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Promotional items and licensing

Central Michigan University's trademark licensing program protects, preserves and enhances CMU's heritage and identity. All items bearing Central Michigan University marks must be produced by a licensed vendor, whether or not items are for resale. Anyone or any business/organization wishing to produce Central Michigan University's trademarks or verbiage on a product must have a license before offering the product for sale.

CMU registered trademarks

CMU's registered trademarks include logos, names, symbols and slogans. Only licensed vendors are approved to reproduce and/or sell product bearing CMU's registered trademarks.

Examples of university trademarks include any graphic representation relating to the following:

  • CMU®
  • Central Michigan®
  • Central Michigan University®

CMU Action C Combination mark vertical example, a maroon Action C with gold drop shadow lines are located above the words “Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University Action C in maroon with a gold drop shadow against a white background.

Central Michigan University seal in maroon with the opaque dark gray words

CMU signature phrases

CMU Signature Phrases should not include a TM or a registration mark. Examples of our signature phrases are:

  • Central
  • CMU® Chippewas
    • A CMU identifier must be used when using the Chippewas name. Identifiers include the Action C Combination mark, CMU®, Central Michigan® or Central Michigan University®
  • Fire Up Chips!
    • Please note the only approved use of the word "Chips" is within the phrase "Fire Up Chips!"

Apply for a license

Any person, business or organization with an interest in marketing products bearing the trademarks of Central Michigan University needs to first obtain a license through Collegiate Licensing Company. This includes sales to CMU departments, campus organizations and registered student organizations.

Two types of licenses are available:

  • A retail license
  • An internal license

A copy of the licensing application can be downloaded and printed from the Collegiate Licensing Company. CLC can also be reached by phone at 770-956-0520.

One-time trademark use

CMU trademarks and logos are generally reserved for use by CMU units, sponsored student organizations and licensed vendors only. But there are certain exceptions where individuals not affiliated with CMU may use the marks. They include:

  • Cakes for celebratory events such as birthdays, graduations, and weddings.
  • Gravestones and funeral urns.
  • High school graduation announcements and party invitations for students graduating from high school and planning to attend Central Michigan University.
  • Graduation announcements and party invitations for students graduating from Central Michigan University.

Get one-time usage permission

Frequently asked questions

    If your order will include a Central Michigan University mark in the design, it must be produced by a licensed vendor. This includes items whether or not for resale. Products that are not being resold hold just as much brand importance as items that are sold at a retail location. Please visit the link below for a complete list of approved vendors for Central Michigan University.

    Approved Vendors

    If you have completed the licensing process through CLC, you will receive information on submitting artwork through CLC's Brand Manager 360. This site manages the entire artwork approval process online. If you order a product through a CMU-licensed vendor, the artwork will be approved by CMU prior to manufacturing from that vendor.  

    Maroon, gold or white are the recommended product colors for CMU branded items. Black or grey items are not encouraged, but if you do choose either, then the two-color maroon and gold mark/lockup should be used. Black or grey items with a gold and white mark are not permitted. Black and gold is not an approved CMU color combination.

    Yes, one-color imprints are permitted when printing signature marks. Below are approved one-color combinations for a maroon, gold, white, and black/grey item.

    • Maroon item: all gold or all white is permitted.
    • Gold item: all maroon is permitted. All black is not permitted on a gold item.
    • White item: all maroon is permitted.
    • Black/grey item: all maroon is the first option or all white as the second option. All gold is not permitted on a black/grey item.

    Yes, the Action C Combination Lockup can be embroidered. If you would like a lockup embroidery file, please submit your request to University Communications through our signature mark request form.

    In the event that a product with the Central Michigan University name or logos causes damage or injury, CMU could be held responsible. The trademark licensing agreement signed by licensed vendors helps to protect CMU by transferring product liability back to the vendor. Moreover, licensed vendors are required to carry product liability insurance.

    Anyone or any business/organization wishing to produce Central Michigan University's trademarks or verbiage on a product must have a license before offering the product for sale. This also includes sale to CMU departments, campus organizations and registered student organizations.

    In addition to protecting CMU from product liability, the use of licensed vendors helps to ensure that the Central Michigan University name is not used improperly or on unsafe products, such as knives and flammable items. Furthermore, licensed vendors are required to join the Fair Labor Association, which monitors overseas factories.

    The trademarks of CMU may not be used on publications, brochures, advertising or miscellaneous print material without permission from the university.

    Weapons, firearms and tobacco products are not appropriate items for licensing. Other products will be considered, but Central Michigan University has the right to decline any item.

    Look for the Collegiate Licensed Product Authorization label. This label assures you that the merchandise on which it is affixed has been approved for sale by Central Michigan University and CLC.

    Merchandise produced without authorization may be considered counterfeit or infringing on CMU's trademarks and subject to all available legal remedies.

    The ® and TM signify ownership of a trademark. The TM symbol indicates that the word, symbol or design it is placed next to is a trademark. The ® symbol indicates that the trademark is federally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. These symbols signal CMU's ownership of its trademarks and assist the university in its trademark enforcement efforts.