Visual Identity Guide

Just as the University is evolving, the communications world is getting more complicated, with new options seeming to pop up every day. The visual identity standards outlined here were developed by the Office of Communications and External Relations, in conjunction with collaborators across the University, to assist McGill faculty and staff in using the various elements of the University’s visual identity consistently. While this document attempts to be comprehensive, we understand that needs are diverse and ever-changing and encourage you to logo.communications [at] (contact us) with any questions or particular requirements you may have.

What is a visual identity?

It includes, but is not limited to, an organization’s:

  • Name, when it appears in writing;
  • Official logo and other visual symbols and iconic images traditionally associated with the organization;
  • Official colours and secondary palettes;
  • Official typography;
  • Recognized templates for publications, websites and other communications materials;
  • Quality photography and effective graphics and layouts.


McGill’s visual symbols have historic significance and are well-known, making the University’s visual identity an important tool in communicating not only to the University community and to alumni, but also to the larger public.

The importance of consistency

Research shows that effective communications materials; print, electronic or web-based, send a clear and consistent message both through words – and look and feel. If we always use the McGill visual identity and adhere to mutually accepted standards, we are helping to build and enhance McGill’s reputation worldwide.

Consistent visual identity is important for a number of reasons, including:

  • It reinforces identity.
  • It enhances visibility for the University.
  • It enhances the impression of a cohesive and focused institution.
  • It results in communications that look more professional.
  • It serves as a unifying force for members of our diverse community.


A balance between consistency and creativity

While the use of McGill’s official logo should adhere to strict standards, there is room for creativity, for example through a choice of typefaces and the pairing of official colours with complementary secondary colour palettes. Also, templates for specific communications materials provide for more than one option and will evolve over time. The logo standards and other design tools have been developed to help you communicate effectively with the wide range of audiences that the University addresses.

Use by third parties

The University’s logo and related elements are registered trademarks. Their use by third parties* – any person or organization other than those employed by the University or acting as its agent – is thus prohibited, except where written authorization has been obtained from the logo.communications [at] (Office of Communications and External Relations) or where the University has entered into a written agreement permitting such use. Faculty and staff shall refrain from encouraging use of the trademarks by third parties unless specific approval has been obtained.
*McGill students and student organizations are considered third parties and are not permitted to use McGill’s trademarks, except where approved in writing.

The McGill logo

The University logo is a trademark composed of two basic elements – the shield icon and the wordmark. The following pages illustrate the elements associated with the logo, their relationship to each other, proper and improper usage and special applications.


Logo elements and coat of arms

Logo elements

McGill Shield, wordmark and signature
The shield’s shape and main elements – in particular the martlets – are a strong and familiar visual. The three red martlets on a silver background (white, for the University’s purposes) are taken from the arms of the family of James McGill, the founder of the University. The open book at the top of the shield is the heraldic symbol of an institution of learning. The book bears the words In Domino Confido (“I trust in the Lord”) which was the motto used by James McGill. Two crowns, one on either side of the book, refer to Montreal’s royal name and are composed of fleur de lys as a reminder of the city’s French origin. Montreal’s three hills are represented by three peaks above the martlets.

The wordmark “McGill” is custom-designed, meaning the six letters – based on the Garamond typeface – have been designed as a single image and cannot be typed as a word.

It is not possible to reproduce the wordmark with standard printing typefaces and other typefaces may not be substituted.

Except in rare circumstances, it is always required to use the full logo rather than one or the other of its parts.  

Coat of arms

McGill Coat of Arms, Shield and Scroll
The McGill coat of arms consists of two parts, the shield and the scroll. It is reserved for special circumstances and should not be used as a substitute for the logo. The coat of arms is derived from an armorial device assumed by James McGill. The University’s patent of arms was granted by England’s Garter-King-at-Arms in 1922 and registered in 1956 with Lord Lyon King of Arms in Edinburgh and in 1992 with the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada. In heraldic terms, the coat of arms is described as follows: “Argent three Martlets Gules, on a chief dancette of the second, an open book proper garnished or bearing the legend In Domino Confido in letters Sable between two crowns of the first."
Motto: Grandescunt Aucta Labore (‘By work all things increase and grow’).

