Branding Guidelines Frequently Asked Questions on Branding Guidelines

  1. Do other hospitals/universities have branding guidelines? Yes, hospitals, companies and organizations around the world have branding guidelines. The Johns Hopkins Medicine brandmark/logo and the style guidelines for its use help us present our messages in a clear, strong and consistent manner.
  2. Why does Johns Hopkins Medicine have a single brand? Johns Hopkins Medicine uses a primary or "master" brand name to ensure that our messages are clear and consistent. Because this master brand spans each Johns Hopkins Medicine entity, institution and type of service, it makes it easier for patients to identify us, helps unify employees, and helps us in our strategic collaborations with other health care entities and academic medical centers. The master brand also gives new services the "halo effect" of the Johns Hopkins reputation.
  3. Can companies or vendors use the Johns Hopkins Medicine name and brandmarks on their marketing materials or Web sites? A company or organization that has relationships with Johns Hopkins Medicine may factually cite the relationship once the specific use has been approved by an appropriate Johns Hopkins Medicine representative. A company or vendor may list our name with other clients; however, there should not be any suggestion of an endorsement by Johns Hopkins Medicine or its faculty or staff of the company's products or services.
  4. Does Johns Hopkins Medicine have a writing and style guide? Yes. It is based on the Associated Press (AP) style guide, a standard reference source for reporters and editors on word usage, libel, numbers, titles, capitalization and commonly used words and phrases. The stylebook is widely used and contains much that will prevent writers from making errors of fact, grammar and punctuation. Writing and style guideline: StyleBook0208.pdf
  5. What is a writing and style guide? It's not a guide to writing with flair but a manual that explains frequently confused words and expressions. It helps writers be consistent with how they use punctuation, numbers, abbreviations and so on. Johns Hopkins Medicine Marketing and Communications uses the Associated Press (AP) style guide to ensure uniform style in our publications and communications for physicians, employees and consumers. As a supplement to AP, we have developed a brief in-house style guide to share with people throughout the Johns Hopkins institutions.
    This guide includes:
         o areas not covered by AP style that relate to health and medical writing
         o common style errors
         o exceptions to AP style that arise from the nature of our work

    Note: Microsoft Spell-check and Grammar-check often make recommendations that differ from AP Style; suggested substitutions should not be automatically accepted, but deserve further checking.
    Our writing and style guidelines do not apply to advertising copy or to papers written for medical or other professional journals.
  6. Does Johns Hopkins Medicine have graphics standards? Yes. Johns Hopkins Medicine uses an immediately recognizable and consistent symbol, logo, typography and design. Click here 
  7. Should I include the Johns Hopkins Medicine logo and graphics standards in my brochure, newsletter, Web site, etc.? Yes, our logo and the graphics standards we have developed reinforce the Johns Hopkins Medicine brand and message. The logo and graphics standards create a distinctive and consistent appearance for all our communications and help our employees and customers immediately differentiate our materials from other competitive organizations. Using our brandmark and other key design components, such as color, imagery, design elements (shapes), structure, messaging and typography, together helps create the Johns Hopkins look and feel.
  8. Can I create my own logo? No. To avoid confusing external audiences and diluting the purpose of branding, departments, divisions, centers, programs and other groups should not create their own logo or other identifying mark. Using the recognized Johns Hopkins Medicine name and logo helps to unify all our departments, centers, staff and faculty under one brand and ensures a common, mutually reinforcing image of our enterprise. The inappropriate use of other marks dilutes the name equity and effectiveness of our brand. However, there is a process for creating a graphic look to support a unique identity. For these special circumstances, please contact Max Boam, director of identity management and graphic design.  Cooperation regarding correct logo usage is critical to the success of our efforts. To learn more about our brandmark click here
  9. Can the Johns Hopkins Medicine symbol or brandmark be used alone? No. it is the single strongest visual element used to promote our name and our organization, so it must be used correctly and consistently to protect our identity. For special circumstances, please contact Max Boam, director of identity management and graphic design.
