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 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 master 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.

The UC|CCM formal lockup logo

The UC|CCM formal lockup logo

The UC|CCM informal lockup logo

The UC|CCM informal lockup 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. 

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

University of Cincinnati primary logo

University of Cincinnati primary logo [black text and red monogram on a white field]

UC Logo on Red field

University of Cincinnati primary logo [white text and monogram on a red field]

UC logo on black field

University of Cincinnati primary logo [white text and red monogram on a black field]

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

UC logo illustrating proper safe space surrounding logo

Logo Safe Space

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


Incorrect Usage

Do not:

  • shift the logo elements
  • alter the fonts
  • alter the brand colors
  • place the logo or symbol alone in a line of text
  • skew, stretch or distort
  • add effects
  • place on complex backgrounds
  • add an outline
  • change proportion or alignment.

Our Colors

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

Flat Colors

Banner Red Flat
PMS 186C
RGB: 224.1.34
HSB: 350.92.80
Hex: #e00122

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

Unwritten White Flat
0% Black
RGB: 255.255.255
HSB: 0.0.100
Hex: #ffffff


Use color expression to provide depth and dimension within a layout. The desired effect is a sense of movement and space.


Banner Red

Spot Color: 100% Black to 0% Black Gradient, Multiply, 20% Opacity, Over PMS 186C

Process Color: 100% Black to 0% Black Gradient, Multiply, 20% Opacity, Over Process Build: CMYK

RGB Color: 100% Black to 0% Black Gradient, Multiply, 20% Opacity, Over: RGB 224.1.34

Beyond Black

Spot Color: 75% Black to 100% Black

Unwritten White

Spot Color: 75% Black to 100% Black


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


Preferred Fonts

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

Additional Fonts

Select official CCM performance 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 preferred for lockups. Open Sans is the acceptable (free) substitute.


Outline Treatment

Emphasis on a word or phrase can be created using the outline treatment, creating a sense of space, dimension and interaction with the scene.

The outline treatment should be reserved for Open Sans Bold or Extra Bold. 


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.

University of Cincinnati monogram

University of Cincinnati monogram

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. 

Collection of graphic elements from the UC Kit of Parts

Collection of graphic elements from the UC Kit of Parts

College and Proprietary Graphics

A system of graphics has been created allowing each college and certain, few major units to “own” a visual element. Although based on architecture (to leverage a university differentiator), these "brand expressions" are purposefully abstracted and not meant to be interpreted literally.

The UC|CCM brand expression.

The UC|CCM brand expression.

Used properly, CCM's brand expression:

  • underscores the dimensional and textured experience that is “education unleashed”
  • creates a common visual thread among all communication • create unique shapes for photo, color and graphic placement
  • affects typography and photography in unexpected ways
A photo of CCM Opera/Voice students with the college's brand expression applied in the background.

An example of brand expression usage with CCM photography.

The University Seal

University of Cincinnati 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

University of Cincinnati C Paw logo

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

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.

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.

University of Cincinnati merchandise on display in the UC Bookstore

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, 



A photograph of a flute performance student playing during a concert.

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.

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 P. Whitacre

Curt P. Whitacre

Director of Marketing and Communications


Headshot of Rebecca Lee Butts

Rebecca Lee Butts

Associate Public Information Officer


Headshot of Mikki Clare Graff

Mikki Clare Graff

Graphic Designer


Headshot of Melissa R. Neeley-Nicolini

Melissa R. Neeley-Nicolini

Digital Content Specialist