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For the bold curious and creative

SMU and Dallas together create a global gateway with limitless opportunities that shape and position students for success no matter where they go or what they pursue.

Core message

The optimistic outlook of Dallas is at the heart of SMU, and our enterprising spirit has helped shape Dallas into a global gateway for people of all backgrounds. Our vibrant community uniquely positions us to create real-world opportunities for students to learn, give back and become world changers in whatever they’re passionate about. Offering assistance every step of the way is our strong alumni network of leaders in their professions and communities. As Dallas’ university, we boost the region’s intellectual capital and shape its future leaders by attracting exceptional students. Through the combined might of this comprehensive research university and an energetic city, students graduate prepared to contribute to their professions and their communities.

SMU is an inclusive, welcoming community that embraces a world of people and ideas and creates a place that everyone can call home.

Core message

From the moment they step onto our campus, students from across the country, around the globe and all walks of life become part of a close-knit community. Their connections with fellow students and faculty take root and grow into lifelong friendship. Whether they are first-years, transfers or graduate students, they thrive in a climate of inclusion, where all Mustangs are valued, and honest conversations lead to a better understanding of diverse perspectives and different life experiences. As they develop their passions and purpose, students welcome the wider community to share the beauty of the campus and the limitless enrichment opportunities they enjoy. When our students graduate and become part of our dynamic alumni network, they still have a home here, no matter where they live.

Our innovation culture empowers bold thinkers to transform their big ideas into new products, inventive technology and world-changing solutions.

Core message

SMU’s innovation ecosystem attracts problem-solvers, creators and disruptors ready to transform their big ideas into tangible results. Our students and their faculty and community collaborators aren’t afraid to take risks. They know that puzzling through a setback often leads to the next leap forward. Unconstrained by convention and guided by an ethical compass, they cut across boundaries to invent new products, find practical solutions to everyday problems, leverage technology in unexpected ways and tackle society’s most pressing issues. They open doors to opportunities and improve lives as they reimagine the world.

SMU’s data-empowered faculty and students deploy research as a force for good in a relentless quest for solutions with lasting impact.

Core message

SMU’s faculty and students join forces as co-creators of knowledge that spans the arts, sciences, engineering, business and the humanities. Even in their first year, students become hands-on contributors to significant discoveries. In collaboration with industry, nonprofit organizations and other institutions, our faculty and students forge paths to results that can be applied ethically on a local, national and global scale. Powered by the vast potential of data science and high-speed computing, they unlock new insights about critical programs. SMU researchers shape these discoveries into economic opportunities, stronger communities and a better world.

Our photographs communicate our brand personality through a candid, approachable style. The less things are posed, the better. Placing subjects in vibrant campus settings adds context to our stories and shows viewers that SMU is where exciting things happen. Off-campus imagery showcases not just our subjects, but also enriches our stories and reinforces our strong ties to our community beyond the Hilltop.

Varying the focal point, angles and cropping makes an image more dynamic and appealing. How the photo will be used with other visual elements is also considered. Sometimes images are composed with lots of open space around the subject for use with text and graphic elements.

The energy of our brand is also relayed through rich and dramatic colors. Unassuming logo placements along with the modest use of traditional red and blue promotes SMU branding in an unpretentious way.

As in our photos, our video stories capture the authentic, outgoing voice of the SMU brand and present the University as welcoming to all. Our videos show the importance of the work being done by students, faculty and other members of the SMU community in creative and inspiring ways. While our visual treatment varies to capture the spirit and purpose of each video subject, our voice is always inclusive and engaging.

Our cinematic approach combines varying perspectives, unexpected camera angles and purposeful movement. Upbeat editing and music set a tempo that fits the optimistic and innovative SMU personality. Video production colors are rich and dynamic. Motion graphics, titles and captions are used to support key messages with direct, authentic language, humor or engaging facts. All of these elements come together in compelling videos that embody the SMU brand.

SMU Marketing and Communications maintains a branded photo collection, Media Archive, that is continually updated to reflect the full range of faculty, students, academic and campus life at SMU. Media Archive is a digital asset management system that works in partnership with SMU Box. Users can search for photos using keywords, download images, store collections for easy reference and share images with University colleagues.

Access to Media Archive is currently limited to official University marketing of schools and units, with limited license permission granted by SMU Marketing and Communications. For smaller, one-time projects with specific image needs, access may be granted to a Box of assets, or temporarily to Media Archive.

Southern Methodist University owns the permissions to all photos and videos in Media Archive and at Permission to use any of these assets is granted for official University communications or personal use only. Use of SMU’s photos and videos without permission is strictly prohibited. No individual, regardless of his affiliation with the University, may use any University imagery in any manner that suggests or implies University support or endorsement of a point of view, personal or political opinion, business activity, or movement.

