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.
Quick Links to Downloadable Logos
The Elements of the Logo
The UMBC logo combines a Maryland flag-inspired shield with the University acronym, while emphasizing our official colors of black and gold. The shield icon symbolizes academia, and reinforces our positioning as a university that benefits all in Maryland. The logo design derives its energy from pairing classic typography—a tailored Trajan font modeled after ancient Roman incised letters—and the contemporary rendering of the shield icon, which adapts elements of the state flag into a streamlined, modern design. This synergy reflects the dynamism of UMBC itself—at once measuring our progress against the timeless standards of long-established universities, while making our mark as a national model of inclusion and excellence.
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.
The 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. This logo SHOULD NOT be used on dark backgrounds – please use the gold version below for that purpose.
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. It can be downloaded in several color variations below.
Gold logo on MD flag and or black backgrounds
Both the primary and vertical logos can be colorized in the manner above allowing them to be more readable on the new MD flag pattern and/or black backgrounds. These versions SHOULD NOT be used on light/white backgrounds – please use the Primary logo above for that purpose.
Logo with ‘Honors’ Tagline
The ‘honors’ form of the logo incorporates the tagline “An Honors University” centered under the acronym. This variation is different from our old positioning line: “An Honors University in Maryland” since Maryland is now represented in the shield icon. Although the primary logo has no tagline, this version can be used in external marketing and recruitment materials.
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.
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.
UMBC Brand & Style 101: Proper Logo Use
In the following video, Jim Lord ’99, Director of UMBC’s Creative Services, will walk through how to use the UMBC Shield and Retriever logos on different color backgrounds.
Sizing the Logo
This version has a permitted minimum height of 3/8 (0.375) inches.
This version has a permitted minimum height of 1 inch.
Logo with ‘Honors’ Tagline
This version has a permitted minimum height of 1 inch.
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 recruitment materials and is only available after consulting Creative Services.
This version has a permitted minimum height of 1/4 (0.25) inches.
Below are examples of incorrect uses of the University wordmark:
DO NOT: Render the logo using variant typefaces
DO NOT: Electronically condense or stretch the logo
DO NOT: Reposition elements of the logo
DO NOT: Colorize the logo with unofficial colors
DO NOT: Add a drop shadow or gradients to the logo
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 athletics 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, Division, and Office Logos
There will be instances (e.g., in the case of signage, promo items and/or apparel) where a college, department, or office name is appropriate in addition to the UMBC logo. For this type of logo variation, please refer to this page. These guidelines also work for center, department, and program names.
There are several variations of UMBC logos to accommodate the range of contexts in which it is applied. Designers and desktop publishers can download high-resolution PNGs, JPGs (raster-based), and Adobe Illustrator EPS (vector-based) copies of the logos for use in printed and digital materials. Clicking the EPS link should initiate the download process. To download PNGs/JPGs, click the link. The image should load in a new window/tab and then you can right-click (PC) or option-click (Mac) anywhere on the image to choose ‘Save Image As’, ‘Save Picture As’ or ‘Download Image to Disk.’ Finally, choose a location to save the image; then click ‘Save.’
The University Seal
Diplomas and certificates are the only approved use for the University seal. It is not available for general campus use.
Primary Logo/Color (for use on light backgrounds)
Please note: This logo should be used as the primary identifier for the University and works best on white or light colors/patterns. This logo SHOULD NOT be changed to white to be used on black – please see “Primary Logo/Gold” below for that need.
Primary Logo/ Single-Color Black (for use on light backgrounds)
Please note: This logo should be used when a single-color imprint is required and works best on white or light colors/patterns. This logo SHOULD NOT be changed to all gold and used on black – please see “Primary Logo/Single Color Gold” below for that need.
Primary Logo/Gold (for use on dark backgrounds)
Please note: This logo should only be used on a black background or dark MD flag pattern. This logo SHOULD NOT be used on white – please see “Primary Logo/Color” above for that need.
Primary Logo/Single-Color Gold (for use on dark backgrounds)
Please note: This logo should only be used with on a black background or dark MD flag pattern when a single color is required. This logo can be changed to all-white but SHOULD NOT be used on light backgrounds – please see “Primary Logo/Single Color Black” above for that need.
Vertical Logo/Color (alternative to primary mark)
Please note: This logo should only be used when there are space limitations (for example, a need for a narrow application in a digital ad or in smaller instances on apparel and promo items). It should not be used on black as the black elements of the logo would disappear into the background. Please see below for variations made for black backgrounds.
Vertical Logo/Single Color Black (alternative to primary mark)
Please note: As with the color version above, this logo should only be used when there are space limitations and a single-imprint color is preferred. This logo SHOULD NOT be changed to all gold and used on black – please see “vertical logo – single color/gold” below for that need.
Vertical Logo/Gold (for use on dark backgrounds)
Please note: This logo should only be used with the dark MD flag pattern or black background. It should never be used on white or light patterns.
Vertical Logo/Single Color Gold
Please note: This logo should only be used with the dark MD flag pattern or black background. It can be converted to all-white but SHOULD NOT be used on white or light patterns – please see “Vertical Logo – Single Color Black” above for that need.
For use by Undergraduate departments and programs. This logo should not be used at smaller sizes since the tagline will not be readable.
For use when the shield may not fit the design requirements. This logo can be colorized (in a single color) to fit your needs.
Social Media Profile Images
Depending on your need, you can use either of these images for your UMBC social media accounts. The shield is reserved for academic/research programs and the Retriever should be used for athletics/spirit groups. Both of these options are suitable for circular and square applications.
UMBC Retrievers Primary Logo
Please refer to this page for proper use of the retriever logo.
Single-Color Retriever (for use on white)
Full-Color Retriever (for use on gold)
Single-Color Gold Logo (for use on black backgrounds)
UMBC at USG (primary mark)
UMBC at USG (vertical mark)
R1 Doctoral Institution
This variation is the preferred option to share UMBC’s status as a Research 1 institutional for all apparel, promo items, and stationery (letterhead, business cards, envelopes, etc.). To request an alternative version of this logo, please contact Creative Services.
R1 Doctoral Institution (for use on black backgrounds)
R1 Doctoral Institution (for use on gold backgrounds)