Space and size

Proportion and vital space

McGill logo dimensions and vital spaceThe McGill logo has been designed with specific proportions, spacing and alignments that enhance its legibility and impact. These are reflected in all official logo files.

The main unit of measurement for spacing used in this manual is based on half the width of the shield (or .5x).

The logo, shield, Coat of Arms, wordmark and brand extensions should be surrounded by at least .5x vital space to ensure their integrity and clarity and separate them from any other text or graphic elements.
Regardless of the logo’s size, the proportions remain the same.

Minimum size

McGill logo vital space continuedThe shield should never be reproduced under .25 inches in width. In general, the wordmark should not be reproduced under 1 inch with the exception of certain special applications (see Special Applications). Remember, except in rare circumstances, it is always required to use the full logo rather than one or the other of its parts.

Applications principles

Black version

McGill logo black versionThe logo can be used in black when it is used in monochrome and duotone projects where the use of red is not possible. Whenever possible, the red version is preferred.


Correct and incorrect ways to use McGill logo

Reverse version

When the logo is printed on McGill red or a dark background, the reverse version of the McGill signature should be used. As seen on the right, the wordmark becomes white but the colours of the shield stay the same with only a white outline added around it. The colours of the shield should not be inverted (i.e. the martlets remain red on white and the crowns and book white on red).


General application principles

  • Incorrect use of McGill logosThe logo should appear on the front of all printed and digital documents.
  • The shield, wordmark and/or logo must not be modified in any way.
  • The shield may never appear in any colour other than McGill red, or black, or – for special, approved, circumstances – silver or gold.
  • The logo should always be clearly legible. Avoid overly busy backgrounds.
  • The logo must never be used as a headline or set into text as part of a sentence.
  • Always maintain vital space around the logo when it is adjacent to other items or the edge of the page.
  • The logo should always be used horizontally. It should not be rotated.
  • The McGill logo or the individual elements that compose it (shield, martlet, wordmark, etc) cannot be included within another logo (see The McGill Logo: Other logos).

Logo extensions

One-tier extensions


All font and line sizes shown here are relation to the logo at minimum size and should be resized proportionally to the logo. The whole logo can appear in either red, “reversed” or black versions. In the English extension, each word is capitalised. In the French, only the first word and proper nouns are.

The horizontal option uses a black divider line of 0.5 pt thickness and 0.36” height (equivalent to 3 lines of text – see One-tier extensions (longer unit names). The extension text block is centred vertically along the height of the M in McGill.

For the vertical version, there is no divider line and the extension text block is aligned with left stem of
the M.

Although both horizontal and vertical options are available, the horizontal one is preferred.

One-tier extensions (bilingual)

With prepositions

Both lines are typeset in McGill Sans Medium. In English, the preposition stays on the first line but in French it goes on the second one.

One-tier extensions (with prepositions)

Longer unit names

A three-line logo extension is the maximum.
One-tier extensions (longer unit names)


As with the bilingual version, the horizontal option is preferred.
One-tier extensions (unilingual)

Two-tier extensions


The subordinate unit’s name is set in McGill Sans Medium. It must not be longer than three lines.

Two-tier extensions (unilingual)

Bilingual horizontal

The English and French main unit names are placed side-by-side to the right of McGill (same as in the one-tier horizontal option) and the subordinate units are placed 2 pts below. The subordinate units are set in McGill Sans Medium.

Two-tier extensions (bilingual horizontal)

Bilingual vertical

The English and French main unit names are placed side-by-side under McGill (same as in the one-tier vertical option) and the subordinate units are placed 2 pts below. The subordinate units are set in McGill Sans Medium.Two-tier extensions (bilingual vertical)

Special logo extensions

Here are two currently recognized special logo extensions.
It is not possible to reproduce these extensions with standard typefaces.

University - Special logo extension"University"

The words ‘University’ and ‘Université’ can be displayed as shown but are only to be used in cases where it is deemed that the logo by itself may not be sufficient to clearly identify McGill as an educational institution.


Logo extension Macdonald campusMacdonald Campus

In efforts to better integrate both campuses, the Macdonald Campus shield with its combination of green and gold is no longer used to separately denote the Macdonald Campus. Instead, the word Macdonald, or the words Macdonald Campus or Campus Macdonald, is/are displayed under the McGill logo, as shown. The Macdonald shield may be used only under special circumstances.






