CU Brand Guide

Page 1












04 BRANDING 06 THE CU BRAND ESSENTIALS CU Brand at a Glance Vision & Mission. Core Values Personality Essence




Who We are Tennessee Promise The future is ours Student-Centered










51 PHOTOGRAPHY Portrait (Hero Shot) Still Life Landscapes


7 8-10 11-15 16-22 23


What is a brand? Our brand is more than our logo or website. It’s the sum total of people’s experiences and perceptions. Put simply, it’s the image people have of our university and who they think and believe we are. Branding is the intentional ongoing process of shaping our customer’s perceptions and experiences. To build a strong brand for Cumberland, we must all work to deliver a clear, consistent message that provides credibility and resonates with our customers emotionally by telling their story. Our brand is our promise to our customers.

Why do we need a strong brand?

Clearly communicate who we are and what we stand for Enhance student recruitment and increase student enrollment Build our credibility with our customers and community Keep us competitive Inspire and motivate our target audience to take action Achieve our strategic vision and goals Connect emotionally with our audience Create loyal supporters and brand fans Increase and protect our value, eliminate the need for discounts and concessions Recruit top faculty and staff Increase alumni engagement Increase fundraising Develop new partnerships Reveal how we’re different from everyone else Show the positive difference we wish to make in the world


CU’s brand is what students, parents, alumni, academic peers, partners, communities, and corporations think, feel, and respond to when they hear our name and message, see our logo and marketing visuals, or visit our campus.


Why brand guidelines?

Great brands are built by being consistent. When we’re consistent, our audience is able to instantly recognize us and know what we stand for. Consistency enables us to communicate a cohesive message to each of our audiences. Guidelines help keep all of us on the same page, eliminating the threat of confusing our audience. The primary purpose of communicating our brand strategy is to provide the entire university with a unified platform from which to promote CU and its components. Following the CU brand guidelines ensures the look, feel, and messaging remains consistent no matter where or how our audience meets our brand - from print and digital marketing materials to website, social media, and word of mouth.

Aligning with the CU brand guidelines enables our schools, departments, programs, and offices to leverage CU’s brand equity - the full value and benefits that are associated with the university's brand. We all have a responsibility to ensure that the Cumberland brand and imagery is used consistently and appropriately. When we’re all unified and disciplined to maintaining brand alignment and consistency, everyone at CU wins. Working to build and maintain a strong brand for Cumberland University is an initiative where our core values are activated. Together as one team, we can build a strong brand and continue to initiate positive changes that will enhance and transform Cumberland University for centuries to come.


The CU Brand Essentials The CU brand is comprised of key essentials that help enhance, position, and communicate who we are and what we stand for to the world.


CU Brand at a Glance Vision


Cumberland University will be a distinguished scholarly community that prepares its students not simply to have successful careers but to lead impactful lives.

Approachable Genuine Collaborative Optimistic Inclusive Limitless

Mission The mission of Cumberland University is to provide a contemporary liberal arts education to students seeking a high-quality, personalized college experience, which will empower them not only to have a successful and productive career, but also to thrive intellectually, professionally, personally, and spiritually for a lifetime.

Core Values WE ARISE

Work as one team. Enjoy your work. Assess all that we do. Respect and care for others. Improve continuously. Stay Competitive. Enhance the Cumberland experience for all.

Essence Personal

Position THEME

Community-minded Interested in helping the wider community; socially concerned.


Cumberland University offers students who desire to make a difference in the world, a college experience that helps them rise to their greatest potential and align their passion for people with a meaningful career.



It's Time to Rise

Friendly, warm and personal. 7

Vision moves us forward The CU vision is the force that drives us forward. Our vision expresses our core purpose and reveals how we make the world a better place - by preparing our students for a lifetime of success and impact. Our graduates go on to achieve extraordinary things in their careers and communities. They make our world a better place. Our higher-purpose and greatest aspiration is to be the flame that ignites that desire to impact and to empower every student to rise and reach their greatest potential.

"We rise by lifting others." ROBERT G. INGERSOLL

Cumberland University will be a distinguished scholarly community that prepares its students not simply to have successful careers but to lead impactful lives.

These words capture the vision of Cumberland University. They express our long-standing commitment and desire to prepare the leaders of tomorrow.

The mission of Cumberland University is to provide a contemporary liberal arts education to students seeking a high-quality, personalized college experience, which will empower them not only to have a successful and productive career, but also to thrive intellectually, professionally, personally, and spiritually for a lifetime. 8

Mission is how we fulfill our vision The CU mission is how we fulfill our vision of preparing our students for amazing careers and impactful lives. Our mission describes what we will do every day to reach that goal.

