What is a brand?

A brand is the total experience that we create for all of our audiences. In the College of Natural Resources and Environment, we are a part of the university brand and experience, but it’s also important that we leverage our college brand — because there are amazing things happening in the college and we have a unique story to tell.

We recognize that there are many different experiences and voices that define our story and that it is always changing and evolving. For this reason, we also believe that it’s important that we all understand and are able to articulate what we do, how we do it, and why we do it.

These are the critical parts of our story that at once unify and differentiate CNRE from the university brand and from the basis for how we bring our brand — and the CNRE experience — to life.

Why do we need brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines are important to ensure that all the publications, websites, social media, merchandise, etc. that represent CNRE have a consistent look and feel. Our goal is that whenever our audiences come into contact with any of these items, they immediately recognize the “stamp” of Virginia Tech and CNRE.

Essentially, it’s about name recognition for CNRE and Virginia Tech. It’s also important that all our branded materials project the same standard of excellence that defines our teaching and research. Adhering to brand guidelines and having a professional, unified look and feel encourages others in the Virginia Tech community, the region, the commonwealth, and the world to see us as leaders in our field.

Lockups for the college, departments, and centers

Lockups (or logos) have been created for the college and all of our officially recognized departments and centers, and can be accessed using the links below. For each unit, you will find horizontal as well as vertical designs; the vertical or stacked lockups are most commonly used for merchandise.

If you have a Mac computer, download the zip file then open it to create a folder contaning the lockups. To install on a PC, click the "Download" button. Locate the zipped file in your “Downloads” folder, right click, and select “Extract All...” from the menu. Choose where you want to save the files.

Please also note the following recommendations for determining which file format to use:

  • For full color printed layouts, use CMYK.ai files.
  • For spot color printing (most swag or giveaway items), use PMS.ai files.
  • For PowerPoint or Word docs, use .JPG or .PNG files.
  • For websites, use .SVG files.

If you have any questions about file format or which lockup to use, contact Will Pfeil at wpfeil@vt.edu or 540-231-6639.

Clicking "Download" will download a ZIP file containing all official color and file versions of the CNRE lockup.

CNRE standard lockup


CNRE stacked lockup

Lockup use for merchandise

For applications that require the stacked vertical design, we request that you use the CNRE Vertical Lockup Licensing files (included in the download), along with your department name in an alternate location set in the font GinesoCondDemi.otf (also included). For examples, please see FWC_Licensing__examples.pdf.

Lockup use for merchandise

For applications that require the stacked vertical design, we request that you use the CNRE Vertical Lockup Licensing files (included in the download), along with your department name in an alternate location set in the font GinesoCondDemi.otf (also included). For examples, please see FREC_Licensing__examples.pdf.

Lockup use for merchandise

For applications that require the stacked vertical design, we request that you use the CNRE Vertical Lockup Licensing files (included in the download), along with your department name in an alternate location set in the font GinesoCondDemi.otf (also included). For examples, please see GEOG_Licensing__examples.pdf.

Lockup use for merchandise

For applications that require the stacked vertical design, we request that you use the CNRE Vertical Lockup Licensing files (included in the download), along with your department name in an alternate location set in the font GinesoCondDemi.otf (also included). For examples, please see SBIO_Licensing__examples.pdf.

Lockup use for merchandise

For applications that require the stacked vertical design, we request that you use the CNRE Vertical Lockup Licensing files (included in the download), along with your department name in an alternate location set in the font GinesoCondDemi.otf (also included). For examples, please see FREC_Licensing__examples.pdf.

Lockup use for merchandise

For applications that require the stacked vertical design, we request that you use the CNRE Vertical Lockup Licensing files (included in the download), along with your department name in an alternate location set in the font GinesoCondDemi.otf (also included). For examples, please see FREC_Licensing__examples.pdf.

Lockup use for merchandise

For applications that require the stacked vertical design, we request that you use the CNRE Vertical Lockup Licensing files (included in the download), along with your department name in an alternate location set in the font GinesoCondDemi.otf (also included). For examples, please see FREC_Licensing__examples.pdf.

Lockup use for merchandise

For applications that require the stacked vertical design, we request that you use the CNRE Vertical Lockup Licensing files (included in the download), along with your department name in an alternate location set in the font GinesoCondDemi.otf (also included). For examples, please see FREC_Licensing__examples.pdf.

Lockup use for merchandise

For applications that require the stacked vertical design, we request that you use the CNRE Vertical Lockup Licensing files (included in the download), along with your department name in an alternate location set in the font GinesoCondDemi.otf (also included). For examples, please see FREC_Licensing__examples.pdf.