Improper extensions

Logo extensionsn examples of things not to doDO NOT

  • Mix type weights on the same line.
  • Use McGill Sans Medium for anything other than a unit designation e.g. ‘Faculty of’ or a two-tier subordinate unit (see Two-tier extensions).
  • Use more than three lines max for any logo extension.

Other logos

No academic unit (including its programs) other than one covered by the Policy Relating to the Naming of University Assets may develop a secondary logo, see Online Resources.
The University strongly encourages all units to use an extended version of the McGill logo, rather than develop their own separate logo. Secondary logos may be used only with approval from the logo.communications [at] (Office of Communications and External Relations) and only in conjunction with the McGill logo. If you are planning to use an image consistently, e.g. for a recurring event, consideration should be given to visual identity issues, whether or not the image constitutes an official logo.

Named faculties

McGill | Desautels logo and McGill | Schulich School of Music, École de Musique Schulich logoThe University’s named faculties (Desautels Faculty of Management and Schulich School of Music) have, with permission, created their own logos for which separate standards have been developed. Both logos are used in conjunction with the McGill logo. For further information about the branding guidelines of these particular faculties, please contact their communications offices.

Named schools

McGill | École des politiques publiques Max Bell School of Public Policy logoA few University schools are also named after a donor, like the Max Bell School of Public Policy. In cases where they have their own logo, the latter is placed in a similar manner to faculty names, that is, to the right of the McGill logo and separated by a vertical line not closer than half the shield. The vertical line’s height can vary according to the school’s logo. Care should be taken to balance the school’s and McGill's logo so that neither dominates the other visually.

Other approved logo

McGill Athletics & Recreation logoThe University has given permission to use a variation of the logo in the following case:

McGill Athletics and Recreation
This logo may be used on sports equipment and promotional items. It is to be used solely by Athletics and Recreation, in accordance with standards created for its use.

New secondary logos

Examples of new secondary logosUnits seeking to create a secondary logo must request permission from the logo.communications [at] (Office of Communications and External Relations) and must work with its Graphic Design unit which will ensure that any secondary logo harmonizes with McGill visual identity standards. Graphic Design can also provide instruction as to how secondary logos may be used.
Unless approved by the logo.communications [at] (Office of Communications and External Relations), the McGill logo or the individual elements that compose it (shield, martlet, wordmark, logo) CANNOT be included within the new logo.

Pairing a secondary logo with the McGill logo

Example of pairing a secondary logo with the McGill logoIf pairing a secondary logo with McGill’s, the only accepted placement is to position the secondary logo to the right of McGill’s, separated by a black divider line, with half the width of the crest between each element, similar to extension names (see The McGill logo: Logo extensions). The secondary logo can also be placed separately from the McGill logo, but the latter must then appear prominently elsewhere on the same page. Care should be taken to balance the secondary logo and McGill’s so that neither visually dominates the other.

Special applications


Use of McGill logos on building windowsLogo on other materials

Special artwork must be used when the logo appears on materials such as glass and metal. The martlets should never appear white on a dark background.
Please contact Graphic Design for special cases and artwork requests.


Other special applications

Large Formats

When producing special types of communications, such as banners, signs or items where the size of type must be visible from a distance, type can be placed with the logo as long as vital areas are respected.

Large format example

Small Formats

Small use of McGill logoFor very small applications, the shield may be dropped from the logo and the wordmark may be reduced to fit. Vital space should be respected if possible.

Use of other McGill symbols

Correct and incorrect use of the martlet iconMartlet icon

The red bird called a martlet is one of McGill’s most recognizable symbols. Martlets can be used as added elements on brochures, newsletters or any university collateral. The martlet has no feet and thus always appears in flight.
Approval by the logo.communications [at] (Office of Communications and External Relations) is required should you wish to use a martlet as a design element.



Visual system

The University’s visual system is used to implement the brand across various media. Official colours, typefaces and visual elements are important in creating a visually consistent graphic look and feel, and ensuring a unified and strong brand.

Colour paletteMcGill Red

One rule for colour: Use McGill Red

McGill Red is our colour to own. As long as McGill Red is incorporated into our layouts (alongside the McGill logo), we can be free to choose the rest of our palette.