Our Mission is to provide



We help align our students with a variety of skills necessary to succeed in today's workplace and prepare them to launch their careers.



Liberal Arts

A well-rounded education that exposes students to the arts, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and natural sciences. It’s a holistic approach that challenges students to think critically, and teaches a range of skills applicable to any career.


Although growing, our size enhances this unique quality. Smaller classes equate to more opportunities for students to connect and engage with faculty. Our faculty is able to structure their curricula according to how their students desire to learn. We aim to know our students. We take their success personally.



Students want and expect more out of their college experience. We strive to rise above their expectations.



College is one of the best and most meaningful times in a student’s life. College is not just about earning a degree; it’s the time when students discover who they are and who they want to become. It’s full of new beginnings, and it’s the place where memories and relationships are made that will last a lifetime.



e v i r th

I N T E L L E C T U A L L Y Students are exposed to a wide variety of educational experiences that promote and foster a love for lifelong learning.

P R O F E S S I O N A L L Y Students earn a degree that prepares them with unlimited career possibilities.

P E R S O N A L L Y Students grow in confidence and character at CU. They make memories and form meaningful relationships that last a lifetime.

S P I R I T U A L L Y We provide opportunities for students to engage in critical thinking and conversation about crucial social, political, moral, and spiritual issues. Such learning offers students a safe and hospitable space to "grow spiritually" and discover more of what it means to be human.


Core Values Our core values represent who we are – not who we want to be.

Core values dictate our actions and priorities as well as weigh in on every decision we make. Our values reveal our highest priorities, core beliefs, and true character.

CORE VALUES ARE INFUSED IN EVERYTHING WE DO. Using the acronym ‘We Arise’, CU has adopted these seven core values.



ork as one team

We may have different titles, responsibilities, and offices but we make one amazing team. When we communicate, collaborate, and cooperate we become unstoppable.



njoy your work

We believe great work originates from the heart. Enjoying what you do inspires and awakens the hearts of others.


ssess all that we do

Assessment leads the process for progress and is the key to continuous improvement. Assessing everything helps us purpose the present and focus our future.


espect and care for others

We are a family. We’re strong because we’re all different, and caring for others is what we do best.



mprove continuously

We don’t get better by chance, we get better by change.



tay competitive

Be so good that they can’t ignore us.


nhance the Cumberland experience for all. We’re not just providing an education, we’re delivering an experience. Every interaction with our customer is an opportunity to make a positive and memorable experience.


personality 16

Our brand personality is the set of emotional and human characteristics associated with our university. It’s derived from the attributes that best describe CU and form our emotional identity. Showing our personality helps our customers relate and interact with our brand. Our personality should communicate the tone and attitude of CU.

Approachable Phoenix are friendly and welcoming. We have a sincere desire to be helpful and relatable. We instill confidence in others by respecting their opinions. We smile, we laugh, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We enjoy celebrating the success of others.

How this impacts our brand: Our marketing messages are inviting and warm like coffee with a friend. They affirm our position as helpful guides, mentors, and supporters of our students. We use imagery that captures friendly interactions that feel like a conversation everyone can be part of. On campus, approachable feels welcoming and comfortable. Our students feel respected by faculty and staff, which gives them more confidence to speak up, reach out, and connect.


Collaborative Phoenix rise higher when we collaborate together. The energy collaboration brings to the table is magnetic. We believe that we can achieve the best results faster, by tapping into our collegial nature and uniting our strengths and talents together. Our collaboration promotes an environment for learning and innovation. When we collaborate, we create something bigger than the sum of what each person can create on their own.

How this impacts our brand: Collaboration fosters synergy. We share stories that highlight the positive impact of collaboration - in the classroom, at the office, with our students, and with our community. Using a variety of media and channels, we share content that reflects a sharing culture. Our collaborative spirit will attract new partnerships that desire to share in our vision for CU. It’s through such partnerships that CU will continue to rise and impact the world.


Inclusive Phoenix value diversity. We embrace individuals and the range of ideas, backgrounds, and experiences they bring to CU. It makes our community strong, and promotes a culture of acceptance and belonging.

How this impacts our brand:

As a liberal arts university, we foster a diverse student population with unique experiences and backgrounds that enhance the educational experience and broaden the individual’s global perspective. When diversity, inclusion, and equality are centerpieces for our brand, they impact recruiting, marketing, training, and everything in between. By showcasing our diversity we’re able to demonstrate to prospective students that all are welcome and belong at CU.


Genuine Our decisions and actions are rooted in our values, and we practice those values rather than simply profess them. We choose what is right, not what is easy, and we stand up for what we believe in. We’re sincere, never for show, and we keep our promises.

