The State of Vermont and state entities of all kinds frequently partner with other organizations to fulfill our various missions and best serve the people of Vermont.
To indicate the State’s role in projects or campaigns where the State is not the primary owner, a specific format for use of the official 'Moon over Mountains' logo has been outlined in the Brand Standards and Style Guide. If your department or agency is in need of a "Sponsored by" or “In partnership with” version of the 'Moon over Mountains' logo with your specific agency or department identifier, please contact the Chief Marketing Office. For reference, the distinction we use between sponsorship and partnership is as follows:
- A sponsorship is generally defined as a relationship where the State has given money, or an in-kind donation, in support of a program, event, or campaign, but does not participate in, or play an active role in, the program, event or campaign.
- A partnership means the State is participating, or plays a role in, the program, event, or campaign, but it’s not the primary owner of it.
With any use of state branding by outside partners, please keep in mind that that logo communicates that there is a relationship between the partner or project and the State of Vermont, and implicitly, that the State of Vermont has some role in the outcome of a particular project or program. If anything about the project makes you hesitate to put out that statement, then you and your Agency or Department head should think carefully before you provide or allow usage of the logo.
For a more comprehensive review of the types of issues to consider before entering into a sponsorship agreement, please refer to our Guidance for State of Vermont Sponsorship Agreements document.
Unlike a sponsorship agreement, the State cannot give the appearance of endorsing any specific person, product or private company. Equally important, a private party cannot use the state’s name or property (logo or other) for private gain. If a private company approaches you to provide a recommendation of a product or service the state might utilize, or for example asks to include the State's official logo on their website, please be aware this type of public endorsement is not allowed. The State cannot bar a private party from saying that the State of Vermont is a customer, but being a customer does not entitle them to use of the state’s brand assets.
Additional guidance on public endorsements is included in the Agency of Administration's Bulletin 3.5: State Procurement and Contracting Procedures. From a contracting perspective, please be aware (as included in Bulletin 3.5 training materials):
- Providing a recommendation to any vendor / person for their general use, is prohibited;
- The entire procurement process could be tainted as not 'open and fair' if it appears that the State has already 'recommended' or endorsed a particular vendor in writing;
- Even the appearance of a pre-determined 'recommendation' is strictly prohibited;
- An agency or department may respond to a specific inquiry about a specific vendor or project, but all responses shall be limited to factual statements.