Colour is a strong identifier and using the distinctive McGill Red will ensure connection across communications whether we are using type, illustration, photography or pattern for our communications.

McGill Red

McGill red is CMYK 0 100 90 0.

For electronic display, the RGB (red, green and blue) value is: R237, G27, B47 or Hexadecimal value #ed1b2f.

Pantone Solid 185 is used when printing in one or two colours.



Secondary colours

McGill’s secondary colours, are not official but rather suggested colours that cover a larger spectrum to complement the McGill red. They can be used to add variety and contrast for headings, bullets, background and other graphic elements.





Black &
Neutral Grey

Cool Grey

Pastel orange Hex code FFD794
CMYK 0 16 47 0
RGB 255 215 148
Bright orange hex code F7941D
CMYK 0 50 100 0
RGB 247 148 29
HEX #F7941D
Muted orange hex code D3674A
CMYK 13 72 76 2
RGB 211 103 74
HEX #D3674A
Dark orange hex code AA4B31
CMYK 0 72 75 35
RGB 170 75 49
Black hex code 000000
CMYK 0 0 0 100
RGB 0 0 0
HEX #000000
Cool grey hex code 5D6770
CMYK 66 52 44 17
RGB 93 103 113
HEX #5D6770
Pastel yellow hex code FFF193
CMYK 0 2 52 0
RGB 255 241 147
Bright yellow hex code FFD400
CMYK 0 15 100 0
RGB 255 212 0
Muted yellow hex code E8B92E
CMYK 0 20 90 10
RGB 232 185 46
Dark yellow hex code B28C35
CMYK 35 45 100 0
RGB 178 140 53
HEX #B28C35
Black screened to 60%
Screened to 60%
Cool grey screened to 70%
Screened to 70%
Pastel turquoise hex code B5E1E1
CMYK 28 0 12 0
RGB 181 225 225
Bright turquoise hex code 27BDBE
CMYK 70 0 30 0
RGB 39 189 190
Muted turquoise hex code 087F8C
CMYK 86 35 40 6
RGB 8 127 140
HEX #087F8C
Dark turquoise hex code 0A6266
CMYK 90 45 53 23
RGB 10 98 102
HEX #0A6266
Black screened to 30%
Screened to 30%
Cool grey screened to 40%
Screened to 40%
Pastel blue hex code C8EAF5
CMYK 20 0 2 0
RGB 200 234 245
Blue hex code 44C8F5
CMYK 60 0 0 0
RGB 68 200 245
HEX #44C8F5
Muted blue hex code 0096C9
CMYK 80 10 0 15
RGB 0 150 201
HEX #0096C9
Dark blue hex code 024F6D
CMYK 97 66 38 20
RGB 2 79 109
HEX #024F6D
Black screened to 15%
Screened to 15%
Cool grey crened to 20%
Screened to 20%
Pastel green hex code D5E6A8
CMYK 18 0 43 0
RGB 213 230 168
Bright green hex code B2D235
CMYK 35 0 100 0
RGB 178 210 53
HEX #B2D235
Muted green hex code 8BA04E
CMYK 50 23 87 3
RGB 139 160 78
Dark green hex code 305534
CMYK 78 42 86 40
RGB 48 85 52
HEX #305534
Pastel purple hex code E2A7CC
CMYK 8 40 0 0
RGB 226 167 204
Bright purple hex code C768A9
CMYK 20 72 0 0
RGB 199 104 169
HEX #C768A9
Muted purple hex code 9B5678
CMYK 40 76 33 6
RGB 155 86 120
HEX #9B5678
Dark purple hex code 673567
CMYK 65 90 31 18
RGB 103 53 103
HEX #673567
Dark McGill red hex code 9E0918
CMYK 0 100 90 40
RGB 158 9 24
HEX #9E0918


One rule for type: Use McGill typeface

The University has its own unique typeface with both serif and sans serif that have been designed to use interchangeably. It is a flexible face that has been created for use in graphics, headlines, body copy, as well as informational needs like diagrams and captions. When used together, they signal the multifaceted spirit and eclecticism of McGill. The McGill Typeface may be downloaded here.

