CCM Brand Guide

CCM's brand strategy affirms and enhances our status as a nationally ranked and internationally renowned center for the performing and media arts.

Positioning Statement

Tomorrow's arts leaders and luminaries get their start at CCM. We educate and inspire the whole artist and scholar for positions on the world stage, and our brand strategy celebrates the excellence of our students, alumni, faculty, staff, supporters and community partners.

We provide life-changing experiences within a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment. We believe experience-based learning puts arts education into action. Our goal is to be unfailingly student-centric. We're not only an institution dedicated to arts education, though. We're an arts incubator. We're defining next for the performing and media arts.

We believe in collaboration — among disciplines, across borders and to solve our biggest challenges. We believe in connecting with the world, beyond our classrooms and beyond our campus. We believe in inclusion, and that true learning requires an understanding of diverse points of view.

College Mission Statement

Vision: Student-centered, uncompromising excellence.

Mission: CCM provides life-changing experiences within a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment.

Objective: To educate and inspire the whole artist and scholar for positions on the world's stage.

College Value Propositions

Classrooms Without Boundaries

CCM's state-of-the-art facilities—which are commonly referred to as the “CCM Village”—provide students with professional-level working and learning environments to prepare them for future careers. This allows us to push the boundaries of traditional classroom experiences by turning our performance halls, production studios and design workshops into our laboratories. Students can choose a course of study from nearly 120 possible majors and 9 different degree types that span the spectrum of the performing and media arts—from instrumental performance to theatre arts and design to media production and more.

World-Renowned Faculty

Tomorrow’s arts luminaries work with today’s industry leaders at CCM. Our professors are Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning performers and designers, ASCAP and BMI Award-winning songwriters and composers, Fulbright Scholars and more. With a 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio, CCM students receive personalized mentorship from professors who guide their individual scholarly, creative, musical, performing and teaching growth.

Performance Opportunities

As the largest single source of performing arts events in Ohio, CCM presents nearly 1,000 major public performances each year. Our students are involved in each step of the process from planning to performing, both on stage and behind-the-scenes. Whether it’s gaining experience through our performing ensembles like our orchestras and chamber groups or our theatre arts productions or our film and multimedia projects, CCM students learn by doing.

Vibrant Arts Community

Located in the heart of a public research university and surrounded by Cincinnati’s arts organizations, CCM is part of a vibrant arts community that connects students with performance opportunities, internships and professional experience. Students connect with local professional arts organizations and also join CCM’s expansive alumni network, with 97% of recent graduates currently working or continuing their education.

A Global Community with the CCM Village

CCM’s current student population comes to Cincinnati from 41 different U.S. states and 41 different countries. International students represent roughly 23% of the student body. Our college is an internationally renowned institution, and we prepare our students to collaborate, create and innovate on a global scale.

College Name

UC+CCM: Strength in Unity

Our college's name — the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music — reflects our history as one of the first music conservatories in the United States (and possibly the very first residential conservatory in the country).

"CCM" is informal shorthand for the "University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music." Our "CCM" initials are only to be used after our full name or our affiliation with the University of Cincinnati is already established. Communications materials should never rely solely upon the "CCM" initials.

Since there are numerous other organizations that also use the initials of "CCM" in one form or another, including many other performing and media arts organizations and even other performing and media arts colleges, it is vitally important to be consistent with UC's brand standards and to connect our college with the university's brand in all communications materials. While there are many instances where usage of the "CCM" abbreviation is necessary and appropriate, those instances must first show a direct connection with the University of Cincinnati's brand.

While CCM has an international reputation built on a tradition of excellence that dates back to 1867, its strength from a branding perspective comes from the college's affiliation with the University of Cincinnati brand, which helps to establish a sense of place and differentiate UC|CCM from any other organization that also uses the letters, acronym or initials of "CCM."