  10. Can I alter or add to the Johns Hopkins Medicine brandmark? The Johns Hopkins brandmark or logo must not be altered or added to or taken apart. This includes but is not restricted to type, rules, boxes, shadows, outlines or embellishments. Our brandmark is the most prominent visual representation of our identity and brings awareness and recognition for Johns Hopkins and the work we do. The relationships between elements (Johns Hopkins Medicine logotype and symbol) are pre-established to create our brandmark/logo. Click here
  11. Do we have more than one format for the Johns Hopkins Medicine logo? Yes, click here
  12. Does the Johns Hopkins Medicine design system that has been developed help reinforce our brand and our message? Yes, click here
  13. Does Johns Hopkins Medicine use specific colors in its brandmark? Yes. Our official Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors are Johns Hopkins Blue PMS 288 and Johns Hopkins Gold PMS 7406. Do not change the blue or gold to provide contrast for your particular item, and do not substitute any other blue and gold colors for our official colors. Click here
  14. Are there standards for Johns Hopkins Medicine letterhead and business cards? Yes. Every print piece plays an important role in reinforcing our image. Stationery materials (letterhead, envelopes, business cards, labels) are a primary vehicle used to communicate with constituents and the general public. Administrative forms, applications, invoices and checks also must adhere to our graphics standards. Click here 
    We also have Word templates for your use. Click here
  15. Can a company or vendor use our logo for fund-raising purposes when a portion of the funds is coming back to Johns Hopkins? Because even the appearance of an endorsement can harm Johns Hopkins Medicine's reputation for independence and objectivity, such requests must be submitted for review and approval.
  16. Can a company use a faculty member's name in a video? The institution or faculty members are generally not allowed to lend their names to videos sponsored by vendors, companies, etc., even when the video is for "patient education" or "professional education." Occasional exceptions can be made with proper and prominent disclaimers and disclosures.
  17. Can a company or vendor use the Johns Hopkins Medicine brandmark or photo in its brochures, press releases, Web sites, videos and other materials? Use of the Johns Hopkins name, logo and brandmark by third parties is strictly prohibited unless written permission from Johns Hopkins has been granted. Outside companies and other organizations may not use the Johns Hopkins logo or name as part of their title or tag line unless, by contract or formal institutional agreement, Johns Hopkins explicitly permits specified references to the institution in the company's name or tagline. This policy applies to all uses of Johns Hopkins Medicine names, entities and brandmark.
  18. Do we have Web site guidelines? Yes. Johns Hopkins Medicine Internet Strategy and Web Services, a division of Marketing and Communications, is responsible for maintaining the architecture, design and coordination of content within Internet Strategy and Web Services staff work on a fee-for-service basis with departments within the institution to ensure accurate representation of  centers, divisions and groups within the institution. Working closely with Enterprise Services, Internet Strategy and Web Services coordinates all technical aspects of the sites. If you are considering building a new Web site or redesigning your current site, please make the Web Center your first point of contact before beginning the process. Staff will work with you every step of the way to help you figure out your best course of action. To have your Johns Hopkins Medicine department or services represented on the Johns Hopkins Medicine Web site (, contact the Web Center via e-mail
  19. Should the Johns Hopkins Medicine logo appear on all Web pages? Yes. The official Johns Hopkins Medicine logo should appear on all Web pages, publications and material viewed by external audiences.
  20. Can I create my own URL? No. Faculty, staff, alumni, students and volunteers should not register new domain names. Johns Hopkins Medicine Internet Strategy and Web Services, a division of Marketing and Communications, manages the registration and renewal of Web site domain names for JHM-affiliated departments, organizations, institutes and centers. Centralizing the ownership of domain names by JHM Marketing and Communications ensures continuity of domain name management and renewal as individuals come and go from the organization. Domain name registrations incorporating the words "Johns Hopkins" or "Hopkins" are the property of Johns Hopkins Medicine and must be registered as such. To learn more, contact the Web center via e-mail