McGill typeface

Word, Outlook and PowerPoint typefaces

Word, Outlook and PowerPoint typefaces

When it is not possible to install the McGill typefaces on the computer and when composing emails, please use the system fonts Arial and Times New Roman as substitutes in Windows and Helvetica and Times in MacOS.


The McGill typeface in application

McGill typeface in application


The visual world

Lookbook examples


Use of photography

Portraying the beauty of McGill’s campus, the amazing accomplishments of its vibrant community and the small pleasures of everyday life at the University is key to maintaining a strong brand. Here are some best practices for the capture and use of photography:


Before using any photo in your publication, ensure that the rights to its use have been obtained and
that proper credit is attributed. The University has a bank of photos that can be used for McGill-related documents. You may also use creative-commons or royalty-free stock images or commission your own photos. You should NOT obtain and use photos from the Internet or other sources if you are unsure about its copyright status.

QualityPhoto examples, quality

To avoid pixilation, ensure that all images are of high quality, at least a resolution of 72 dpi for web and 300 dpi for print.



It is best if your photos represent real McGill people and locations. However, when this is not possible, the use of stock photography is fine if it matches the University’s overall branding and positioning. Avoid very cliché and generic shots and favour authenticity, honesty and originality.

SubjectsPhoto examples, subjects

Subjects in photographs should appear natural and spontaneous, rather than heavily staged or posed. While shooting portraits, subjects should convey confidence and ease. Avoid corporate logos, very busy or potentially offensive graphics on the subject’s clothes or props they are holding.

Framing and composition

Framing and composition examplesPhotographs should be framed to lead the eye towards one focal point. This could be a person, object or place. For a more dramatic effect, consider using close-ups and tighter framing during the design phase rather than when capturing the picture to allow for more flexibility.

Avoid very cluttered backgrounds. A bokeh effect, where the background is blurred out, can help in isolating and focusing on the main subject.

While capturing action, include the context in the frame to provide relevant information to viewers.


Contrast and lightingContrast and lighting examples

Capture photos with unfiltered colours and natural contrast for a true-to-life representation of the McGill story.

For portraits, make sure the subject’s face is well lit, favouring soft contrast and avoiding harsh shadows. Use of a flash is recommended when shooting indoors and when there is insufficient natural light.

You may contact The Office of Communications and External Relations for information about the shared photo bank or questions regarding photo credits.

Made platform

Made by McGill is our creative brand platform

We use it for recruitment and fundraising, among other marketing initiatives.

If you are interested in using the Made by McGill platform, please contact McGill Communications and External Relations allison.j.flynn [at] (Allison Flynn) or jean-bernard.ngmansun [at] (Jean-Bernard Ngmansun.)


Made by McGill

Visual overview

In this stream of brand and campaign communications, consistency is crucial to making an impact at scale.

Made by McGill platform


We incorporate McGill Red and specific McGill typefaces for Made by McGill communications, along with a distinct mark and photography style.

Colour palette

CMYK 0 100 90 0
RGB 237 27 47
PMS Solid 185
RGB 000
CMYK 60 40 40 100
RGB 0 0 0
HEX #000000
PMS Black C
CMYK 15 11 10 0
RGB 215 215 217
PMS 427 C
CMYK 0 0 0 0
RGB 0 0 0 0


FontMade by McGill font example

The McGill typeface is used on all Made by McGill collateral. This example shows how McGill Sans and Serif are designed to live together in a headline.




PhotographyMade by McGill photography example

Made by McGill photography ranges from Portraits, Places, Story and Metaphoric themes. This example is a portrait of McGill Professor, Brenda Milner.

For guidelines and tools for the McGill platform, please contact McGill Communications and External Relations allison.j.flynn [at] (Allison Flynn) or jean-bernard.ngmansun [at] (Jean-Bernard Ngmansun.)

Stationery system

The University stationery includes both printed and electronic letterhead, business cards, envelopes, memos, fax sheets, notepads, and e-mail signatures. The samples shown here present the maximum amount of information that would likely be included. Most cases should have less information to display and therefore appear less crowded. All information is printed in black or McGill red. McGill Printing Services is the official supplier of McGill letterhead and stationery. Printing Services can also provide units with electronic versions of their letterhead. Units are encouraged to work with Graphic Design should they have more customized stationery needs.


