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Brand Basics

What is a brand? 

A brand is more than a logo or the Spartan Helmet – it’s a promise.
Upholding a brand means making good on a promise time after time. For Michigan State University (MSU), this promise and brand have been upheld for nearly 160 years.

From the MSU Brand Guide:

“Our brand is what students, parents, academics, alumni, public servants, corporations, countries, and outside observers all think, feel, and respond to when they hear the words ‘Michigan State University.”

Like the university itself, MSU NatSci has a brand to demonstrate the distinctive features and successes of its faculty and students. Used unfailingly, each of the programs housed in NatSci will enjoy the benefits of being clearly associated with the college and the university as a whole.

Why does NatSci need a brand guide?

Maintaining a brand isn’t hard, but it takes consistency and effort.

MSU NatSci houses many unique programs, majors, specializations and people. However, each of these components is also housed within MSU. This means that each publication, website, or multimedia production needs to adhere to standards set forth by the college to maintain a united presence both within the MSU community and throughout the world.

Each member of the NatSci community from faculty and staff to current students and alumni has a responsibility to be an ambassador of the strengths and diversity housed by the college. By sending strong ambassadors into communities around the world, NatSci promotes a distinct reputation. This reputation depends not only on the people who represent the brand, but on the pieces that may stand independent of those people.

Consistency of content, messaging, visuals and quality from each department will ensure that the brand of NatSci and Michigan State University is authentic throughout the university community, at home and abroad.

NatSci Brand Platform

NatSci Brand Platform

Making a difference. It's in our DNA.


Individual Strength. Collective Power. Extraordinary Impact.


Genuine. Diverse. Open. Collaborative. Innovative. Persistent. World Changing.


Engage, inform, captivate, connect.


Current and prospective students and their parents; prospective faculty, alumni/donors/friends; peers and disciplinary leaders; policy makers and influencers; the interested scientific public and science focused media (including mainstream media, trade pubs and peer reviewed journals).


To extend the reach, voice, influence and reputation of the MSU College of Natural Science through print, online and social
media channels with focus on:

  • Research and impact.
  • Heightened awareness about the unique areas of emphasis in the college (e.g., mathematics, nuclear physics).
  • Exceptional and innovative graduate and undergraduate education.
  • Major faculty/student honors, awards and accomplishments.
  • Philanthropic worthiness.