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Brand Standards

Brand Standards Guidelines

The Brand Standards Guidelines detail the proper use of Mount St. Mary's University's visual identity, including the logos, colors and fonts for all subsidiaries, as well as the writing style guide and proper use of our name and other trademarked assets.

Download Brand Standards Guidelines

The Mount St. Mary’s University logo represents the university wherever it appears as a unique symbol of identity for our institution, and it is important that the established guidelines for its use are followed. It is to be used as the main identifier of the university and should be used in any publication that leaves campus.

If the Office of University Marketing & Communications is not producing your publication, logo files are available for download on the Mount's SharePoint Team Site.

Get Logos & Fonts from University SharePoint >

(MSMU login required)

Brand assets are available for download through the MSMU SharePoint Teamsite. (MSMU login required.)

Download logos and fonts

University Logo

Primary Stacked Logo


The logo is the single, strongest visual representation of the University. It is how the world sees and recognizes us. The official Mount St. Mary’s University logo is a combination mark consisting of a graphic symbol with accompanying customized typography in a “stacked” format.

It should be used in all external communications—print, web or electronic materials—and on items such as signage, clothing, accessories, promotional items, etc.

Using the University logo properly and consistently is critical to creating a strong brand presence. Please review the information below, along with the Brand Standards Guidelines, for proper use.

Alternate Logo - Horizontal


For situations where the primary, stacked version of the logo will not suit the application, it is acceptable to use the alternate, horizontal logo.

Please Note - Do's and Don'ts

Respecting the logo is also respecting ourselves. Using it improperly will diminish our ability to solidly establish our visual identity and maximize our brand’s effectiveness and recognition. Keep these tips top of mind and always refer to the official Brand Standards (.pdf) document for proper use.

  • The primary logo is required; the use of a secondary level in the logo is optional.
  • The logo is only acceptable in Mount navy blue (PANTONE 295), or in the specified process color conversion of the PANTONE color. When restrictions limit the use of color, the logo may present in white or black.
  • When the logo is used in marketing materials with photography, illustration or other typography, a minimum amount of clear space must surround the logotype to ensure visibility and integrity. 
  • There is a minimum reproduction size for all logos. 
  • Athletic logos and marks cannot be sub-branded with university identification lines.

Get Logos from University SharePoint >

(MSMU login required)

Department and Internal Campus Logos

Primary & Secondary Logos for Offices, Departments, Schools and Programs

The logo with a secondary level is available in two orientations: stacked and horizontal. Each office, department, school or sub-brand should use only the approved and supplied versions of its logo lockup. In no case should the logos be altered, redrawn, distorted or recreated. An independently designed secondary graphic mark for an office, department, school or sub-brand is not permitted.

Internal Campus Logos

For the university brand to “speak with one voice,” the Mount St. Mary's brand identity extends into internal campus logos in very limited use cases. While sharing the same mission yet having individual personalities, the internal campus logos are prominently linked to the university’s core brand while requiring differentiation as they provide distinctive applications for their specific areas of influence.The Office of University Marketing & Communications maintains marketing and advertising guidelines, as well as regulates the use of all subsets and logos. Contact the Office of University Marketing & Communications for assistance with any logo not posted.

Please Note

  • The primary logo is required; the use of a secondary level in the logo is optional.
  • The logo is only acceptable in Mount navy blue (PANTONE 295), or in the specified process color conversion of the PANTONE color.
  • When restrictions limit the use of color, the logo may present in white or black.
  • Athletic logos and marks cannot be sub-branded with university identification lines.

University Seal

The university seal is to be used on formal and official documents only. For publications and other applications not supervised by the Office of University Marketing & Communications or the Office of the President, permission is required for use of the seal.

Athletic Logos

Mount St. Mary's University has a distinct logo for use with Division I Athletics. "The Mount" logo, with the mountain included in the graphic mark, is used to exclusively represent Division I Athletic teams.

Please Note

  • The athletic logo may not be used as a substitute for the university logo.
  • Athletic logos and marks cannot be sub-branded with university identification lines. This includes recreation, club sports and student organizations and activities.
  • Campus Recreation, including club sports and intramurals, and all student clubs and organizations fall under internal campus logos use case standards.


Mount St. Mary's Seminary has a distinct logo and seal. Learn about the logo, seal and other branding considerations through the Seminary Brand Standards Guide.

Download Seminary Brand Standards Guidelines

National Shrine Grotto Logo

The National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is owned and operated by Mount St. Mary's University. The National Shrine Grotto logo is part of the suite of logos currently in development.

Creative Requests

For assistance with print and digital design projects, please submit a creative request and a member of our graphic design team will contact you.

Submit a creative request

Writing Style Guide


All marketing and communication projects must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The Office of University Marketing & Communications follows AP Style. Exceptions may be permitted for students submitting first-person narratives, which will be determined by the office.
  • Always use active voice.
  • Any submitted writing pieces will be edited by at least one member of the marketing team.

Academic Degrees

If mention of degree(s) is necessary to establish someone's credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation and use instead a phrase such as: John Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology.

Use an apostrophe in bachelor's degree, a master's, etc., but there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science.
  • Lowercase: master’s degree, bachelor’s degree
  • Capitalize: Master of Business Administration
Only capitalize unofficial degree titles when they are languages
  • bachelor’s degree in English/French; bachelor’s degree in marketing
  • Bachelor of Arts in English; Bachelor of Arts in Marketing
Also: an associate degree (no possessive).

Use such abbreviations as B.A., M.A., LL.D. and Ph.D. only when the need to identify many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome. Use these abbreviations only after a full name — never after just a last name.

When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas: John Snow, Ph.D., spoke.

Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference.
  • Example never use Dr. John Smith, Ph.D.

Academic Departments

Use lower case expect for words that are proper nouns or adjectives. 
  • the history department
  • the history department
  • the department of English
  • Mount St. Mary's University Division of University Advancement
  • “Go talk to the department in charge.”        

Board of Trustees

For formal reference use the capitalized version. 
  • The Board of Trustees will vote at the end of the meeting. 
Lowercase when used as reference
  • The board met on Friday.
  • One of the trustees will be present at the meeting

Capitalization and Abbreviation

General rule: When in doubt, do not capitalize.



Capitalize when talking about the Holy Bible, not when using as slang
  • I was reading the Bible
  • The AP Stylebook is my bible


Capitalize as part of the formal name of a building, a congregation or a denomination; lowercase in other uses: St. Mary's Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic and Episcopal churches, a Roman Catholic church, a church.

Religious Titles

First reference to clergyman/woman should have a capitalized title before the individual’s name. On second reference, only use a last name without title or abbreviated title
  • Monsignor Andrew Baker is the rector at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. Baker is…”


Mount Style: Capitalize when formally referring to the class as a whole.
  • The Class of 2019 walked into to the ARCC to begin the ceremony.
Do not capitalize class years, or the words freshman, sophomore, etc.
  • The senior class is graduating soon.
  • Jane Doe is in the class of 2016.



  • Spell out when not accompanied by a day of the week (ex. July) 
  • Abbreviate when accompanied by day of week (ex. Saturday, Oct. 18).  
  • Never abbreviate months that are five or fewer letters: March, April, May, June, July.


For press release – all caps with abbreviated state (i.e.) FREDERICK, Md. or EMMITSBURG, Md.

Fields of Study

Names of fields of study, options, curricula, major areas (except names of languages) unless referring to a specific course.
  • He is studying philosophy and English.
  • Each student must meet core requirements in the sciences and thehumanities.
  • A first-year student should take ENGL 110.



That, which (pronouns) Use that and which in referring to inanimate objects and to animals without a name. Use that for essential clauses, important to the meaning of a sentence, and without commas:
  • I remember the day that we met.
Use which for nonessential clauses, where the pronoun is less necessary, and use commas:
  • The team, which finished last a year ago, is in first place. 
(Tip: If you can drop the clause and not lose the meaning of the sentence, use which; otherwise, use that. A which clause is surrounded by commas; no commas are used with that clauses.) 


Who is the pronoun used for references to human beings and to animals with a name. Write the person who is in charge, not the person that is in charge. Who is grammatically the subject (never the object) of a sentence, clause or phrase:
  • The woman who rented the room left the window open.
  • Who is there? 
Whom is used when someone is the object of a verb or preposition:
  • The woman to whom the room was rented left the window open.
  • Whom do you wish to see?
See essential clauses, nonessential clauses for guidelines on how to punctuate clauses introduced by who, whom, that and which. Also see that, which (pronouns).

Numbers and Figures


In general, spell out numbers one through nine and use figures only for numbers 10 and above.
  • My pet monster has three heads and five eyes.
  • Did you know that 10 out of 25 people believe phony statistics?
There are many exceptions that always take figures; common examples include: 
  • Addresses: 7 Park Place
  • Ages, but not for inanimate objects: the 4-year-old cat; the four-year-old car
  • Cents: 8 cents
  • Dollars. Do not include a period and two zeroes when referring to an even dollar figure: $3 or $4.15 
  • Dates take cardinal numbers (see dates section): March 4, not March 4th
  • Dimensions: 5 foot tall 2 inches, 5-by-9 cell
  • Highways: Route 7
  • Millions, billions: 6 billion people
  • Percentages. Percent is one word: 1 percent or 50 percent
  • Speed: 8 mph
  • Temperatures: 2 degrees or 2F
  • Times. Do not include a colon and two zeroes when referring to an even hour (see time): 4 p.m.
Spell out numbers used at the beginning of a sentence. Exception: Never spell out years. 
  • Ten thousand people marched on the capital. 1999 was a bad year for technology companies.
Use commas to set off each group of three digits in numerals higher than 999 (except for years and addresses).
  • 12,650
Use decimals (up to two places) for amounts in the millions and billions that do not require a precise figure.
  • $3.74 billion
Add an s but no apostrophe to a number to make it plural. The same rule applies to decades. Use an apostrophe on a decade only if cutting off the initial figures.
  • in the 1980s or the '80s
Use hyphens for phone numbers.
  • 301-447-5366



Use commas to separate elements in a series. Put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series:
  • The flag is red, white and blue.
  • He would nominate Tom, Dick or Harry. 
Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases:
  • The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enoughto compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude. 
Use a comma to separate two or more adjectives that modify equally the same noun or pronoun and are not separated by a coordinating conjunction (e.g., and).
  • a long, tedious process (a long and tedious process)
Use no comma when the last adjective before a noun outranks its predecessors because it is an integral element of a noun phrase, such as the equivalent of a single noun:
  • a cheap fur coat (the noun is fur coat)
  • the old oaken bucket 
Use a comma to set off independent clauses (each with a subject and verb) joined by a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, for, so, yet):
  • We are visiting Washington, and we also plan a side trip to Williamsburg. 
Use a comma after introductory elements that modify a word in the main clause or that modify the entire sentence:
  • Frightened by the sound, Jenny called the police.
  • Wrapping up his testimony, the witness stepped down.
  • Of course, the law now requires personal watercraft operators and passengers to wear life jackets. 
Use a comma to set off phrases. Absolute phrases modify an entire sentence rather than a noun within the sentence. They usually contain a participle and its subject:
  • The World Series having concluded, the focus now turns to football.
  • Many sports fans, their attention previously divided, now follow footballmore closely. 
Use a comma or commas to set off nonrestrictive elements. Nonrestrictive elements provide additional information about the word or words they modify; therefore, they can be omitted from the sentence without altering the core meaning.
  • Mount St. Mary’s University, located in Emmitsburg, Maryland, is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
Omitting the phrase “located in Emmitsburg, Maryland” does not change the essential meaning of this sentence. Compare this sentence to the one below:
  • Students who do not spend adequate time preparing for final exams willnot pass. 
Omitting the clause “who do not spend adequate time preparing for final exams” does change the essential meaning of the sentence. The writer does not mean that all students will pass, only those who do not spend adequate time preparing for final exams. Therefore, the clause “who do not spend adequate time preparing for final exams” restricts the meaning of the noun students (and is essential to themeaning of the sentence) and, therefore, cannot be set off with commas. 
Use a comma to set off a complete, one-sentence quotation within a paragraph:
  • “We played as well as we could have and still lost,” said Coach Jones inher post-game press conference. 
Do not use a comma at the start of an indirect or partial quotation:
  • People’s knowledge that “seat belts save lives” does not guarantee thatthey will wear one.
  • He said his victory put him “firmly on the road to a first-ballot nomination.” 
Use a comma instead of a period at the end of a quotation that is followed by an attribution or acknowledgement phrase:
  • “Erase the board,” Mr. Crowley ordered. 
Do not use a comma, however, if the quoted statement ends with a question mark or exclamation point:
  • Why should I? he asked. 
Commas always go inside quotation marks.


Use to introduce lists, tabulations, texts, etc. Capitalize the first word only if it is a proper noun..
  • He promised this: the company will make good on all losses.


The Mount follows the Associated Press style for states. Spell out the names of states when they appear alone in textural material. There are eight states that are never abbreviated.
  • Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah.
The abbreviations for the other states, to be used in lists, are as follows:
  • Ala., Ariz, Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kan.,Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Neb.,Nev., N.C., N.D., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., Okla., Ore., Pa.,R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.
In a mailing address, use the abbreviations prescribed by the United States Post Office.


Use lower case for occupational titles. These are titles that are job descriptions rather than formal titles.
  • custodian, letter carrier, secretary 
Do not capitalize unofficial titles that come before or after a name. 
  • …comedian Robin Williams 
  • Robin Williams, comedian,… 
When an official title appears in front of a name, capitalize. When it appears after a name, do not capitalize.
  • Professor John Smith
  • John Smith, professor of marketing…             
Never use both title and academic degree in reference to the same individual.
  • President Tim Trainor or Tim Trainor, Ph.D.
  • not President Tim Trainor Ph.D.
Abbreviate following titles when they precede a name.
  • Dr., Mrs. Mr., the Rev., Fr., and all military titles. 
  • Use Dr. only when referring to a medical doctor, or on second reference for a Ph.D., Ed.D., etc. when referring to someone with an academic credential. 
Abbreviate other titles, such as professor, only when they precede the first name or initials; spell out titles when they are used before the surname alone:
  • Prof. E. B. Smith
  • Professor Smith
  • Profs. E. B. Smith and J. J. Jones
  • Professors Smith and Jones


Do not capitalize when standalone word. 
  • The university is in Emmitsburg.
  • Mount St. Mary’s University is in Emmitsburg.
  • Mount St. Mary's Seminary is  in Emmitsburg. 
  • Seminarians live and take classes in the seminary. 

University news may be submitted for potential use on the website or the Mount's social media accounts.

Submit News

Website Guidelines

The website guidelines define the resources (both technical and human), policies, and procedures to manage and maintain Mount St. Mary's University’s web presence.

How to get the website updated

The Mount has a variety of websites that reach the public and many of these sites are managed by the Office of University Marketing and Communication. Individuals across campus may:

  1. Submit a request to have content revised by the MarCom web team, through the Web Services Request form*
  2. Request a meeting to have new pages or content added to the website by the MarCom web team by emailing
  3. Ask to be trained on how to edit and manage your own pages in the content management system by emailing**

* When requesting an edit to the website please note that your request will be placed in the queue on a first-come first-served basis and may take up to a week to be completed.

**To become a content editor we require you to sign a commitment of responsibility and to attend a series of periodic web and marketing training sessions that may last up to an hour or more each.

Photos/Videos on the Website

Photos and videos to the website must be professional quality, and high resolution in specific web-optimized file sizes. Images ripped from the internet or taken from a source outside of the Mount must have written consent to be posted and meet quality standards. Any submitted image that is considered of poor quality may be rejected.The same quality rules apply for video used on the website. YouTube is the standard player option for videos and, where appropriate, can be embedded on a webpage rather than linked within the text. Contact for questions regarding photos and video on the website.

Adding items to the Navigation

As a rule navigation items must be permanent links to sections on the site that are considered evergreen content (not time sensitive). Additionally all items in the navigation must be strategic and tie into the overarching website strategy. If a "landing page" is created for a time sensitive campaign it will be given a vanity URL to direct users to. Some content, such as an event or testimonial that lives in a designated content repository, may be given a special call out on a page and may not require an entire landing page. All navigation decisions are made and completed by the Office of University Marketing and Communications. Please contact for questions or requests.

Notice something that needs to be updated on the website? Suggest a change or have content revised by Web Services.

Submit Web Request

Photo and Video Guidelines

Photography / Videography

Campus Photographer

The Office of University Marketing & Communications does not have a fulltime on-staff photographer. While we occasionally take photos for some campus events and marketing use with our own equipment, the staff simply cannot commit to taking event photography or headshots for all events and activities on campus. See our recommendations for who to hire in the event that you need support in this area.

Recommended Photographers

We recommend the following photographers/Videographers if you are looking to hire someone. The Office of University Marketing and Communications has personally worked with these individuals and can provide more detail or recommendations as needed.

Recommended Videographers

Filming on Campus


If you do not plan to include the Mount as a feature in your film, or use any form of our logo or trademark, then you should be in the clear with the university with regard to brand use and trademark. If you do wish to feature the Mount or it's likeness in your film, then please contact the Office of University Marketing & Communications with a description of your project including names of individuals on the production team, anticipated filming dates, and expected distribution form and location of the final product.


Filming independently on campus is generally acceptable as long as your production, including cast and crew, includes less than 3 people and does not require a permit. If you have a larger crew or more advanced production you will need written permission from the Office of University Marketing and Communication and must adhere to the Frederick County commercial filming guide rules and regulations.


The Mount requires all production teams to be personally responsible for your own safety and equipment, including holding proper insurance and accepting all liability. The Mount does not allow the use of pyrotechnics, crazy costumes, or weapons (real or fake) when filming on campus. Please be smart and respectful of others, and if you're unsure about something you plan to film it never hurts to call us and check.

Drone Footage

If you intend to capture drone footage just know there is a general "fly under 400 feet" recommendation due to our proximity to Camp David (No Fly Zone). Here is an article about drone rules that may help. If you plan to fly a drone on campus, then we suggest you send an all-campus email on the day of the shoot as a courtesy to let people know who you are and that you're filming with a drone.