How this impacts our brand: We’re transparent and honest with our customers. We share stories that are real, show our heart, and honor our values. We aim to build open and honest relationships with one another. Our marketing messages are sincere and focus on lifting others to achieve more. We use imagery that affirms our position as a trusted guide and friend to our customer and community. Every interaction is an opportunity to build brand confidence.


Optimistic Our glass is full, and we choose to live on the bright side. We focus on opportunity rather than the obstacles along the way. We smile, we praise others, and keep our sense of humor even when there are setbacks. We celebrate achievement and cheer others on towards their goals. We propose solutions when identifying problems and actively work toward them with confidence that we will succeed. We have a fierce passion for what is possible, and we never give up.

How this impacts our brand: Optimism sets a hopeful tone for all our marketing and communications. Our messages are encouraging and light-hearted. We share stories that are positive and uplifting. We use imagery that evokes feelings of confidence and excitement. These images and messages draw people to our brand. They want to be around us, because their world looks better with us in it. Our enthusiasm for their future gives them hope and assurance they have someone they can count on.


Limitless Phoenix have no limit. We rise and then we rise higher. We transform challenges and adversity into opportunity and we inspire our students to rise to meet their greatest potential. We have an inexhaustible drive for excellence, and a sincere desire to make a real difference in people’s lives. Opportunity is open to everyone, and we are inspired by those who work hard to reach it. Phoenix have heart.

How this impacts our brand: We celebrate stories of perseverance, courage, and transformation. We believe success lies within the tough stuff. We focus on showing the journey and the process of growth - the hours of dedication to the Van Buren Papers, the weeks of training before the big game, the extra time spent serving others. The Phoenix is our enduring symbol that communicates our will to rise, endure, prosper, and illuminate the world. We use imagery that shows progress, pride, and possibility. We communicate the heart of the Phoenix by incorporating the Phoenix wing - a distinctive graphic used to draw focus to images of those who exemplify the character and heart of the Phoenix. Our messages call people to opportunity, to reach and imagine what’s possible. It calls them to action - to rise.


Our essence is

Personal Essence is our brand’s DNA. It's in our nature. It’s the one thing that fully identifies and expresses our university's emotional heart and soul. Like fingerprints, our essence is a unique identifier that touches everything we do. It’s the spirit of our brand and our single promise to our customer. Our essence is felt and experienced by everyone who encounters the Cumberland University brand.

How is our essence experienced? Our essence makes our students feel valued - valued as a person and as our customer. We strive to know our students, not just by name, but by interests, goals, and dreams. We work to help them rise and succeed by instilling confidence in their unique strengths and character. We influence with sincerity and love. We place the welfare of our students above the bottom line.


Brand Positioning A positioning statement is not a tagline and should not be used as one. Rather, it is a resource for use by staff who are crafting messages for external audiences. It is meant to shape and guide brand communications.

Positioning Theme Community-minded Interested in helping the wider community; socially concerned.

Positioning Statement Cumberland University offers students who desire to make a difference in the world, a college experience that helps them rise to their greatest potential and align their passion for people with a meaningful career.



Founded in 1842, Cumberland University holds a unique place in American history as one of the oldest liberal art universities in the South. Founded by leaders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Cumberland established a Law school, the first in Tennessee west of the Appalachian Mountains, a school of Engineering, and a school of Theology during the mid-1800s. Cumberland was impacted by The Civil War when University Hall was burned to the ground during Union occupancy. After the destruction, a student wrote across a ruined Corinthian column the Latin word Resurgam, which translates to “I will arise.” Thus, from the ashes, the mythical phoenix became Cumberland’s enduring symbol which inspires the university to rise, endure, prosper, and illuminate the world. In 1892, Cumberland moved to its present location. In 1946, The Tennessee Baptist Convention assumed control of the University, ending a century of operation under the Presbyterian Church. In 1956, the Board of Trust secured an amendment to the Charter, changed the institution to a private, independent corporation, and reopened the College of Arts and Sciences as a two-year institution, known as Cumberland College of Tennessee. The Board of Trust expanded the academic programs of the Junior College in 1982. This expansion returned Cumberland to a four-year, degree-granting institution known again as Cumberland University. Its alumni include 14 governors, more than 80 members of the United States Congress, two United States Supreme Court Justices, three United States ambassadors, a United States Secretary of State and a founder of the United Nations. Cumberland University draws on its enduring spirit of excellence to provide students from all backgrounds with a rounded education that is intensely personal, intellectually challenging, future-focused, and dedicated to preparing every individual for a meaningful career and fulfilling life. Today, Cumberland continues to evolve to meet the needs of a diverse and expanding community while providing a transformational higher education experience through more than 100 fully-accredited academic programs of study in three distinct schools.



