RSOs face tight guidelines for branded merch

The SVSU logo is not always easy for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) to use on the merchandise they create for their groups.

Students are encouraged to use the SVSU logo with their RSOs, so long as they go through the process correctly.

J.J. Boehm, the interim executive director of University Communications, explained why graphics standards are so strict.

“When students use an SVSU mark appropriately, it strengthens our brand identity, which ultimately benefits students because a stronger SVSU reputation improves their prospects when applying for jobs,” he said.

Boehm explained what graphics students can and cannot use for RSO merchandise.

“Students may use unaltered SVSU marks, including the Cardinal head and the SVSU logo,” he said. “One exception is the official university seal, which is reserved for the Office of the President.”

There is a certain process that must be followed when adding the SVSU logo to merchandise.

“Students may submit a project request ticket to University Communications for help with using SVSU logos, guidance or help from the art director and a design intern with developing graphic marks,” Boehm said.

To submit project request tickets, students should go to svsu. edu/ucomm, then click on “Submit A Request” and “General Help.”

Students should be aware of the amount of time the process takes to create graphics for their organizations, Boehm said.

“University Communications will typically follow up within a day or two if a consultation is requested,” he said. “When artwork is submitted for review, we usually respond in a couple of days.”

However, due to the pandemic, the process may move a little more slowly.

“As with many things, the pandemic could cause delays, either due to the workload of SVSU staff or in terms of receiving word from one of our external partners,” Boehm said. “The process of getting a quote, finding a vendor and working with the SVSU Purchasing office normally takes a few weeks.”

Students must follow certain rules when creating graphics for their RSOs.

“Students may use the SVSU Cardinal and logo, but those graphic marks must not be altered,” Boehm said. “They are registered trademarks of the University, and it is important to all SVSU stakeholders, including students, that we protect our trademarks, so that those trademarks are not misused or appropriated in a way that could damage the university’s reputation.”

RSOs are also asked to print with particular vendors.

“Students should work with licensed vendors through the SVSU Purchasing office when ordering products,” Boehm said. “We also strongly discourage the creation of new Cardinal graphics, as these create confusion among audiences, vendors, etc.”

Students and RSOs are encouraged to talk to University Communications if they need help with their graphics.

Guides are available at svsu. edu/universitycommunications/ graphicstandards/.

All requests for logo creation or review should be sent to svsu. edu/ucomm under the “New Project” tab.

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