Lockup use for merchandise

For applications that require the stacked vertical design, we request that you use the CNRE Vertical Lockup Licensing files (included in the download), along with your department name in an alternate location set in the font GinesoCondDemi.otf (also included). For examples, please see FREC_Licensing__examples.pdf.

Brand and communications resources

In the accordion below, you’ll find the building blocks of a successful brand. This is where you can obtain the graphic elements and language you need to complete a project and where you can plug in to and request additional resources.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact any member of the Communications Team or visit us in 321 Cheatham Hall.

  • Krista Timney, Director of Communications, ktimney@vt.edu or 540-231-6157
  • Will Pfeil, Web and Media Specialist, wpfeil@vt.edu or 540-231-6639
  • Helen Thompson, Communications Assistant, hthompson@vt.edu or 540-231-8826

If you are interested in purchasing or producing any kind of product that bears the Virginia Tech name, logo, or other identifying mark, be sure to review the licensing information available online. If you have questions, you can contact the Office of Licensing and Trademarks Administration at licensing@vt.edu.

Please note that the term “lock-up” refers to what some might call a logo. Marks or trademarks include the Virginia Tech name and VT as a graphic element, the Hokie Bird, etc.

Here are a few important tips and guidelines about licensing, specifically in relation to merchandise:

  • Only university colleges, departments, and other administrative units can order products bearing the Virginia Tech logo, name, and other identifying marks to be used as giveaways (not sold). 
  • To order, choose one of the licensed vendors that you would like to work with (see the lists at the bottom of the page). All merchandise featuring a university trademark must be produced by a licensed vendor.
  • According to the Licensing Office, these are the most-used vendors: Exper-T’s, Eleven West, 4imprint, Synergy Imports, and Boost Promotional.
  • Many vendors can also assist you with the artwork/product design.
  • Once you and the vendor have agreed on a design, the vendor will submit the artwork to the Licensing Office for review.
  • Please note that if you are supplying these items or giving them away at a conference where there is a registration fee, you will need to pay royalties as this is considered selling the merchandise.
  • If you do plan to produce an item to sell that incorporates a university trademark or lock-up, you would need to pay royalties and obtain approval from the Licensing Office
  • Student groups that are Registered Student Organizations are not permitted to use any university or college lock-up or identifying mark (except the Hokie Bird or Hokie Tracks). Student groups may create merchandise such as T-shirts that incorporates the group’s name and the words “at Virginia Tech” or use a logo that they have designed specifically for their group — again, as long as they do not also incorporate any official Virginia Tech, college, or department trademark or name. Also, please do not use acronyms!
  • There is also an approval and licensing process for independent crafters who wish to produce handmade products with Virginia Tech trademarks.

If you have questions, we recommend contacting the Licensing Office directly at licensing@vt.edu

If you need to hire a graphic artist, photographer, or other vendor for a special or ongoing project, check out the Resource Network Guide on the Virginia Tech Brand Center. The vendors have been vetted and pre-approved, so they are already under contract by the university. They should also have access to all Virginia Tech branded elements.

We recommend contacting several vendors with project specs and deadlines to get estimates and to be sure the vendor can complete the work in a timely fashion.

We are always looking for great stories about what’s happening in CNRE and creative ways to tell the CNRE story to our varied audiences. If you have big news — especially news relating to student learning, research, or outreach activities — please let us know!

We manage and work within many communications mediums, so we can help determine which is the best channel for each story: social media, website, newsmagazine, etc. We also work with Media Relations to distribute articles through the Virginia Tech Daily and other channels. Check out the CNRE news feed here.

If you have a story idea, please contact Krista Timney, Director of Communications, at ktimney@vt.edu or 540-231-6157.

We can also work with the Media Relations team to develop a media advisory or tipsheet when there may be a developing story that will interest the media, such as a change in a law or policy, an impending event like a hurricane, or a significant campus event. A media advisory or tipsheet is a great way for us to provide reporters with the names of faculty experts who can contribute to their original stories. Here are some examples:

In addition to writing and distributing articles and press releases, we also perform the following communications and marketing activities that help advance the college and contribute to alumni engagement, fundraising, and more:

  • Publicizing events and programs through the use of appropriate communications channels and photography
  • Managing the college brand assets and offering guidance for their use
  • Creating content for and designing college publications
  • Developing and maintaining the college website
  • Managing the college social media accounts
  • Offering guidance and best practice info related to newsletters, social media, writing for the web, and print publications
  • Connecting reporters and other media personnel with faculty experts, and generally working to build and nurture relationships with the media
  • Assisting faculty who are interested in preparing and training for media appearances
  • Providing training and consultation on adopting the new One website template and other web design and implementation issues for sites using the university’s CMS
  • Providing training on how to use video equipment and Zoom to broadcast or record an event
  • Connecting college faculty staff with appropriate University Relations units and personnel for additional assistance and services

If you have questions, please feel free to contact any member of the Communications Team or visit us in 321 Cheatham Hall.

