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The UMBC Logo

The UMBC logo is an important tool for conveying the University’s image. It should appear often and on a complete range of communications, such as brochures, stationery, advertisements, websites, apparel, and signage. It is through frequent repetition that the logo gains power and is of greatest value to the university.

Logo Variations | Sizing the Logo | Incorrect Use

The Elements of the Logo

UMBC Primary Logo

The UMBC logo combines two elements: a Maryland flag-inspired shield and the university acronym.

The four-letter acronym, UMBC, is how we want to be known. Our full name—University of Maryland, Baltimore County—will also appear on brochures and stationery, when there is a need to be explicit about the name of the institution. When the full name appears it should be visually subordinate to the acronym. Generally, the full name should be typeset smaller than the acronym, in whatever font is being used for the body of the text. The letterhead is a good example of the proper relationship between the wordmark and the full name of the institution.

As a member of the prestigious University System of Maryland, UMBC has more than proven itself: in just 50 years, we have “arrived.” The shield icon reflects this juxtaposition of old and new, acknowledging our connection to Maryland in the academic shield, which draws elements of the state flag into a streamlined, contemporary design.

The acronym uses a customized version of the typeface Trajan. This is a font based on the model of ancient Roman incised letters. The design derives its energy from the tension between the classical feeling of the large letters and the contemporary feeling of the icon. This tension reflects the dynamism of UMBC itself—at once measuring itself against the timeless standards of the earliest universities while striving to make a difference in the contemporary world.

When to Use the Logo

The basic rule for whether the logo needs to appear on a publication is whether it is intended for audiences beyond the immediate campus boundaries. A flyer posted by a student group on a bulletin board may not need to include the logo. A brochure sent to prospective students, or an advertisement placed in a newspaper does.

Generally, the logo should be placed on the outside front -AND- back of all brochures. It should be prominently placed and unobscured so that it can be quickly seen at a glance.

The strength of the UMBC identity system comes through frequent repetition of the same image. Alterations of the image detract from that strength. This is true even if the alterations are so slight or subtle that they escape notice by the untrained eye. Indeed, these are often the most damaging alterations, since they create a sort of “brand creep” that, over time, leads to an unprofessional and inconsistent appearance.

For this reason, individual offices planning to use the UMBC logo should always use the approved art included on this site or obtain electronic files directly from Creative Services. They should never try to reconstruct the logo or rebuild it themselves from its various text elements, to avoid inadvertently introducing small alterations.

Because there is a wide range of contexts in which the logo must be applied, it has been produced in a number of variations. Thus, designers and desktop publishers should be able to find a version of the wordmark that works well with their design, whatever its parameters.

Logo Variations

The Primary Logo

UMBC Primary Logo

This variation is the preferred option for most materials including web headers and stationery (letterhead, business cards, envelopes, etc.). This variant can be used in a wide variety of design contexts and comes in both color and black & white versions.

The Vertical Logo

The vertical wordmark sets the acronym under the shield icon. This variation is supplied for settings in which a more compact treatment of the logo is desired.

Logo with ‘Honors’ Tagline

UMBC logo with tagline

The ‘honors’ form of the logo incorporates the tagline “An Honors University” centered under the acronym. This variation should only be used by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation and it should be noted this variation is different from our old positioning line: “An Honors University in Maryland” since Maryland is now represented in the shield icon.

This form of the logo should not be used in small contexts because at smaller heights the words in the tagline are illegible (especially in online applications).

Designers should leave adequate and even free space (equal at a minimum to one-tenth of the total height) around the logo so that no part of it is obscured. The logo should never be cropped or “bled” off a page.

Note: All forms of the logo may be printed in one color. When the logo is used on a solid field of color, the edges of the field must extend far enough so there is adequate and even free space around the logo. [Click here] for further discussion of university colors and color application.

The Creative Services department is always available to offer a professional opinion if there is some question about which logo should be used for a particular project.


Designers should make every attempt to use the primary version of the logo. In cases where sizing presents challenges, the wordmark (w/o shield) may be used.

Sizing the Logo

Primary Logo

This version has a permitted minimum height of 3/8 (0.375) inches.

sizing the logo primary

Vertical Logo

This version has a permitted minimum height of 1 inch.

sizing the logo vertical

Logo with ‘Honors’ Tagline

This version has a permitted minimum height of 1 inch.

sizing the logo honors
Designers should strive for readability of both elements (the acronym and honors tagline) when using this logo in their work. Remember this logo should only be used for Undergraduate Admissions materials.


This version has a permitted minimum height of 1/4 (0.25) inches.

sizing the logo wordmark

Incorrect use

Below are examples of incorrect uses of the university wordmark:

DO NOT: Render the logo using variant typefaces
logo misuse alternative typefaces

DO NOT: Electronically condense or stretch the logo
logo misuse skew and distort

DO NOT: Reposition elements of the logo
logo misuse repositioning elements

DO NOT: Colorize the logo with unofficial colors
logo misuse color

DO NOT: Add a drop shadow or gradients to the logo
logo misuse drop shadows

No old logos or previous forms of the university wordmark should be placed on new publications after March 25, 2019.

The athletics and recreation program at UMBC uses an alternate identity system, which is based on the athletic mascot. The athletics identity should only be used for athletics-related and/or spirit-related materials. Academic programs should use the UMBC Shield logo in the manner described below.

College, Department, and Office Logos

There will be instances (e.g., in the case of signage and/or apparel) where a college, department, or office name is appropriate in addition to the UMBC logo. Typography for such additions allows the college, department, or office to show a link to the university but also distinguish itself from the logo in prominence. In the examples below, the university font (Avenir Next) is used.

Option 1: The College/Department/Office name is included to the right of the vertical UMBC logo aligned to the same baseline as the acronym.

Option 1 for departmental logos

Option 2: This example shows an Office that is affiliated with a Division.

Option 2 for office logo under a division


The Creative Services department should always be contacted to assist with the creation of this type of logo.