Guidelines on the use of names, insignias, and logos

These guidelines are designed to assist members of the Harvard Chan School community in determining the proper use of the School name, establishing new logos, and how projects, initiatives, and other activities at the School should be represented. These guidelines are derived from and supplement the University’s Policy on the Use of Harvard Names and Insignias.

  1. Use of the School name and, logos, and shield
    Following University policy, all names of projects, initiatives, or other activities that incorporate the School name or use the School’s logo and shield must be approved in advance by the Office of Communications and, in certain cases, the Office of the Dean or Research Administration. (Any prospective name that incorporates “Harvard” or “Harvard University” alone must meet specific criteria, undergo review, and receive approval by the Office of the Provost in advance, and is only used when the activity is formally University-wide.)
  2. Naming of entities within the School
    Consistent with the standard of accurate representation in the University policy, the following naming conventions must be followed:

    1. School-wide entities, initiatives, and projects:
      1. Existing entities: Departments, offices, and divisions at the School should use the following format, “Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health” or “Department of Epidemiology at Harvard Chan School” (see writing section on the School name), and use “Department of Epidemiology,” if the communication is internal or the School and entity’s context is established.
      2. New entities: Prior approval from the Office of the Dean is required to represent a new entity, initiative, or project as being school-wide. The recommended format for official names1 of such entities is “Center for ABC at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health,” or “Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Center for ABC.”
    2. Department-led entities, initiatives, and projects: Such projects may use the naming convention outlined in section 2(a)(ii) with prior approval from the Office of the Dean.
    3. Center-led initiatives and projects: Official project names should include the name of the Harvard Chan School center in which the project is based and should not refer solely to the School’s name. For example, the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Seminar Series at the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In practice, the aforementioned example would be cumbersome in the promotion of the seminar series, so promotional materials simply need to reasonably infer to an observer that the project or program is sponsored by a center within the School (as opposed to the School itself).
  3. Representation of administrative departments and initiatives
    The names of administrative departments and initiatives of the School should accurately represent those units’ relationships with the School and be in accord with the School’s identity guidelines (e.g., “Harvard Chan School Office for Alumni Relations”). In general, departments and initiatives with this level of institutional involvement do not have logos that are independent of the standard Harvard Chan School identity system. As a result, in all print and electronic materials, departments and initiatives are permitted, and expected, to use the standard Harvard Chan School logo or relevant subbrand lockups to represent their relationships with the School.
  4. New logos and insignias
    Logos or other graphic representations that incorporate the School’s name or insignia are official representations of a unit or activity’s relationship with the School and, consequently, are subject to these guidelines as well. Therefore, requests for new logos should be submitted to the School’s Office of Communications and may require approval from the Office of the Dean.
  5. Exceptions to the required use of the School’s standard logo system
    All departments, offices, centers, and programs at the School are expected to use approved lockups in the subbrand system. In certain cases, it may be appropriate from the perspective of the School for an entity to have its own logo. Cases of this nature are considered to be exceptions and not the norm, and require justification. Approval for custom logos must be granted in advance by the Office of Communications and Office of the Dean.

    1. Common situations: Scenarios in which a custom logo may be permitted include when the entity,
      1. is a School-wide priority or special project as determined by the Office of the Dean.
      2. is co-led by another Harvard School or an external organization.
      3. has received a gift and requires recognition of the donor’s name as part of the gift terms (referred to as a “naming gift”). This scenario requires approval from the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.
      4. presents a strong case for a unique identity or logomark, such as a research study with a community engagement component, where the available subbrand system is insufficient in achieving that goal. In such a case, approval is required by the Office of Communications and the factors in section 5(b) of these guidelines must be considered.
    2. Considerations: Requests are reviewed by the Office of Communications in conjunction with the Dean’s Office in light of the following factors:
      1. A compelling argument for a separate logo, as compared to the School’s standard alternatives.
      2. The size and scope of the entity or project (e.g., is this a project that is funded through endowment and thus likely to be permanent? Does the entity or project have sufficient current funding and staffing to justify a separate logo? Is it a priority for the center or entity with which it is affiliated? Is it consistent with the academic priorities and plans of the School?).
      3. The number of faculty actively engaged in the entity or project and its governance (e.g., a project with the engagement of at least several Harvard Chan School faculty, as opposed to a single faculty member).
      4. The expected lifespan of the entity or project.
      5. The potential for confusion with other names at the School (e.g., “Voices in Public Health” would not be appropriate).
      6. The department(s) with which it is affiliated must cosponsor the request for a separate logo by certifying that this entity or project is a priority for the center and documenting why this is an exceptional case justifying a separate logo.
      7. If a separate logo is approved based on the above factors, the logo will be provided by the Office of Communications or an approved external vendor to ensure that it is consistent with other Harvard Chan School logos, generally adhering to the naming conventions described in section 2(a).
  6. Reversal or reconsideration of exceptions
    Under University policy, representations (including logos) of the School as a whole, or of departments, units, centers, and projects affiliated with the School are ultimately at the discretion of the Office of Communications and Office of the Dean. As a result, approval to create a new logo is at the discretion of these bodies as well. When granted under these guidelines, any such approval is subject to reassessment if the factors outlined in section 5 change substantially. For example, if a project loses major funding or refocuses its activities or governance, it may no longer meet the criteria for justifying a logo that is detached from the School’s standard brand.

Student organizations must include the word “Student” in their names, as well as “Harvard Chan School” or “Harvard Chan” when used as an adjective (e.g., Harvard Chan Student Culinary Club). For student organization requests, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at studentaffairs@hsph.harvard.edu. Students should contact the Office for Student Affairs prior to the creation of any logos or any use of the Harvard Chan School or Harvard name or logo. All logo and name use decisions are based on the University’s use of name guidelines.

Updated September 24, 2021.


1 Official name refers to the legal name of an entity. Use of the official name is not required for standard business practices, or even in logo systems that may be developed for it. For example, the official name of the following center is,

Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

but in day to day communications it’s referred to simply as,

Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness

Lee Kum Sheung Center