Harvard University’s Policy on the Use of Harvard Names and Insigniasis introduced with the following statement: “All members of the University and the institution as a whole benefit when its name is well used, and suffer when it is ill-used.”

The standards for use of the Harvard name apply not only to schools, units, and individuals within the University, but also to those institutions outside the University that Harvard has authorized to use the Harvard name. Accordingly, Harvard Medical School must take great care to ensure that its brand standards are applied consistently among its affiliated institutions. This is not only equitable, but also safeguards the full enjoyment of associated benefits — recognition, reputation, and financial advantage — for all.

In that spirit, we aim to provide clear guidance based on years of experience and policy that presents our valued affiliate relationships in an accurate and appropriate manner. Here, for clarity’s sake, we articulate acceptable practice for HMS name and logo usage by institutions with a formal HMS affiliation, as recognized on the HMS affiliates webpage. We appreciate your shared commitment to this guidance for our mutual benefit.

Health systems, hospitals, and other institutions that do not have a formal affiliation with HMS (and therefore not recognized on the aforementioned website) are not permitted to use the HMS name or logo at this time.

Please note that the HMS Use of Name Committee and the Harvard Trademark Program administer this guidance and the Policy on the Use of Harvard Names and Insignias on behalf of the University. Any proposed usage that is not covered directly by this guidance, detailed on this page, must be sent in advance to the Use of Name Committee for review and approval.


HMS has created distinct ‘affiliate’ tag and ‘teaching hospital’ tag versions of the HMS logo for use by institutions with formal HMS affiliations.* We call these versions of the HMS logo ‘tags’ — short for taglines — because they include modifying language that clarifies the relationship between the primary institution and Harvard Medical School. These logos with tags, which incorporate the HMS shield and affiliate/teaching hospital descriptive text, should always be used in a manner that positions the HMS affiliate/teaching hospital tag as secondary to the affiliated institution’s logo. Therefore, the logos with tags: 1) should never be used on their own or in place of the affiliated institution’s logo, and 2) should never be equivalently adjacent to nor have the appearance of being combined or used together (also known as “locked up”) with the affiliate institution’s logo. Please see below for specific details on and examples of appropriate logo usage in common communications materials. Rare exceptions exist related to the branding of apparel and other promotional items, the guidance for which is also detailed below.

*HMS affiliations are with individual hospitals and research institutions, not hospital systems. Therefore, branding with hospital systems is not permitted, nor is branding with entities that are part of the system but not affiliated with Harvard Medical School.