Designing and Ordering Promotional Items

The following guidelines are specifically for university units. If you are a student group, please refer to the Student Association guidelines.

On this page:

If you’re unsure of any language used in the explanations below, please see a full list of terms and definitions.

Before you get started

  • Understand UB Trademarks and Licensing (TML) policies and guidance. In order to submit a trademarks request, it’s critical to review key information within this section such as [submitting trademarks requests], [the prohibited item list] and [approved, licensed vendors].
  • Determine item(s) to purchase. Consider what you are promoting. Does your item relate to the event or promotion? For example, if the event promotes Earth Day, is the giveaway made from sustainable products and processes? Also, pay close attention to the imprint area on the product and make sure a unit lockup will fit within the space and maintain full legibility.

Creating your design

Choosing a logo or mark

Whenever possible, use a primary university logo, brand extension or sub-brand lockup that includes the ™ or ® symbol. These marks are available for download by clicking on the “TM/® for Merchandise” button.

UB Master Brand mark with trademark symbol.

Primary university logo

Student Life brand extension with trademark symbol.

Example of a brand extension lockup

Student Life sub-brand with trademark symbol.

Example of a sub-brand lockup


A cellphone pop-socket with the UB Master Brand mark.
A cellphone pop-socket with the School of Engineering brand extension mark.

Spirit mark

Since the spirit mark is an image without any supporting text, you must also use a secondary logo or reference that clarifies the relationship or connection between the university and the spirit mark. Using your school/unit lockup or primary university mark on the product satisfies this requirement. Please note that the interlocking UB alone is not permitted as a secondary reference.

Spirmark with trademark symbol.

Spirit Mark


A fleece jacket with the Master brand logo on the left chest and the spiritmark on the upper-left sleeve.
A fleece jacket with the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences lockup on the left chest and the spiritmark on the upper-left sleeve.


Much like the spirit mark, the crest lacks a secondary reference. If using the crest, you must include the university’s full name either through a school/unit lockup, primary university mark or university name in plain text to satisfy this requirement.

UB Crest with trademark symbol.

University crest


A tee-shirt with the crest and the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacuetical Sciences lockup.
A tee-shirt with the crest and the Masterbrand logo on the sleeve.

Logo or mark color

UB logos and marks are offered only in full UB Blue (PMS 2935), in a combination of UB Blue and gray, and in full white or full black. Please do not alter the color scheme of any element.


Stacked Master Brand Mark in UB Blue.

UB Blue

Stacked Master Brand Mark in UB Blue and Gray.

UB Blue and Townsend Gray

Stacked Master Brand Mark in White.

Hayes Hall White

Stacked Master Brand Mark in Black.

Bulls Black


An unsanctioned Master Brand Mark.

Do not use the wrong shade of blue

An unsanctioned Master Brand Mark.

Do not use a pattern as a fill color

An unsanctioned Master Brand Mark.

Do not reverse the colors

An unsanctioned Master Brand Mark.

Do not use an unofficial color

Product color

Your first choice in merchandise should always be UB Blue, white, gray or black. If a specific product is not available in those particular colors, or if you have a compelling reason to use a different color, the university’s secondary color palette should guide your choice.


A UB Blue water bottle.
A white water bottle.
A gray water bottle.
A black water bottle.

Clear space rules

All UB logos and marks require clear space for visual distinction, legibility and clarity. Please review the clear space rules for each mark.

Embroidery guidelines

The embroidery process has distinct challenges with our logos and marks, so we created separate guidance to address these issues. Remember, embroidery items require a sew out sample from the vendor. Ensure your timeline reflects this extra step (approximately two weeks if initial design is correct).

Imprint areas

Many products have very specific areas to place a logo, mark or design, which is called an imprint area. Please be aware of this area when planning the item and design. For instance, a 3” x 5” notebook may only have a limited 1.5” x 2” area on the cover to print on. If the imprint area is too small to fit the desired logo, you will need to choose a different product with a larger imprint area.


A personalized notebook with an imprint area shown.

For this product, the imprint area is limited to a small portion of the cover.

A personalized notebook with the UB master brand mark.
A personalized notebook with the UB master brand mark.

This product has too small of an imprint area for this sub-brand lockup.

A personalized notebook with the UB master brand mark.

This similar product has an imprint area that is more suitable for this sub-brand lockup.

Clean, simple design

Limit the information on your item to a logo and clear call to action such as one URL or phone number. We do not encourage using taglines.

A tote bag with a sub-brand lockup and website url.
A tote bag with the primary master brand mark and website url.

Other organization logos

The use of external marks or logos requires approval from both the university and the outside organization. This application is strictly monitored and may be restricted based on contractual or partnership relationships. For further information refer to the university’s Trademarks and Licensing policy and the Sponsorship and Advertising policy.

A ruler with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences lockup and the National Grid logo.
A drawstring tote bag with the primary master brand mark and the National Grid logo.

Original artwork

If you are using artwork that is not owned by the university, an artwork release form must be signed by the artist or, if in the public domain, written documentation is required to prove its status. No artwork that is perceived as an infringement on another trademark will be approved by the university.

A tee-shirt with the master brand mark on left crest panel.


The back side of a tee-shirt with custom artwork.


Prohibited items and content

The university does not allow tobacco or alcohol and alcohol-related products or items such as firearms, gambling articles, etc. View a complete list of prohibited items. Furthermore, derogatory words or sayings, or designs with unfavorable references to race, religion, sex, gender, national origins or disabilities, are not permitted.

Submit design layouts for early review

The TML office can provide feedback and advice at any time during the design phase to help you save time and frustration. Simply send your design to They will also meet with you in person to discuss your options further.

Complete design layout

Submit intended design to the licensed vendor producing the item so they can create a proof.

Working with a vendor to create and place your order

  1. Work with a licensed vendor. Licensed vendors must be used for all orders. Work closely with the licensed vendor in choosing the best product and imprint application to meet your budget requirements. They are also the only entity that can provide the required proof to represent final product production.
  2. Complete UB trademarks request form. When filling out this form, be sure to include info regarding the funding source, the group/department you are affiliated with, and if you are selling the item, which includes fundraising or selling at cost. Your licensed vendor may help you fill out the form, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the university unit to complete it.
  3. Submit request. Provide the trademarks request form along with the vendor proof to the TML office by emailing Vendor proofs must show the item purchased, including its color, design placement, imprint size, and colors within design. You will receive a response no later than two business days from the time of your submission. In most cases, we will respond the same day.
  4. Make any requested changes. Once the TML office reviews your order, they may have additional questions or require adjustments on your original design, which could delay your production timeline. If changes are requested, you will need the vendor to make those changes and resubmit a new vendor proof.

Getting final approval

  1. Receive trademark approval. You and the licensed vendor will receive official signed approval by email from the TML office as a PDF. You should submit this trademark approval with the purchasing request to the appropriate procurement office. This includes all funding sources (state, UBF, RF, etc.) and procurement methods including procurement card (P Card), ShopBlue and eReq. Your licensed vendor should keep this trademark request form for auditing purposes.
  2. Inspect your items upon arrival. Compare the items you received to the approved trademark design. If there are any discrepancies please contact the vendor. If the error affects any of the university trademarks, please contact the TML office immediately.

Branded face masks

The University at Buffalo has developed strict guidelines in regards to branded PPE face masks. You must place your order with an approved collegiate licensed vendor that has permission to reproduce our logos on select face masks using predetermined logos and layouts. Guidelines can be accessed by clicking the PDF below or by sending an email to or calling 716-645-4585.