Official University letterhead, both printed and electronic, is disseminated around the world. Although e-mail is now the more common form of correspondence, much of our official communication is still sent via printed letterhead. It is therefore important that the information on all McGill letterhead be organized and well presented.

Letterhead standard billingual example

Standard bilingual style

All letterhead used by the University should be bilingual. The standard letterhead is as shown. A unit name can appear as a standard logo extension and/or at the bottom.

Format: 8.5” x11”
Faculty name: McGill Sans Medium – 10.25/12.5 pts
Name of person: McGill Sans Medium – 8/9.5 pts
Degrees: McGill Sans Regular – 6/9.5 pts
Titles: McGill Sans Regular – 7/9.5 pts
Unit name: McGill Sans Medium – 7/9.5 pts
Address: McGill Sans Regular – 7/9.5 pts
Red line: 7” x .1565”.

McGill Printing Services has templates for all McGill stationery and should be used for typesetting and printing these items.

(Click to enlarge)

Letterhead with affiliate

Letterhead with affiliate

When a McGill entity has an affiliate or partner, the affiliate’s logo should be aligned as shown, in the top right corner. This area has the most space to add other signatures and logos without encroaching on the writing area.

(Click to enlarge)

Electronic LetterheadElectronic letterhead

For customized electronic letterhead, contact Graphic Design.

(Click to enlarge)

Business cards

Spacing and layout

Business card examples

For business cards, names are set in McGill Sans Medium 8/9.5 pt, degrees in McGill Sans Regular 6/9.5 pt, and titles in McGill Sans Regular 7/9.5 pt.

E-mail address and telephone should be written below the name and title. There is an extra +5 point space below the telephone information.

In order to create uniformity and save space, the following symbols are suggested for both English and French:

T: Telephone, C: Mobile devices, F: Fax

The Unit name is set in McGill Sans Medium 7/9.5 pts and the address in Sans Regular 7/9.5 pts.

The McGill business card is bilingual, with each language printed recto verso.

The red line thickness is .0937”.


Approved secondary logos

Business card with secondary logo exampleApproved secondary McGill logos may be added to the right of the black line. The faculty name then moves down after the department name in order to make room for the secondary logo. The logo size must not be larger than the McGill shield.

A McGill business card should not incorporate the logo of an external institution, as this practice incorrectly suggests a formal institutional relationship.


Graduate student

McGill graduate students can obtain business cards through Printing Services, with the authorization of the academic unit where they are registered.

McGill Printing Services has templates for all McGill stationery and should be used for typesetting and printing these items.

Envelopes and labels

Envelope exampleEnvelopes

Whatever size the envelope, the McGill logo always appears in the top left corner as shown. The unit extension appears to the right and the return address can either appear below or on the back flap if it is deemed too lengthy.

Labels exampleLabels

Mailing labels are used for oversized envelopes and packages. The standard mailing label size represented here is 4.75” x 2.75”. In this example, the logo, extension and address are reversed on a McGill red band.
McGill Printing Services has templates for all McGill stationery and should be used for typesetting and printing these items.


A University memo template, as shown, is available on the web.


Email signature

English only

Email signature exampleThis is the suggested email signature format for administrative and academic units and departments.

On PCs, the typeface is set in Arial. On Macs, please use Helvetica.

Name: Arial Bold, 10pt
Title and department: Arial Regular, 9pt

Use one line break space after the department name.

McGill University: Arial bold, 10 pts
Address: Arial Regular, 9 pts
Office phone, cell phone (optional) and fax (optional): Arial Regular, 9 pts

Department’s website and social media links (optional): Arial Regular, 9 pt, underline, clickable links.
For social media links, if any, it is best to link text instead of icons to avoid visual clutter and conflict with the McGill logo.

It’s best to include the “www” in the web links so that a hyperlink is automatically created in the email program.

The pre-formatted McGill logo for email signatures can be downloaded from the University Visual Identity website.


Email signature bilingual exampleYou can also choose to have a bilingual signature. However, for simplicity’s sake we recommend that the address be in French only.

Visual systems: Web

This section covers websites created outside McGill’s WMS. Units are encouraged to work with McGill’s Digital Communications team for support when looking to build a new website.

