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Please contact our Statewide Program Leader if you require this information in a different format.

Guidelines for Using EMG Spirit Marks and Icons


Branding Requirements for WSU Extension logos and
Extension Master Gardener Program Spirit Marks

“Our brand is about much more than logos, colors, and typefaces. The WSU brand consists
of the feelings, memories, and expectations that come to mind when people hear or read
the words “Washington State University.” We want our audiences to associate those words
with a mental picture of a dynamic, engaged, and forward-looking organization dedicated
to making the world a better place.” (

Why is Branding Important?

By keeping our branding consistent it:

  • Links us to WSU and enhances our credibility as university-trained volunteers.
  • Links the organization’s parts to a whole.
  • Creates a consistent impression across our organization.
  • Enhances credibility and validity of information.
  • Helps guide random or rogue directions.
  • Makes every contributor responsible for building a shared reputation.

Branding Requirements

Important logo use requirements include:

  • Using WSU’s logos and marks exactly as provided. They must not be altered in any way.
  • Always adhering to the clear space rules when attempting to incorporate or combine WSU logos with other marks, symbols, or graphics.
  • Displaying secondary or spirit marks properly. They should only be used to complement the official logo and should never be used on official communications and publicity materials without a Cougar head present.

All WSU Extension employees and volunteers who use
branded materials are expected to comply with the
guidance outlined for the entire WSU system:

Proper Logo/Secondary Mark Use

When using the logo, allow proper clear space around the logo and other objects or text. Clear space is defined as about the size of the “U” in the Cougar head. Spacing around secondary marks should be about twice the diameter of the white circle in the center of the flower.

  • Minimum logo size is 1.5″ wide (WSU logo) or 1″ wide (secondary mark). If the secondary mark will be smaller or hard to read, use the flower without text.
  • Don’t place the logo/secondary mark on a busy photographic background.
  • Don’t squish, rotate, or skew the logo/secondary mark.

When do we use the branding elements?


Official Logo

Official communications from the Extension Master Gardener Program, centrally or from a county office. County Extension logos can be found at WSU Extension Logos.

What does the logo branding element do?

  • Follows brand guidelines
  • Shows relationship to organization
  • Conveys organizational credibility
  • Can be used independently
  • Used in most instances

Secondary Spirit Marks/Icons

Can be used on communications from the Extension Master Gardener Program in conjunction with the official WSU Extension logo.

What does the secondary spirit mark/icon branding element do?

  • May use some brand elements
  • Shows relationship to program
  • Conveys individual credibility
  • Used in conjunction with official logo
  • Limited independent or specific use

Additional Secondary/Spirit Mark Use

Use for Clothing and Other Personal Items

This spirit mark may be used for clothing and other personal items to represent an individual Extension Master Gardener volunteer. Size may need to be 1.5″ or larger when embroidered or silkscreened to ensure readability.

Volunteer circle spirit mark

For Social Media Profiles

Please use one of these spirit marks for social media profiles.

Cougar head spirt circle.

For links to logos, spirit marks, templates, and more go to:
For Master Gardeners | Master Gardener Program | Washington State University (


Best practice tips for creating well-designed, branded
flyers and brochures:

  • Use WSU brand colors and typography guidelines. These can be found at Corbel, Ariel, and, Baskerville Old
    Face are alternative fonts and are typically part of Microsoft Office.
  • Keep it simple. Choose cohesiveness over clutter when adding visuals.
  • Avoid including too much information. The goal of brochures and postcards is to peak interest, persuade people to visit your website, and/or attend an event.
  • Consider the “Z” Pattern. We read from left to right and top to bottom. People will scan most layouts in what’s known as the Z Pattern.
    • First, people’s eyes rest in the top left of the page so that is where an important graphic or message would be placed.
    • From there they scan from the top right and rest again, forming an imaginary horizontal line.
    • Next, they scan down and to the left side of the page, creating an imaginary diagonal line and rest again. This is where another important graphic or message should be placed.
    • Last, they scan back across to the right again, forming a second horizontal line.
  • Leave white space. When you leave blank space around the text and graphic elements on the page, people’s eyes will automatically drift to the information they need to retain.


  • logo & spirit mark placement
  • WSU primary and accent color usage
  • WSU fonts
  • “Z” pattern
Sample of flyer with proper branding.