At Cumberland University, we strive every day to inspire our students to rise and fulfill their greatest potential. We have an inexhaustible drive for excellence, which fuels our desire to be the leading university in Tennessee who prepares students for community-minded careers that make a difference in the world. We offer an educational experience that blends the arts and humanities with practical knowledge and skills to position our students for a lifetime of success. Our goal is to provide an education that shapes not only our graduate’s value in the marketplace, but also inspires them to become mindful and engaged citizens within their communities. We help our students grow in confidence and character by creating a place for their ideas and dreams to grow. This is who we are. This is Cumberland University.





TENNESSEE PROMISE Cumberland University accepts more Tennessee Promise students than any other four-year institution in the state. Our students have the opportunity to fund the first two years of their college experience through the TN Promise by enrolling in an associate degree program which smoothly transitions into one of our many bachelor’s degree programs.

Today, Cumberland finds itself positioned on the edge of exciting transformative change that meets the needs of a growing and diverse world. Our focus is fixed on our future. Through strategic campus-wide initiatives, our objective is to provide our students with state-of-the-art resources to pursue their academic aspirations and build meaningful lives. We believe the relationships we build today will directly impact our students and create a lasting legacy for generations to come.




STUDENT-CENTERED We believe each student adds value to Cumberland University. We are inspired by our students every day and want Cumberland to be the place where their ideas and dreams can grow: a home to learn how to align their passions with a meaningful career. For our students, this means they have access to professors who take their success personally, a community that embraces diversity, and an alumni network that connects them to a broader world.


Phoenix Phonics These are suggested words to use when speaking about Cumberland University. When writing about CU, these words help communicate our personality, essence, and brand position to our audiences.

Arise Approachable Accepting Advance Assess Competitive Collaborative Creative Committed Caring Community Community-minded Cooperative Connected Customize Confident Close Diverse Dedicated Determined Driven Evolve


Evolution Experience Enhance Exciting Encouraging Engaging Friendly Fun Focused Family Full Home Historic Ignite Impact Interactive Inviting Intentional Inclusive Learners Meaningful Noble

Open Personal Personalized Practical Pride Proud Prepare Rise Supportive Shape Safe Service Strong Surrounded Traditional Transform Transformative Traditional Trusted Valued Warm Welcoming

AUDIENCES Each audience connects with our brand differently. It is important that we provide each with the information they are seeking, while remaining closely-aligned with our brand positioning and core message.

High School Student Parent Transfer Student Graduate Student Alumni and Donors Prospective Donors Corporate Partners Community

Each message is adapted to meet the needs of each audience while remaining clearly within the larger Cumberland brand. 29

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT You are about to embark on one of the most meaningful times in your life. College is exciting, and we can't wait to add your enthusiasm and new ideas to our campus experience. You'll make new friends and discover a community where you belong. Cumberland will prepare you to launch your career, pursue your passions, and provide you with a unique, personal college experience you won’t get anywhere else.

PARENT Cumberland will prepare your student with the knowledge and skills they need to get a great job and lead an impactful life. In today's workplace, employers want people who can think creatively, write well, and effectively communicate their ideas. At CU, we are focused on delivering an educational experience that is both practical and creative. We'll guide your student throughout their academic journey to ensure they are ready to rise to meet what lies ahead.

PROSPECTIVE TRANSFER STUDENT We make it easy to transfer and finish your degree at Cumberland. Our process is simple, and we personally guide you through every step. We believe you have what it takes to reach your goals, and we are committed to providing you with the resources you need to reach them. From transfering credits to scholarship opportunities, we take your success personally.

PROSPECTIVE GRADUATE STUDENT Cumberland will help you gain the skills and expertise you need to rise in your career. We offer eight graduate degree programs that are designed to fit into your busy life. Whether you're looking to advance in your current career or explore new opportunities, we are committed to helping you achieve your goals.

ALUMNI Cumberland is defined by personal relationships. As an alum, you help foster and sustain a welcoming culture that demonstrates the value of your Cumberland experience to our students and the community. Once you graduate from Cumberland, you remain a lifelong member of the CU family. We want you to be proud to be involved with CU. Your ongoing engagement fuels our vision for the future.

PROSPECTIVE DONORS Cumberland is on the rise. Since 1842, Cumberland has grown and advanced its long tradition of excellence to rise, endure, prosper and illuminate the world. Cumberland is committed to evolving and meeting the needs of a diverse and expanding community while providing a transformational higher education experience. Your support will directly impact our students and create a lasting legacy for generations to come.