Colour Palette

Web primary coloursPrimary colours – Web

The primary colours of any McGill web property must match the McGill Core Palette.

Websites must use McGill red (#ED1B2F), solid black (#000) and white (#FFF). Neutral (not warm or cool) grays may also be used.

We suggest pale gray (#F4F4F4) as a light background color that complements the core palette.

Medium gray (#D4D4D4) works well for structural accents like horizontal rules.

Websites may use additional colours as long as they are compliant with the Core Palette standards.




Web typefacesOfficial typefaces – Web

All new websites and applications should use the McGill typefaces (see: Visual System: Typefaces)

We suggest a minimum size of 16px (or its equivalent) for body copy. Microcopy may be as small as 14px.*

Where the site or application does not accommodate custom fonts, please contact web.communications [at] (Digital Communications) to determine the appropriate level of compliance.

* You should ensure that the type sizes are appropriate for the text color and background color. Colorable provides an easy resource to see if contrast is sufficient at these sizes. If Colorable says compliance is achieved for "AA large," you'll need to adapt your text size and/or weight to meet accessibility requirements. Learn more about the contrast designations you'll see in Colorable.

Headers and Footers

Use of headers – Web

Web header exampleIn order to maintain consistency across McGill web properties, the header must feature the McGill logo and unit name/identity as described in The McGill Logo: Logo extensions on horizontal logo extensions. Note that the logo and its extension must meet the standard space contrast and black-divider-line requirements.
Aside from respecting general best practices for site navigation schemes, there are no other requirements for the header. Colour, layout and styling can be freely adapted to meet the needs of the sponsoring unit and their audience.

Example of a compliant header:

Web compliant header example


Use of footers – Web

Web footer mobile exampleMcGill web properties should use a standard footer with a black background.
  • Header and emphasized text are white
  • Links and other text are pale grey (#D7D7D7)
  • Horizontal rules and other structural elements are medium gray (#676767)

Websites should always include the institutional footer shown below at the very bottom of every page. This contains McGill logo (linked to, copyright notice, and links to accessibility, privacy, and contact information.

Above that, the footer may also include a collection of links that users would expect to find in the footer. This is separated from the institutional footer by a divider line.

If this upper portion contains more than six links, these should be organized into columns.

For code and assets needed to build the standard footer, please contact web.communications [at] (Digital Communications).

For applications and third-party software with different footer standards, contact web.communications [at] (Digital Communications) to determine the appropriate level of compliance.

Web footer example



Tracking ID: UA-26739495-1 Complete code: {C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}<!-- Global Site Tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics --> Tracking code

McGill has a central Google Analytics installation that includes all McGill-branded and sponsored websites. All new websites must embed the tracking code on the left in order to be included in the central dataset.

Other Considerations

URL standard

All official McGill sites must use a URL: either or



Examples of faviconThe official McGill favicon is the red martlet as seen on the left. It is available in .png and .ico formats; .ico is preferred. The favicon should be associated with all pages of all McGill-branded sites. The favicon may be obtained by contacting web.communications [at] (Digital Communications).


Examples of icons possible to use on McGill siteSite icons

Use of a project-specific, professionally designed icon suite is permitted, provided the icons are used in a way that is accessible and compliant with best practices. Where this isn’t possible, McGill recommends using Google Material Icons: an exhaustive set of scalable and user-friendly icons.


Page credits

The public-facing side of a McGill-branded website should bear no mention of the platform (ex. WordPress, Drupal), vendor, or other service provider implicated in the creation, maintenance, or hosting of the site.

Site titles (as seen in browser tabs)

The title attribute for a homepage should use the format “Site name | McGill University”

The title attribute for internal pages should use the format “Page name - Site name | McGill University.”


This section covers McGill-branded video. Units are encouraged to work with McGill’s Video Production Services when looking to produce original video content.



Video captionsWherever possible, official McGill fonts should be used for creating video captions. In most cases, McGill Sans Regular and McGill Sans Medium will be used. Given the variations in editing software, point sizes cannot be standardized. However, good examples of the correct scale may be found in the examples on the left.

Type colours

White type should be used wherever possible and captions should be placed on darker backgrounds. Backgrounds can manually be darkened, if necessary. If there is no darker area, then black may be used.

