Brand Information

What is brand?

In a marketing context, a brand is how people perceive your product, service or organization. It’s what people think of you, how they feel about you, and why they support you.

Vital, impactful brands are built on truth and continuity. They are what they say they are. And they are united in how they say it, so you never confuse them with competing brands. That’s why so much emphasis is put on conformity of brand language and look, and why all brands have guidelines like this one.

The UCLA Health brand

UCLA Health has many different audiences: patients and their families, physicians, healthcare providers, staff, students, alumni, public servants and the community in Los Angeles, in California, and around the world. Our brand is what these audiences think, feel and respond to when they see or hear the name UCLA Health.

Because UCLA Health is connected to an outstanding university, our identity is enhanced by the growth of the UCLA university brand.

We have the opportunity and responsibility to shape perceptions of UCLA Health by the consistency and clarity of our communications.

Brand pillars

  • Clinical care
  • Teaching research/discovery
  • Community engagement

Brand protection

For those of us who work at UCLA, the UCLA Health brand is an everyday thing. Sometimes we forget that the UCLA Health names and marks are assets of great value. To protect UCLA Health’s reputation and legal rights, all campus employees need a basic understanding of brand protection.

Using UCLA Health’s names and marks

State, federal and international law protect UCLA and UCLA Health’s trademarks, registered and unregistered. University and campus policy spells out the proper use of names and marks.

The campus units of UCLA Health have the right (and responsibility) to use the UCLA Health marks on the print, video and online materials they create to conduct the business of the university. Nonethless, campus units must still exercise caution.

Let’s say a department wants to show its support for a nonprofit organization by co-sponsoring an event and putting a UCLA Health logo on the program or website. That’s a “third-party” use, and requires permission. Or perhaps you want to print t-shirts or promotional items for a recruitment effort. Those require the use of a licensed vendor, even if the items are given away rather than sold.

Brand Guidelines define how UCLA and UCLA Health marks should be used — but only for approved uses. To find out if permission is needed for a specific use, and to start the review process, use the Administrative Vice Chancellor’s site Permission to Use UCLA Marks.

You should be aware of three UCLA policies that are especially relevant to the proper use of the UCLA and UCLA Health brand: 110411 and 863.


Policy 110 delegates much of the oversight of UCLA’s names and marks to the UCLA Administrative Vice Chancellor. That office maintains an online permissions process to streamline needed approvals.


Policy 110 — Names, seals and trademarks

You’re working on a project with researchers from other schools. “Let’s feature all our logos on the project website,” a colleague suggests. Can you send the UCLA and/or UCLA Health logo?

Not without permission. “Third-party use” includes use by an individual, a corporation, a nonprofit or a government agency — by any entity that isn’t UCLA or the University of California.

Permission is more likely to be granted if the proposed web page clearly states UCLA’s role in the research and presents our logo appropriately sized and with enough clear space to separate it from other logos.

Policy 110 spells out the restrictions on the use of UCLA’s names, seals and trademarks by individuals, groups, and third parties.

Policy 411 — UCLA domain names

Your boss is in a hurry to launch a website, so you use your credit card to register a domain name for You’re a hero, right?

Maybe not. Because the name “UCLA” is owned by the State of California, any domain name that includes the campus name must be registered to the Regents, not to an individual. You can list yourself as the Admin Contact or the Tech Contact, but not the Registrant.

Consult Policy 411 for the right way to register a domain name, whether it’s in the domain or a top-level domain other than “edu.” Domain name approvals can be submitted through Permission to Use UCLA Marks.

Policy 411 applies Policy 110 to web and electronic services, recognizing the importance of our online presence to the UCLA brand.

Policy 863 — Filming and photography

Your department is updating its publications and website, so you hire a photographer to capture campus scenes. “Just go take pictures,” you say.

Not so fast. Even photography for internal use by campus units may require a permit. Unless you stay entirely inside your own facility for the photography, you need to contact the Events Office.

The Events Office also coordinates the logistics for commercial filming and photography on campus, making sure that scheduled events and academic programming aren’t interrupted. Access to iconic locations is limited.

Policy 863 recognizes the importance of still and moving images to UCLA’s identity and brand. In some contexts a photo of Royce Hall says “UCLA” as clearly as a logo.


Part of being a public university is being inclusive. That’s the central tenet of accessibility: to fully include everyone who engages with UCLA and UCLA Health. Accessibility is an important mindset for anyone working on UCLA communications.

UCLA Health’s commitment

Accessibility is not optional. UCLA receives federal, state and local funding. That means both Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) apply to our campus. The University of California has systemwide policies in support of electronic accessibility.

How it affects our work

Many of the changes to the UCLA Health Brand Guidelines introduced in 2018 are based on accessibility needs and ADA compliance. Colors and fonts are not simply esthetic decisions; they are important to usability. In this era of new communications trends and platforms, we must be mindful of accessibility across a wide range of media.

UCLA Health color specifications were modified to improve color contrast, especially for headlines and text. This change makes print and online materials more legible. Brand fonts were also updated. Helvetica, known for readability, is now the core font for online use. Department logos (sometimes called unit signatures or lockups) were re-designed for increased legibility and ease of use.

Two important recommendations:

  1. Don’t tinker: Designers should not modify brand colors, web components, templates, etc. Both brand consistency and accessibility depend on using the materials as provided.
  2. Clean house: Discard old logos and templates, and update websites, videos, presentations and publications to be consistent with brand guidelines and to meet or surpass accessibility standards.