DONORS We are reminded every day that Cumberland is a special place by the wonderful work that continues in our various schools, departments, and programs. It is both humbling and inspiring to witness our students rise to exceed their goals. As a donor, your ongoing support helps provide our students with incredible opportunities to pursue their academic aspirations and build meaningful lives.

COMMUNITY We believe diversity builds strong communities. At Cumberland, we thrive on the range of ideas, backgrounds, and experiences our students bring to CU and we're grateful to be part of such a friendly and welcoming community that shares our values. Your friendship helps us create a place where our students can belong and your example inspires them to become mindful and engaged citizens throughout the world.


Tone of voice When writing content for CU, we aim to carry the same tone throughout all our messaging. Avoid institutional language that is not meaningful to our target audience, and use words and phrases our customers would use in day-to-day conversation. Our tone is friendly, warm and personal. All our marketing messages use a personal tone using words like 'you' and 'we'.


It's Time to Rise

The tagline may be used in advertising and marketing communications. The tagline usually stands on its own. In limited cases, the tagline may appear in text, for example, as the closing statement in a letter. The tagline may appear in all caps or with initial caps, in Martel San font.

The tagline should not be combined with other marks or phrases to create a new mark, graphic, or theme line.

Cumberland University’s official tagline is a uniting theme that communicates our value and purpose in a common language. It’s a simple, yet bold, call to action that differentiates CU from other universities and speaks to who we are and what drives us. The “rise” carries a powerful meaning. As a verb, it reflects action that Phoenix do every day to make a difference. It embodies the limitless and optimistic spirit that exemplifies Phoenix.

#ItsTimeToRise 31

Press Releases Press Releases are newsworthy brand stories which are pitched to media. This could be a new program offered to students, reaching a monumental milestone, breaking ground on a new building for the campus, cutting the red ribbon on a new residence hall, students winning awards, setting new records, or fully funding a campaign.

Blog Our blog gives us the opportunity to share content that touches on issues, interests, and concerns of our prospects, and is the perfect place to share stories about our student’s passions and interests. Blogging helps us drive traffic to our website, builds brand awareness, and positions us as a trusted and valuable resource. Our content strategy for our blog primarily focuses on the student perspective. Student spotlights, campus life, and topics that interest our current and prospective students work great for blog content.

Social Media Our university social media pages are where we capture and share what it’s like to be a student at CU. We tailor our content for our followers and work to share stories and visuals that reflect a clear brand identity. 32

Telling brand stories Telling brand stories helps us capture the essence and personality of CU. There are a variety of platforms that we use to share brand stories. Because not all content is suitable for every platform, The Office of Marketing and Communications will regularly make recommendations and decisions for how and where these stories are shared.

"The best brands are built on great stories." IAN ROWDEN, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, VIRGIN GROUP

Boiler Plate

A boilerplate is a ready-to-use content that can be employed in a variety of instances. It provides a quick synopsis of a business what makes a business unique. The CU boilerplate is our standardized language that briefly describes Cumberland University and its priorities. Where to use a Boilerplate? In public relations and marketing, boilerplates are perfect for multiple uses, such as: The end of a press release The bottom of a blog post A sidebar or bottom of an e-newsletter

Boiler Plate For more than 177 years, Cumberland University has been advancing its long tradition of excellence to rise, endure, prosper, and illuminate the world. Recognized as one of the fastest-growing liberal arts universities in the state of Tennessee, Cumberland continues to evolve to meet the needs of a diverse and expanding community while providing a transformational higher education experience through more than 100 fully-accredited academic programs of study in three distinct schools.


Newsworthy What makes something newsworthy? Newsworthy is the term we use to describe whether or not a story is likely to get picked up by the media. There are 7 basic elements that make a story newsworthy, in general a good news story contains at least 3 elements. Timeliness: the more recent the event or situation takes place, the more likely it is to be newsworthy. Proximity: refers to the nearness of a given event or story. The closer a story is to a media outlet, the more likely it is to be newsworthy. Relevance: refers to how much a story matters to its audience. Different media outlets have different definitions of what is relevant to their readers. The marketing and communications team can work with you to figure out which media your story may be most relevant in. Impact: refers to how many people are affected by the story. The more people are affected by a story, the more newsworthy it is. Conflict: people are intuitively drawn to conflict. Any story with a struggle of interest to readers is automatically newsworthy. Novelty: the more strange or unusual a story is, the more likely it is to be newsworthy Prominence: refers to the newsworthiness of an individual or an organization. The more well-known an individual or organization is the more likely it is to be newsworthy. Human Interest: refers to the emotion that a story brings out, the more emotional a story, the more likely it is to be newsworthy. When pitching a news story, the more attributes of newsworthiness it has, the better chance a story has of being published. The marketing and communications team is here to help you figure out the angle of stories, the intended audience, and what outlets the story should be pitched to in order to maximize Cumberland’s publicity.