SMU’s welcoming spirit shines through by striving to provide accessible video communications.  We practice the guidelines below to ensure that people with such disabilities as hearing loss and visual impairment don’t miss out on the opportunity to engage with the University’s video materials, including webinars.

These practices include:

• Hosting/publishing all SMU video assets on an accessible video player, including YouTubeVimeo and CanvasRemember:SMU Box is not an accessible video player.
• Making sure all video assets include closed captioning. Many video players create automatic captions, and there are a variety of closed-captioning services and apps available. Ideally, all closed captioning should be proofed for accuracy.
• Creating and publishing a complete transcript and an audio description for blind users with each video.

Additional resources:

Required Spacing

To protect the integrity of the logo and registered trademark, maintain at least one-half of the “M” height as clear space around the logo. Place the logo on solid or uncomplicated backgrounds so that it stands out.

Required spacing around logo

When using the Dallas Hall icon on its own, maintain at least one-half of the icon height as clear space around the icon. Place the icon on solid or uncomplicated backgrounds so that it stands out.

Required spacing around Dallas Hall icon

School & Area Logos

Secondary SMU logos have been created for schools and administrative units with their names in proper relation to the logo. School and unit marketing offices have these logos, plus more compact versions that are available for use on promotional items only.

Logos for centers and institutes that are affiliated with a single school include the name of the school.

Departments do not have logos. Instead, use the department name in a headline – or place it at a distance from the school logo that maintains the integrity of the logo (see “Required Spacing” above). See [link to downloadable resource] for sample type treatments of department names.


School logos
Official style for school, endowed centers, institutes, departments and area logos.


Optional school logos
Optional treatment for SMU’s seven endowed schools.


School promo logos
For promotional logos, contact the school’s marketing office for correct usage.


Service Marks, Trademarks and Registration Marks

A small registered trademark symbol, which consists of a circled “R” and protects use of the logo, should appear to the right of the University logo.

On the rare occasions when the Dallas Hall icon appears on its own, the trademark symbol “TM” should be used next to it on merchandise and the “SM” service mark should appear on all other materials, such as publications and banners.

These symbols are required unless the icon in question is large enough that a commensurately large trademark or service mark would be distracting and unsightly.

Service mark SMTrademark TM


Color Variations

The official colors of the logo are red with a white stroke for the Dallas Hall icon and blue for the "SMU" wordmark. Alternate versions are available only for limited uses.

  • The Dallas Hall icon must always appear in red with a white stroke, unless printing with a limited number of inks that makes that impossible. When producing publications that use only black, blue or red, the entire logo may appear in that color.
  • When placing the logo on dark backgrounds of SMU colors or photographs, never reverse the colors of the SMU logo or allow the logo to appear transparent. Instead, use a logo with the “SMU” wordmark in white type – available exclusively through SMU Marketing and Communications. This logo still maintains the Dallas Hall icon in red, with the stroke lines in white. Note that when used on a photograph, the photo should not interfere with the legibility or integrity of the logo.



Logo color 1 Preferred logo color
Logo color 2
Logo color 3 Logo for one-color applications



SMU logo incorrect: green Icon should be red.
SMU logo incorrect yellow Icon should be red with white stroke.



The icon should never be white.
SMU logo incorrect: photo In addition to the icon being in red, the photo should not interfere with the legibility or integrity of the logo.



SMU logo incorrect: text wrap
The icon should not be encircled.



Incorrect: logo expanded
Logo should not be condensed or expanded

SMU Athletics teams use a logo with an energetic "SMU" wordmark above an icon representing Peruna, the mustang that is the SMU mascot:

SMU athletics logo with pony
red SMU athletics logo



The Athletics marketing office has approved logos that incorporate individual team names and the word “Mustangs” in proper relationship to the logo. 

Additionally, the Peruna icon and the Athletics wordmark may be used on their own by athletic teams or other campus users to show spirit.

Remember that outside of official SMU Athletics uses, you are still required to include the primary SMU logo, even if you’re using the Athletics logo, the Athletics wordmark or the Peruna icon to show spirit. There are cases, however, where the Athletics wordmark can be used without the primary SMU logo:

  • Small-scale digital ads
  • Social profile images
  • Promotional items
  • Spirited pieces that target alumni where the SMU logo can’t also be used
  • Spirited pieces that target prospective students where the SMU logo can’t also be used

Required Spacing

Except for official sports team logos created by SMU Marketing and Communications, there should be at least one-half the height of the “M” as clear space around the Athletics logo.

Required spacing athletics
Required spacing athletics SMU


Outline around SMU or Peruna

The weight of the outline around both the SMU wordmark and Peruna has been predetermined and should not be altered. The interior space of the legs matches the color of the stoke.


Athletics logo with blue background
SMU athletics outlined


Registration Marks

A small registered trademark symbol, which consists of a circled “R” and protects use of the logo, should appear to the lower right next to the Peruna logo.

