Brand Basics

What is a brand? 

A brand is more than a logo or the Spartan Helmet – it’s a promise

Upholding a brand means making good on a promise time after time. For Michigan State University, this promise and brand have been upheld for nearly 160 years.

From the Michigan State University Brand Guide:

“Our brand is what students, parents, academics, alumni, public servants, corporations, countries, and outside observers all think, feel, and respond to when they hear the words ‘Michigan State University.”

Like the University itself, the College of Arts & Letters has a brand to demonstrate the distinctive features and successes of its faculty and students. Used unfailingly, each of the programs housed in the College of Arts & Letters will enjoy the benefits of being clearly associated with the College and the University as a whole.


Why does CAL need a Brand Guide?

Maintaining a brand isn’t hard, but it takes consistency and effort.

The College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University houses many unique programs, majors, specializations, and people. However, each of these components is also housed within Michigan State University. This means that each publication, website, or multimedia production needs to adhere to standards set forth by the College to maintain a united presence both within the MSU community and throughout the world.

Each member of the College of Arts & Letters community from faculty and staff to current students and alumni has a responsibility to be an ambassador of the strengths and diversity housed by the College. By sending strong ambassadors into communities around the world, the College of Arts & Letters hones a distinct reputation. This reputation depends not only on the people who represent the brand, but on the pieces that may stand
independent of those people.

Consistency of content, messaging, visuals, and quality from each department will ensure that the brand of the College of Arts & Letters and Michigan State University is authentic throughout the MSU community, at home and abroad.