5 1 2 3 4


when writing for Cumberland University

Follow the most current addition of the Associated Press Stylebook. Found on When referring to the university for the first time, use the full name Cumberland University. On second and subsequent references to the university, use only CU. Do not capitalize university unless using the complete proper name i.e., Cumberland University. When describing a degree, the terms bachelor's and master's will always include an apostrophe. When naming a specific degree, no pluralization or apostrophe is required. Associate should never be plual or possessive. Examples: I have a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. I have my Bachelor of Arts degree. I am studying for my associate degree.


When attributing a statement or quote, proper AP style requires the last name (or full name if referenced for the first time) followed by “said.” The following is an example of proper attribution. “The university is proud to announce record enrollment,” Dr. Stumb said. “We look forward to continued growth.”


Media Relations Procedures Responding to Media The Office of Marketing and Communications has sole responsibility for issuing official statements to media representing CU and its units, and the university’s president and designated leadership are uniquely authorized to speak on behalf of the institution. While any employee is free to work with media on a story, we encourage those asked to provide comment beyond their areas of professional work, academic expertise or research and scholarly activity to contact the Office of Marketing and Communications for assistance. The Office of Marketing and Communications may contact an administrator, faculty or staff member to assist with/respond to a media inquiry. In these cases, the administrator, faculty or staff member has been identified as a subject matter expert and the marketing and communications staff will provide support to develop the response, as appropriate. We are always available to consult with faculty or staff who have been contacted by the media. Please contact the The Office of Marketing and Communications at It is helpful for university employees who respond to media inquiries not referred to them by the Office of Marketing and Communications to advise the team of the conversation by sending an email to with the following information: name of the outlet and reporter date and time of conversation summary of questions and main points of the responses provided anticipated date of article publication, if possible Any administrator, faculty or staff member contacted by the media concerning personal matters, policy, fiscal operations, emergency situations or compliance with regulations and statues should refer the inquiry to If a media situation is urgent or after regular work hours, please contact the Executive Direction of Marketing and Communications.


Design & Visual A visual identity creates a distinctive look that becomes recognizable through repetition and application in the design of a variety of communications over time. When the entire university is diligent about upholding a unified visual identity, every school and unit associated with CU benefits from immediate recognition and credibility leveraging the influence of the CU brand - while at the same time strengthening the university brand in the present and future. A visual identity comprises consistent use of typography, color palette, graphic elements, and photographic style. These elements may be used flexibly in a design, unlike logos, which are like stamps or marks placed onto other designs in proportions that never change, allowing the university’s official marks to remain definitive.

Identity 37


Our logo is at the front and center of our brand identity. It is our primary identifier and must be present on all communications from the university. Logo files may only be created by the Office of Marketing and Communications. If you have questions about any of our logos, please contact the Office of Marketing and Communications.

Logo Elements The university combines two elements to create the university logo: the Memorial Hall clock tower and the wordmark. Together these elements communicate both our rich history and long tradition of excellence as a contemporary liberal arts university.


1. The Clock Tower The clock tower is a stand-alone icon. As the most recognizable and visible feature of our campus, the tower is a symbol that represents Cumberland University’s rich history and enduring strength to rise and impact the world.

2. The Wordmark The Wordmark is a letterform version of our official name, and is communicated through the classic British Gill Sans typeface.



To add a fresh and approachable feel to the university logo, two modifications have been made. 1. Removal of the shield 2. Center alignment of ‘university’

Logo Use As the primary graphic symbol that identifies Cumberland University, the wordmark/tower combination must appear on all publications, websites, and other visual communications developed for CU external audiences by any administrative or academic unit of the university except Intercollegiate Athletics. The primary logo displays the wordmark in black and the tower in CU red, (Pantone Matching System ink color 202 or hex code 8b0018 for web). The logo may be displayed in all black or all white. Use only approved, unaltered versions of the logo. Do not recreate the logo, wordmark, or tower. Do not use the Cumberland University wordmark within text. Do not combine with any other marks, graphic elements, or words except as specified or approved by the Office of Marketing and Communications. Do not alter the Cumberland University logo except to enlarge or reduce proportionally. Do not layer other graphics, colors, or images over the logo. The logo may be used on give-away promotional items such as T-shirts, mugs, key chains, etc., with prior approval from the Office of Marketing and Communications. Requests should be submitted to the Office of Marketing and Communications through


Approved Logo Versions


Clock Tower The Memorial Hall clock tower graphic is a simple, strong, and iconic mark that symbolizes Cumberland University. All CU administrative and academic units may use the clock tower, which is available in Phoenix maroon, black, and white.