Athletics trademark example

Incorrect Usage


Clear space around the spirit logo must be at least one-half the size of the "M"
Incorrect. Clear space around the spirit logo must be at least one-half the height of the “M”.


Clear space around the spirit logo must be at least one-half the height of the “M”.
Incorrect. Clear space around the spirit logo must be at least one-half the height of the “M”.


The outline has been modified and the interior space of the legs does not match the color of the outline.
Incorrect. The outline has been modified and the interior space of the legs does not match the color of the outline.


Peruna with trademark

Preferred color is red or white.

Peruna, the official Mustang graphic icon, is a component of the SMU Athletics logos. The Peruna icon should not be used as a substitute for the SMU logo, but it may be used to symbolize spirit and pride in SMU. It also can be used on its own on promotional items where the Athletics logo or SMU logo can’t be used.

Required Spacing

To protect the integrity of the registered trademark, maintain at least one-half of Peruna’s height as clear space around the icon.

Required spacing for Peruna icon


Outline around Peruna

The weight of the outline around Peruna has been predetermined and should not be altered. The interior space of the legs matches the color of the stoke.

Peruna correct outline with blue background
Peruna correct outline


Registration Marks

When the Peruna icon is used alone, a small registered trademark symbol, which consists of a circled “R” and protects use of the logo, should appear to the lower right of the icon.

Peruna with trademark

Incorrect Usage


Peruna incorrect drawing The mane and tail of Peruna are different from the "correct" Peruna.
Peruna incorrect mirror Logo should not run toward the left. 
Peruna incorrect green Avoid non brand colors.


Avoid patterns.
Peruna incorrect with SMU Type should not be placed inside Peruna.
Peruna with incorrect text outline Avoid placing the text around Peruna that creates the appearance of a new logo.


Peruna incorrect outline The outline has been modified and the interior space of the legs does not match the color of the outline.

University seal

The official University seal is a significant element in the University’s historic identity and is used exclusively for official business of the University. The seal is maintained by the Office of the University Secretary and used for corporate purposes. It also is used on academic documents produced with the approval of the Office of the Provost in conjunction with the Office of Marketing and Communications.

The seal should be used only for the purposes specified and never as a substitute for the University logo.

The same care and respect should be accorded the official seal as the University logo. The seal always should be placed in an upright position and never altered or tampered with. Care should be taken to leave adequate space on all sides of the seal.

No lettering, symbols or graphics should be placed close to, behind or on top of the seal.

Variations of the University’s official seal are prohibited.

To ensure high-quality presentation of the SMU logo, the University does not permit the Dallas Hall icon to be embroidered on shirts and other products. Instead, the use of the SMU wordmark, combined with other lettering in a contrasting, sans-serif font, is permitted. Because of their clean lines, sans-serif fonts are preferred for embroidery or silk screens.

Embroidery Hat
Embroidery Polo Shirt
Embroidery text

One important way in which the SMU brand is expressed is through events sponsored by the University. Such signs communicate that SMU’s stature and reputation stand behind the conference or presentation in question or that the University is the official sponsor of the event or gathering.

To aid in visibility, these designs have been granted a special exception to the University standard for clear space around the wordmark.

Under SMU guidelines, podium signs should include the SMU wordmark and the icon. Podium signs also may include the names of any of SMU schools as a secondary identifier, if appropriate. Signs may appear in either blue or red.

Blue podium signRed podium sign

For a brand, encountering a crisis on social media is not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s a matter of ‘when.’

Refer to the “Escalation and Crisis Management” section of the Social Media Playbook for best practices on managing a crisis. If you find escalation is required, please contact Alex Cerda at as soon as possible.

The “generic” all-University stationery bearing the SMU logo should be used by those not affiliated with specific schools. Members of schools should use stationery bearing the school name beneath the SMU logo.

Personalization (name and title) is offered only to the president, deans, vice presidents and endowed professors and should be ordered through Patrick Cullen at

Letterhead examples

Standard cards include school/area information on the back of all cards. This information is not modifiable.

A custom card is available if there is a need to customize the information. For example, if you want to include a physical address or modify the social media links. Adding a physical address on the business card is only available on the two-sided card option.

  • Web addresses begin with and are written in lowercase. If the URL is too long for the space, an alternative will need to be developed. Contact your school marketing office or request a shortened name through SMU’s OIT Help Desk. The new URL created will direct users to the existing webpage.
  • SMU email addresses are written in lowercase.
  • Social media addresses are listed as “” before the account name.
    • Capitalization can be used in social media accounts if the account name was created using uppercase letters.
  • Phone numbers use hyphens.

Red pocket folders with a gold embossed seal are available for purchase from Mail Central. Send requests to and include the fund/org to be charged, the location for delivery and the quantity.

Red pocket folder