios, curriculum components, and exhibitions.

Templates: Letterhead / Documents

Templates are provided to streamline the workflow of faculty, staff, and students of the Stamps School, as well as to create consistency in all materials representing the Stamps School. Please contact the Communications team if you have specific needs not addressed here.

Follow these instructions to save and install .dotx files as templates in Microsoft Word.

  1. Download the appropriate Word template below:
    Stamps School Letterhead - General Use (Word): This is a general Stamps School letterhead appropriate for color printing and digital distribution.
    Stamps Temporary Signage (Word): This document can be used to make temporary signs for posting information about scheduling of classrooms, class cancellations, etc.
  2. Double-click the resulting .dotx file to open it in Word.
  3. To save the file as a reusable template, after it opens in Word choose File > Save As... The file should be saved to your "My Templates" folder by default. Click the "Save" button to save the template, then close the template. You'll need to open each .dotx file that you downloaded in step 1, then repeat this step for each template file.
  4. To create a new file based on a template you installed, choose File > New from Template.... Click My Templates in the resulting window’s left column, select the template you'd like to use, and click the "Choose" button.
  5. Word should create a new document based on the template you selected. Start editing to create your customized document.

Note: if you don't want to use the file as a template, you don't have to - you can just open the .dotx file in Microsoft Word or Pages, edit and print or save.

Templates: Posters / Flyers

Visit the Google Drive linked below to download InDesign versions of poster/flyer templates that can be used for event promotion. 

Templates: Powerpoint / Slides

Visit the Google Drive linked below to download Powerpoint templates that can be used as a starting point for new presentations.

U-M Digital Wearables

Download Commencement filters below, as well as a set of U-M digital "wearables" - Michigan hats, scarves, bandanas, and more - to add to your photos. 

Zoom Backgrounds and Resources

Visit the Google Drive linked below to download logos and backgrounds to use in Zoom.