Proudly Cincinnati

Cincinnati is home to this country's oldest continuous choral festival, its sixth oldest symphony orchestra and its second oldest opera company, to name just a few of the Queen City's bragging rights. The arts are a foundational part of Cincinnati's history, and CCM played a foundational role in many of our community's performing and media arts organizations.

We are Cincinnati's original arts incubator, and we have ties to the origins of many of our community's major arts organizations like Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet. When Clara Baur founded CCM in 1867, she envisioned the conservatory as a talent magnet that would draw leading performers and pedagogues from all over the world to settle in Cincinnati. Her vision was a rousing success, and today the National Center for Arts Research's Arts Vibrancy Index Report has ranked Cincinnati in its list of top 20 vibrant arts communities in the United States, specifically citing CCM as one of the reasons why Cincinnati is one of the "hotbeds of America's arts and culture."

CCM's brand strategy celebrates our pride of place in both Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati.

College Logo

The UC|CCM logo is dynamic and unleashed. It is both forward-thinking and established as it places priority on Cincinnati, conveying pride and strength of place. Our logo must appear prominently on all communications, including videos and multimedia materials.

Primary College Brandmark

CCM's logo – which is technically referred to as a "lockup" connecting our college's name to the university brand is staged on white, red or black. When placing on photography, find quiet areas within the composition that provide contrast and legibility.

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music's primary (formal) logo includes the college's full name, and its secondary (informal) logo includes the college's abbreviated name (CCM).

The CCM Marketing + Communications office recommends using the primary (formal) logo in most external communications to identify the college's full name; do not use both the primary (formal) and the secondary (informal) logos in the same communication.

Examples of the CCM Logo

Examples of CCM's formal and informal lockup logos follow:


The UC|CCM formal lockup logo

The UC|CCM informal lockup logo

The UC|CCM informal lockup logo

The UC|CCM formal stacked logo

The UC|CCM formal stacked logo

The UC|CCM formal lockup logo on a red background.

The UC|CCM formal lockup logo on a red background [white text and monogram on a red field]

The UC|CCM formal lockup logo on a black background.

The UC|CCM formal lockup logo on a black background [white text and red monogram on a black field]

Need A Version of CCM's Logo?

The CCM Marketing + Communications Team has a variety of different expressions of the UC|CCM logo to meet different needs and opportunities.

Please contact CCM Graphic Designer Mikki Graff for assistance.

Never use CCM's lockup logos with another UC unit's lockup. If more than one unit needs to be acknowledged in the communication, use the UC logo alone. 

Lockups are not allowed on standard business communication such as letterhead, business cards and forms. Standard business communication uses the UC logo alone.

Standard UC Logo

It is never wrong to use the UC logo alone, with the unit name elsewhere in the communication.

Examples of UC's standard logo follow:

University of Cincinnati logo on red field


The primary logo is preferred and should be used whenever possible. It best conveys the idea of “education unleashed.”

Required Logo Safe Space

Proper incorporation of safe space protects the integrity of the UC logo.

An illustration of the required safe space around UC's logo.

A clear area or “safe space” free of copy, graphic elements, inset imagery, or color must be maintained around the UC logo. No visual elements may violate the safe space. 

An area around the UC logo equal to the height of the letter “C” is the minimum required safe space.

Logo Scale

Maintaining the integrity of our mark is critical, and it must be legible in any instance of use.

The primary logo may not be scaled below 80 px width in digital applications or .75˝ width in print. The secondary logo may not be scaled below 80 px width in digital applications or 1˝ width in print.

This sizing applies to the UC logo portion of lockups and co-brand examples.

Do's and Don'ts

IT IS NEVER WRONG TO USE THE UC LOGO ALONE, with the unit name elsewhere in the communication.

If more than one unit needs to be acknowledged in the communication, use the UC logo alone. Do not use two lockups in the same communication.

Lockups must follow the prescribed template for font, type size, spacing and color.

Lockups replace all typographical arrangements for college names, even those previously approved. Seek guidance from the Brand Review Committee. 

