Did you know that the Smithsonian sunburst is one of the most widely recognized brands in the U.S., and our Affiliates are the only organizations authorized to use a special sunburst logo in their materials? It’s true!
As an exclusive benefit of being a Smithsonian Affiliate, your organization can use the Smithsonian Affiliate logo or taglines for marketing materials, brochures, and signs. It’s a great way to show your association with the Smithsonian to your visitors and stakeholders. So, as a refresher or a quick intro, here’s an overview of the logos you are approved to use, how to use them correctly, and a few other tips. This information is always accessible on our website on our Logos & Taglines page, and the Smithsonian Affiliations team is also always happy to chat with you if you have any questions.
What logos are approved to use?
There are two logos approved for Affiliate use:
- Smithsonian Affiliate logo
- Smithsonian Affiliate Membership Program logo (ONLY for those Affiliates participating in the membership benefit, however the same rules and guidelines apply)
The Smithsonian Affiliate logo can be used on marketing materials, websites, newsletters, brochures, and more. If you are considering the logo for any fundraising, donation, or giving material, please contact the Smithsonian Affiliations office first. Generally, the Smithsonian Affiliate logo may not be used on fundraising material, but please reach out to us to see if it may be an appropriate case.
The Smithsonian Affiliate logo has been updated to emphasize the Smithsonian connection. The word “Affiliate” is italicized in the lockup to indicate the association with the Institution. If the logo you are using does not have this lockup, please contact us to receive an updated logo package.
Where do I find the logos?
The Smithsonian Affiliate logo can be requested from the Smithsonian Affiliations office. Please contact your National Outreach Manager or email Affiliates@si.edu to obtain the logo package. All logo and/or tagline use must be reviewed and approved by the Affiliations office.
What are the approved taglines?
Smithsonian Affiliates may choose to use one of two taglines if using the logo is not appropriate on your material. The taglines “In Association with the Smithsonian” or “A Smithsonian Affiliate” can be used as an alternative to the logo. Please note, if including the tagline in your own logo lockup, you must retain a version without a Smithsonian mention should your logo ever be used for any fundraising material.
May I use the logo and tagline together?
No. The logo and tagline are two separate marketing items for Affiliate use, they should not be used in the same visual lockup or sentence.
Are there any specific tips for Affiliates?
Yes! Check out these tips and documents to help guide you in communicating about your Affiliation:
- Familiarize yourself with our Logo & Tagline Guidelines.
- Read these tips for communicating your Affiliation.
- Add information on your website in your “About Us” section to explain your connection with the Smithsonian. See The Rockwell Museum, Michigan State University Museum, and The Mayborn Museum for examples of large and small ways to include this on your website.
- Talk to your National Outreach Manager to discuss how you may be considering applying the logo or tagline to your material.
- Send us drafts! Not only do we love to see your material, you must receive approval from the Smithsonian Affiliations office prior to any use of the Smithsonian name and/or logos. Send your drafts to Elizabeth Fingar, Communications and Professional Development Manager- FingarE@si.edu.
What else should you keep in mind?
- Everything must be approved by the Affiliations office. Please do not use the logo or tagline without first checking with us. We have a very quick turnaround time for approvals and will work with you to meet your deadlines.
- The Smithsonian is always Institution, never Institute.
- The sunburst should never appear dark or clash with any other colors in your design.
- The logo cannot be used as part of a sentence.
- The logo cannot be altered in any way.
This may seem daunting, but your team at Smithsonian Affiliations will work with you! We are here to help you align your organization with the Smithsonian brand and show your audiences and stakeholders how you are connected to our network of Smithsonian collaborators. If you’d like a refresher, please contact us and we’ll be happy to schedule a call to talk about co-branding and other ways to collaborate to share the incredible work you are doing in your communities.