Labelling convention

Proper names are spelled out in all caps. Stacked beneath the proper name in regular font is the job title and/or the affiliated Lab/Department/School/ Faculty/Unit.

Logo use—Closing slate

Use of logo on closing slatesThe McGill logo (and its extensions, when applicable) as outlined in The McGill Logo: Space and size should be used for McGill-related videos. Whenever possible, the logo should be placed on a white or black background as seen on the left at the end of each video prior to credits. Logos should be centred on the screen and set no smaller than 300 pixels wide.

Logo and text—Closing credits

End title exampleThe McGill logo (and its extensions, when applicable), as outlined in The McGill Logo: Space and size, should be set on a white or black background.

Official McGill fonts should be used for closing credit type. In this example, McGill Sans Regular and McGill Sans Medium are used.

Social Media

This section covers McGill-branded social media channels.

Avatars / profile icons

It is very important that McGill’s social media channels also project a consistent and coherent look. As such, official social media avatars and high-quality “cover” photography (see Visual System: Use of photography) are required. Please submit a customized avatar request form for your faculty, department or unit. Avatars may be created for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Faculty avatars

Faculty avatars example

Department avatars

Department avatars example


This section covers McGill-branded vehicles.


The McGill logo extension (see The McGill Logo: Logo extensions) is used to brand University vehicles. The logo extension is placed on both driver and passenger side doors and the McGill logo should appear on the back. Either option A or B can be chosen but the same option has to be used for both side doors. Please contact Graphic Design for decal production.

Vehicle options



A number of resources exist to support the use of these visual identity standards.

Online resources

The various formats and versions of the McGill logo, along with explanations about which to use when. Download a logo.

Trademark Policy

For students and other third parties wishing to use the McGill logo or other McGill trademarks, consult the PDF icon McGill Trademark Policy.

Other policies and guidelines

Policy Relating to the Naming of University Assets.


Download McGill’s official typefaces.

For additional resources and templates, please go to Download McGill brand assets.


If you have questions or need support as you design your communications materials, please don’t hesitate to contact the units listed.

The logo and other McGill trademarks

For questions about McGill’s trademarks, contact:

Communications and External Relations
James Administration Building – Annex
845 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G4

Allison Flynn
Director, Integrated Communications
Phone: 514 398-7698
E-mail: allison.j.flynn [at]

Graphic Design

Contact the Graphic Design unit for all design needs, including questions about templates and logos. Graphic Design is also in charge of creating the campus’ lamp post banners and scheduling installation.

Graphic Design
Communications and External Relations
James Administration Building – Annex
845 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G4

Prachi Khandekar
Associate Director
Phone: 514 398-6753
E-mail: prachi.khandekar [at]

Jean-Bernard Ng Man Sun
Art Director
Phone: 514 398-6058
E-mail:jean-bernard.ngmansun [at]


Contact the Media Relations Office to request photos from the University’s image bank or ask questions about use of photos.

Media Relations Communications and External Relations
James Administration Building, Room 110
845 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G4

Laurie Devine
Manager, social media
Phone: 514 398-5929
E-mail: laurie.devine [at]


To obtain business cards, letterhead or other standard stationery, contact Printing Services. For customized stationery needs, contact Graphic Design.

McGill Printing Services 3465 Durocher Street
Montreal, Quebec H2X 0A8
Phone: 514 398-6300
Fax: 514 398-7353
E-mail: [at] ( )

Visual identity standards for special logos

There are detailed standards for use of certain special logos. These include

  • Athletics and Recreation
  • Desautels Faculty of Management
  • Schulich School of Music
Contact the relevant unit for more information.

Visual identity on the web

Contact Digital Communications for information regarding McGill-branded websites.

Digital Communications
James Administration Building – Annex
845 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G4
E-mail: web.communications [at]


McGill's Visual Identity and Creative Platform

This video explains how and when the Made by McGill platform is activated and its relationship to McGill's existing Visual Identity.


An Overview of McGill's Visual Identity Guide (Part 1)

This video covers basic information about McGill's logo and details guidelines for correct logo application.

An Overview of McGill's Visual Identity Guide (Part 2)

This video explains McGill’s overall brand architecture, including standard formats for logo extensions. It also shows how to apply McGill logos and extensions to printed and digital stationery.

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