Use Display the clock tower only in CU red (Pantone Matching System ink color 202 or hex code 8b0018 for web), black, or white. Use only approved, unaltered versions of the clock tower. Do not recreate the clock tower. Do not alter the clock tower except to enlarge or reduce proportionally. Do not combine the clock tower with or place it within any other marks, graphic elements, or words except as specified or approved by the Office of Marketing and Communications. The clock tower may be used as a graphic element on any communication, in addition to the CU wordmark. The clock tower may be used on give-away promotional items such as T-shirts, mugs, key chains, etc., with prior approval from the Office of Marketing and Communications. Requests should be submitted to the Office of Marketing and Communications through


The Phoenix Wing Graphics

As part of the current CU brand campaign—It’s Time to Rise—a distinctive Phoenix wing graphic has been created to feature and draw attention to Phoenix who exemplify the character and heart of the Phoenix. The wing graphic provides immediate recognition when it appears behind the back of a photographed Phoenix subject.

Who wears the wing?

Where is the wing graphic used? University-level marketing communications and advertising Brand-aligned college, department, and unit communications that clearly reinforce university brand messaging


Use the wing graphic only in connection with CU Phoenix (faculty, staff, students, and alumni). In marketing communications, the graphic should not appear on its own or on inanimate objects or animals.


How is the wing graphic used?

The wing graphic has been created with attention to color, tone, and proportion. It features the Phoenix maroon with an opacity that creates the suggestion of the wing —and the heroic feelings associated with it—and avoids appearing as if the person is literally wearing a wing. The graphic must be downloaded and used exactly as designed, with no alterations according to the guidelines below, other than adjusting proportionally for size in relation to the size of the subject and in the following instances: In photos with light backgrounds, the CU red gradient may be adjusted, depending on the photo, from 70 percent to as little as 50 percent opacity to achieve a balance between contrast and transparency. Avoid using photos with dark backgrounds. The graphic should be used in connection with a single Phoenix subject. The graphic should be positioned left of the subject’s shoulder but not touching the subject. Allowing some space between the graphic and the subject helps to position the wing to reflect the broad wing span of a Phoenix. The graphic should be sized according to the size of the subject in the image. In general, the bottom of the wing should not extend below the subject’s waist.



When is the wing graphic used?

In a video, use only on an individual subject in the end frame as a signature. On a website, use only on an individual subject in an image on the home page, not throughout the site. Do not use the graphic on multiple subjects in one image. An exception may be made in the case in which collaboration is the focus of the message, but in this instance no more than three subjects should appear, with the wing associated only with primary individuals. Do not use the graphic on its own to represent CU. Do not use the graphic on merchandise, promotional items, or giveaways (T-shirts, coffee cups, pens, etc.) The university logo or tower must be used for these purposes. For assistance with graphic design you should submit a request to the Marketing and Communications Office at


Typo grap hy

Typography choices say a lot about an organization, often before the actual words are read. For this reason, and to provide brand consistency, primary and secondary typefaces have been chosen for use for Cumberland University communications. These typefaces, also called fonts, complement the university logo and provide flexibility to our graphic identity.



Libra Serif Modern Regular Libra Serif Modern Bold Libra Serif Modern Italic Libra Serif Modern is our secondary font that may be used for both headlines and body text. As an innovative, refreshing serif design, it’s compatible with Times New Roman. Libra Serif is best used for printed materials.

FONT SUBSTITUTES FOR PRINT AND DIGITAL MEDIA Martel San is our primary font that is used for all university communications. The Martel Sans type family has many weights, is appropriate for almost any application, and has the flexibility to feel classic yet approachable.


League Spartan


Open Sans


Choosing from the university’s color palettes brings visual consistency to designs across campus.

Color Palette

There are a number of colors to choose from and dozens of possible combinations, which can help you build your unit’s own unique identity within the university’s broader brand identity. Each of the colors below has a series of numbers, or codes, assigned to them. Which code you use depends on the medium you are designing for.


Phoenix Maroon

PMS 202 CMYK 0 100 61 43 RGB 149 0 48 HEX 8B0018

PMS NUTRAL BLACK CMYK 100 100 100 100 RGB 0 0 0 HEX 000000

CMYK Colors for print communications. Almost all print communications today are produced using the four-color (CMYK) process. You should use a color’s CMYK breakdown any time you are creating a print project

HEX & RGB Colors for electronic communications. Communications that appear on the web, including e-mail, or are projected or displayed on a screen use different color codes than print communications. You should use a color’s hexadecimal (HEX) code or RGB breakdown when designing electronic communications.