  • Krista Timney, Director of Communications, ktimney@vt.edu or 540-231-6157
  • Will Pfeil, Web and Media Specialist, wpfeil@vt.edu or 540-231-6639
  • Helen Thompson, Communications Assistant, hthompson@vt.edu or 540-231-8826

The language that you use in talking about the college is just as important as the visual identity. Our brand messaging is how we communicate and execute our brand (tell our audiences who we are and what we do) using the written word.

The CNRE messaging map that you see below ties our messaging into the university master brand but also provides language that distinctively and authentically celebrates our strengths. We do this by using the three brand pillars of research, culture, and learning to talk about what we offer and what we produce (or get) in return.

Did you know that there are specific rules for how we write the names of degrees, dates, titles, departments, telephone numbers, etc., and how we utilize punctuation marks at the university? Check out the University Style Guide to ensure that your content is consistent and professional.

Messaging map for the college

Visit the Virginia Tech Brand Center to review best practices for incorporating visual elements of the brand such as graphic elements, fonts, colors, logos, etc.

You can also go directly to the downloads page to obtain:

  • Fonts (To install fonts on a PC, click the DOWNLOAD NOW button and select “Save File.” Locate the zipped file in your “Downloads” folder, right click, and select “Extract.” Open folder with the individual fonts, right click, and select “Install.” You may need to restart an application to use the fonts.)
  • Graphic elements
  • Virginia Tech print and web logos
  • PowerPoint templates
  • Letterhead

If you need to order business cards, please use the form made available by Printing Services. There are several styles to choose from, and you can chose whether you want to use the college lock-up or that of your department or center.

If you need letterhead for your department or center, contact the department head or director. You can also utilize the CNRE letterhead for university business.

Ensemble is the web content management system (CMS) utilized by Virginia Tech. We highly recommend that all units in the college take advantage of the CMS as it is supported by the university. By doing so, you'll be able to utlize the One branded template and have additional “ready-made” templates for pages and page elements at your disposal that do not require a lot of technical expertise to create or incorporate.

Plus, there are people who can help you get started and make updates, a ticket system for when you need support, and a variety of training resources available. In terms of training, check out the on-demand training video as well as the on-campus NLI courses for Ensemble.

Please note that the One template is not currently available or supported if you are using another content management system.

Virginia Tech offers a robust slate of social media resources for people who are just getting started as well as more advanced users who want to improve their sites and strategies. All of the following social media resources are available online, and you can also contact the Virginia Tech social media team for additional assistance.

  • Virginia Tech Social Media Policy
  • Social Media Best Practices
  • Recorded presentations and trainings on best practices, using analytics, and more
  • Guides for emergencies, moderating online discussions, measuring success, and more

As we develop publications that can be repurposed and used by multiple units, we will add them to this space. Check back occasionally to see if new items have been added. In addition, if you have developed a print piece for your department that you are willing to share, please contact us and we will add it as well.

  • Save the date card?
  • Awards banquet invitation?

 

There is a University Relations photo library with thousands of images available for use by faculty and staff. However, CNRE-related images are limited. For access, please contact Megan Zalecki at meganz@vt.edu.

If you are taking any staged shots to promote or market your units or activities, please utilize the Media Release Form. Here are a few basic guidelines in relation to when you need to obtain a signed release:

  • You typically do not need a release if you are taking photos or video of people in a public place, unless you really focus on or get very close shots of people.
  • You should get a release for a photo or video shoot that is staged and/or when people are there for the sole purpose of being a part of the shoot, especially when you are planning to use the photos for a print publication or when you are working on a video.
  • Always get a signed release when photographing minors.
  • We also recommend using the following language on the information and/or registration pages for any event where photos will/may be taken: Please be advised that photographs will be taken at this event. Your participation in this event authorizes Virginia Tech to photograph you and use your image in social media, on the website, and/or in marketing materials.

We are working to build a photography library for the college and are investigating options for making photos available to all faculty and staff. We are especially looking for photos of students and faculty engaging in hands-on activities such as field experiences, research, study abroad, lab activities, etc. If you have a great activity taking place as part of a class or lab — especially if it’s outdoors — please contact Kris Timney at 540-231-6157 or ktimney@vt.edu.

University Relations offers additional photography and videography services to help tell the university story. If you know of a student success story or learning, research, or community activities that would have broad appeal and highlight what we are contributing as a college and university, please contact Kris Timney at 540-231-6157 or ktimney@vt.edu about the possibility of requesting a photographer/ videographer.

Below are two examples of videos that we have collaborated on with University Relations staff: