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Brand Review and Approval


UC San Diego’s reputation and brand are affected by many factors, including the quality and consistency of marketing materials. University Communications is charged with supporting campus units with brand and marketing guidance. To ensure the highest possible quality of marketing materials, campus academic and administrative departments are required to seek approval from University Communications for all marketing materials designed for external audiences, as well as highly visible materials designed for internal audiences such as banners and major event signage. University Communications is responsible for protecting and promoting UC San Diego’s reputation and brand. See UC San Diego policy 400-2.

Submit materials for review

Goals of the review

  • To strengthen the reputation of UC San Diego by aligning marketing materials from all academic and administrative units with the UC San Diego brand.
  • To support University Communications’ awareness of marketing conducted independently by academic and administrative units.
  • To reveal opportunities for marketing collaboration and to identify potential savings through economies of scale.

Criteria for approval

Review scope and process

Who needs to follow this process

All campus administrative and academic units that independently create marketing materials for external audiences, banners or major event signage must submit their materials for review, with the following exceptions:

  • Units that partner with University Communications in the development of their marketing, as that review is collaborative and ongoing.
  • UC San Diego Health.

What needs to be reviewed

All marketing independently created by campus administrative and academic units for external audiences must be reviewed, as well as banners and major event signage:

  • Proposed contracts with advertising agencies, design agencies or media buyers.
  • Advertising and media buys: print, TV, radio, billboard and out of home, and digital/social, including AdWords and search.
  • Department, division, school, event and program marketing to external audiences (other than official websites developed within the campus CMS).
  • Agency- or freelance-sourced marketing and communication assets: graphic design, video production, still photography, media plans and placements, social and/or digital marketing, email marketing, social media consulting, web development, marketing plans and copywriting.
  • Light pole, bridge and building banners and signage related to major events.

Apparel, merchandise and promotional items are subject to review, but they are managed through the established CLC licensing and product review process. Please visit the UC San Diego Bookstore’s Trademark and Licensing Office web page for more information.

What’s not reviewed

University Communications will not provide specific art direction or check for typographical or factual errors. You will be alerted if there seem to be gross deficiencies, but we won’t provide detailed comments on the following:

  • Copyright.
  • Grammar, spelling and style.
  • Accuracy of information.
  • Prepress requirements or file format and preparation.

Other than banners and event signage, materials for internal audiences (current students, staff and faculty) do not require review by University Communications. However, internal materials must still follow the relevant brand guidelines. Informational signage, including parking and route directions, do not require review but should follow relevant brand guidelines.  

How to request a review

There are two options:

In-person review: Present your marketing strategy and creative concept to University Communications leadership for review and discussion in a meeting. This option is appropriate for larger units with ongoing marketing efforts or for review of multiple “campaigns” managed by a single unit.

Email review: Submit your marketing material to University Communications via email or form (UC San Diego issued Google account required). This option is appropriate for specialized, unique or updated marketing efforts. University Communications staff will be in touch with you after the review.

We aim to respond with approval or requested changes within three working days of your in-person or email request for review. To allow time for revisions, please build 10 working days into your marketing timeline to account for this review process.

Questions about the process? Contact University Communications at