Lockups are not allowed on standard business communication such as letterhead, business cards and forms. Standard business communication uses the UC logo alone.

Lockups are not permitted on digital platforms. Do not place lockups on landing pages, in email signatures, or in social media posts. Lockups may be used in digital ads.

Lockups must follow naming policy guidelines. Seek guidance from the Office of Planning + Design + Construction. Due to production limitations, lockups cannot be replicated on embroidered merchandise.

A special embroidery template exists. Seek guidance from Trademarks and Licensing.

Our Primary Colors

When used consistently, color is a powerful brand identifier. Our UC colors are bold, strong and attention-grabbing.

UC Red

PMS 186C
RGB: 224.1.34
HSB: 350.92.80
Hex: #e00122

UC Black

100% Black
RGB: 0.0.0
HSB: 0.0.0
Hex: #000000


0% Black
RGB: 255.255.255
HSB: 0.0.100
Hex: #ffffff

Our Secondary Colors

In addition to UC's bold primary colors, our university has introduced two secondary colors: UC Dark Red and Grey. These colors play vital roles in our brand's visual identity. UC Dark Red can be found accenting websites, often used in subheaders or as a dynamic hover state when paired with UC Primary Red in digital formats. Grey, on the other hand, serves as a versatile background color, providing a necessary contrast to our primary red and black hues, all while maintaining our accessibility standards. These secondary colors enhance the depth and diversity of our brand's visual language.

UC Dark Red

Hex: #b8011c
RGB: (184,1,28)


Hex: #f3f3f3
RGB: (243,243,243)

Our Colors: Expanded Palette

An expanded color palette helps marry hierarchy and accessibility. Secondary colors compliment our primary colors, and bring additional flexibility into our artwork.

In particular, our secondary palette is recommended for data visualizations.

Calhoun Maroon

Hex: #890519
RGB: 137, 5, 25
CMYK: 28, 100, 98, 32

Steger Silver

Hex: #a7a5aa
RGB: 167, 165, 170
CMYK: 37, 31, 27, 0

Main Street Mist

Hex: #e0dfe3
RGB: 224, 223, 227
CMYK: 11, 9, 6, 0

Bearcats Black

Hex: #333333
RGB:51, 51, 51
CMYK: 69, 63, 62, 58

Gettler Gold

Hex: #d1b179
RGB:209, 177, 121
CMYK: 19, 28, 60, 0

Tangeman Tan

Hex: #eadbc1
RGB: 234, 219, 193
CMYK: 8, 11, 24, 0


Typography extends the visual expression of our brand character and supports our tone of voice in text form.

Open Sans, Gentium Book Basic and Jost (used in headers on the web) are the preferred typefaces for the University of Cincinnati brand. They are free and web-safe and can be accessed at All campus machines should have these fonts installed.

Open Sans

  • Open Sans Light
  • Open Sans Regular
  • Open Sans Semibold
  • Open Sans Bold
  • Open Sans Extra Bold

Gentium Book Basic

  • Gentium Book Basic Regular
  • Gentium Book Basic Italic
  • Gentium Book Basic Bold
  • Gentium Book Basic Bold


  • Jost Light
  • Jost Regular
  • Jost Semibold
  • Jost Bold
  • Jost Extra Bold

Additional Fonts

Select official CCM promotional materials are also permitted to use Neutraface provided that a license is properly acquired for that font. In general, communications materials using Neutraface are only managed by CCM's Marketing + Communications Office and CCM's Scheduling Office.

In addition, Myriad and Minion remain acceptable for use. GT Eesti Pro Text Regular is used for lockups.

Secondary Assets

Our graphic elements and photography bring activity and dimension to our primary visual assets, further unleashing the UC brand. (Secondary assets are available for view by request.)

The Monogram

The monogram graphic is a highly identifiable derivative of the symbol. The monogram provides for a robust range of layering and depth.