PMS WHITE CMYK 0 0 0 0 RGB 255 255 255 HEX FFFFFF


Colors for specialty printing. Occasionally you may need to have something produced that doesn’t utilize the four-color CMYK process but is printed using spot colors. This process is typically reserved for merchandise. In these cases, you should use a color’s Pantone Matching System (PMS) color.

SECONDARY PALETTE Colors in the secondary palette accent our core colors. When used with the primary palette, they add energy and youthfulness to our brand identity. The names of our colors point to an aspect of CU’s history or the elements that define the character of the Phoenix.



Color Palette

Baird Blue

PMS 7463 U CMYK 36 21 0 51 RGB 81 99 126 HEX 51637E

PMS 2016 C CMYK 0 27 55 2 RGB 250 182 112 HEX FAB670

PMS 9460 U CMYK 23 6 0 2 RGB 192 234 249 HEX C0EAF9




PMS 329 CMYK 100 50 65 0 RGB 0 116 111 HEX 00746F


PMS 572 UP CMYK 18 0 10 14 RGB 180 220 197 HEX B4DCC5

PMS 7650 XGC CMYK 0 78 21 55 RGB 114 25 90 HEX 72195A


PMS 420C CMYK 0 0 0 20 RGB 204 204 204 HEX CCCCCC

PMS 3527 CP CMYK 0 74 46 7 RGB 238 62 128 HEX CB2F7E


PMS 18-0503 TPG CMYK 0 0 0 58 RGB 107 107 107 HEX 6B6B6B


SOCIAL MEDIA At Cumberland University, we understand that social media platforms are important communication channels that can shape, influence and perpetuate the CU brand. Cumberland University recognizes and uses the following channels to promote external communications: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. To assist in posting and managing content on our social media sites, the Office of Communications has developed some policies and guidelines.


GUIDELINES & POLICIES All social media pages should be aligned with the CU brand standards to ensure that social media users recognize official college and unit pages on the platform. You are acting as a representative of Cumberland University when using any social media channel. If you identify yourself as a member of Cumberland University in some way (i.e. professor, staff, leader) on your account, you must denote in your bio the phrase "Views are my own." Confidential or proprietary university information should not be shared publicly on social media. Keep in mind that all social media content on accounts affiliated with Cumberland University is a subject to review by the Office of Marketing and Communications. All CU-affiliated accounts must be registered through the Office of Marketing and Communications.


5 Tips for Social Media Success CREATE ACCURATE CONTENT


Verify any information that you are sharing. Once something is posted to the internet, it's hard to take off. It's easier to confirm accuracy than have to post a retraction.

Content that is populated on Cumberland-affiliated accounts is representative of the univeristy's brand. Craft your messages carefully, share posts that add value, and be mindful of how your account is managed.



The best accounts are the ones that consider what resonates with their audiences. If your posts are not receiving likes, comments, shares etc., try varying the types of posts or shares to find out what works best.

Keeping an active and updated social media account with engaging content can be challenging. Planning ahead, scheduling posts, setting goals, and looking for inspiration are all helpful ways to manage content

USE GRAPHICS & VISUALS Social media posts are much more likely to perform well if they include a photo. Make sure to have engaging pictures of students, faculty, staff, alumni, etc. represented on your account. Avoid flyers. 50


Photography is a vital element of the Cumberland University brand. It evokes emotion and connects people to the institution. Just as important, the photography has a point of view. It says Cumberland University is personal—that Phoenix are always rising and making an impact. Our photography should not only be beautiful but also convey our brand’s personality and essence. All CU promotional photos are available at and can be found by searching Cumberland University.


Portrait (Hero Shot) Photography


The subject of the photograph should always be the main focus. Subjects should be placed in the photo so the viewer’s eye is drawn straight to them. The subject should appear hardworking and unpretentious, yet accomplished and heroic.

Still life Photography

A photo of an inanimate object or objects may be used to highlight a specific initiative, discovery, or opportunity at Cumberland University. Still-life photographs should be shot the same way as portrait photos, with the object taking the place of the living subject. The still-life photo subject can be composed against a plain background or within a natural environment. In addition, the composition of the photograph must provide room for headlines and other typography.


Landscapes Photography


Landscapes, both as a background for portrait shots and to stand on their own, should be expansive and awe-inspiring. Because campus is such a big part of our brand image, it’s important to use photos that show the energy and beauty that surround CU.

For questions about the Cumberland University brand and style guidelines please contact the Office of Marketing and Communications







Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.