The Monogram Collection (or “kit of parts”)

Shapes deconstructed from the monogram become layering elements to express multidimensionality. Using the collection allows for a greater level of expression and helps convey the active and dynamic nature of the university. 

Examples of UC's "Kit of Parts" designs

Examples of UC's "Kit of Parts" designs


A male student performs on the flute during a perfromance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion

An example of CCM brand photography.

Photography demonstrates education in action. Setting, lighting and activity express the concept of “unleashed.”

  • People are engaged in experiences. 
  • The scene feels natural, unscripted. 
  • Strong focus on the individual or on the group is evident. 
  • Models rarely face the camera directly

The CCM Marketing + Communications Team maintains an extensive library of both brand photography and archival photography. For assitance, please contact our office.

Other Marks of the University

The University Seal

The University of Cincinnati's seal.

University seal

The seal is an important pillar of our heritage.

The University Seal, adopted in 1904 from the City of Cincinnati insignia, is legally restricted for use on official documents of the university. Consequently, references to the seal in this guide apply only to reproductions or facsimiles of the seal.

Reproduction of the seal is restricted to presidential or Board-related purposes and in recognition of certain prestigious scholarly achievements such as a diploma. The seal is also appropriate for permanent markers, such as architectural elements produced in stone, metal or glass, and for regalia and class rings, subject to licensing approval. Use of the seal must be approved by the division of Governmental Relations and University Communications or by the Brand Review Committee.

The “Alternate Seal” is for use on plaques, clothing, gift items, and merchandise. Use is restricted for licensed goods. Its use is governed by the Office of Trademarks and Licensing.

C-Paw and Athletics Logos

An illustration of UC's official "C-Paw" emblem.

The "C-Paw"

The “C-Paw” and athletics logos are approved for the Department of Athletics and on a case-by-case basis for athletics-related events.

The C-Paw is never permitted to represent academic or administrative units and programs of the university.

Further, staff not employed directly by the Department of Athletics are never permitted to use the C-Paw or athletics logos in their individual communication.

Official student organizations and clubs recognized by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD) have access to the athletics marks, subject to approval by Trademarks and Licensing.

Merchandise and Licensed Goods

Working in conjunction with the UC Office of Trademarks and Licensing, the CCM Marketing + Communications Team is available to help faculty and staff develop and procure branded good and merchandise. Please consult with these offices before pursuing any merchandising efforts.

A photograph containing examples of CCM-branded goods and merchandise, including a bell cover, water bottle, t-shirt, table cloth and tote bag.

Examples of CCM-branded goods and merchandise, including a bell cover, water bottle, t-shirt, table cloth and tote bag.

The university owns all trademarks, service marks, trade names, logos, seals, symbols, mascots, and slogans associated with or referring to the University of Cincinnati. The Office of Trademarks & Licensing protects and controls the use of our marks on merchandise and licensed goods, and oversees the quality and appropriateness of products, promotions, and sponsorships for which the marks are used.

All uses of UC’s name and trademarks on products require prior approval from the Office of Trademarks and Licensing, even if the proposed uses do not involve the sale of a product.

All products bearing UC’s trademarks must be produced from companies licensed by the University of Cincinnati through our agent, the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC). All uses of UC trademarks on products will incorporate the appropriate trademark designation symbols (i.e., ® or ™).

Additional information is available on the Office of Trademarks and Licensing website, 

Contact Us

Have questions? Need access to CCM's brand assets? Want to schedule a brand photography session? We're here to help! Please contact the CCM Marketing + Communications Team for assistance.

Headshot of Curt Whitacre

Curt Whitacre

Director of Marketing and Communications


Headshot of Rebecca Butts

Rebecca Butts

Associate Public Information Officer


Headshot of Mikki Graff

Mikki Graff

Graphic Designer


Headshot of Melissa Neeley-Nicolini

Melissa Neeley-Nicolini

Digital Content Specialist