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Brand execution guidelines

Rights and releases

All photographers (within the ASU ecosystem and hired contractors) taking photographs or video on university property or of university events must obtain appropriate releases.

Model Release: for content, video or images featuring people, a signed model release form is required from all individuals (or their guardians if under 18) who are visibly recognizable in the image frame. Model releases are to remain on file as long as the images remain in use. An effective way to store the model releases is to digitize them and store them with the original photo and video files.

Presenter Release: for content, video or images featuring a presenter, performer or lecturer, a signed Presenter Release and Consent Form is required.

Crowd Notification: for content, video, or images featuring groups of people or crowds that do not include children under the age of 18, where no single person is identifiable, individual photo releases may not be required. However, a conspicuous crowd notification sign with language that entrance to the event constitutes consent to be photographed or filmed for any ASU purposes should be posted at all entrances.  All photographs of children under the age of 18 require release forms signed by parents or guardians. 

Office of General Counsel has approved language for the crowd notification signage. Signage is available for download 8.5-by-11 or 11-by-17 formats for small events. Large-format signage can be purchased through the Print and Imaging Lab under Signage and Posters.

Download signage   Order from PIL

These rules govern photos and videos intended for use in any university publication of marketing or a public relations nature, such as printed and electronic newsletters, web pages, social media, commercials, videos, brochures, viewbooks, reports, promotional items or other marketing material.

Departments must obtain appropriate releases for all photos and videos that are used in any medium other than news and editorial. Releases must remain on file as long as the photos and videos remain in use. An effective way to store the releases is to digitize them and store them with the original photo and video files.

Permission is granted to ASU departments to use photo and video files taken by Enterprise Brand Strategy and Management. Additional releases are not required for these files. Appropriate releases are collected for all photo and video creative taken by Enterprise Brand Strategy and Management.

News and editorial use

If photos and videos are used in editorial formats, including news stories, model release rules do not apply.

If they are reused for ASU marketing materials, photos and videos made for news purposes do require a signed model release from all identifiable individuals shown.

ASU property

The campuses of Arizona State University are public property and anyone can take exterior photos of the buildings and grounds for personal, noncommercial use. Three buildings on ASU's Tempe campus are trademarked: Grady Gammage Memorial AuditoriumOld Main and Sun Devil Stadium. Note that even when images are used for a noncommercial purpose, Arizona State University reserves the right to revoke permission if the images are used in a way that, in the opinion of the university, is in poor taste or would reflect poorly on ASU.Content, video, or images taken off campus, on private property, may require a property release, or permission from the owner or authorized representative of the property. For more information, reach out to ASU’s Office of General Counsel.

Working with people

High-profile people

High-profile individuals may not be willing to sign a blanket release for photo or video or will want their own legal team or publicist to review our standard model release form and suggest edits. 

It is required that any modified release be reviewed by ASU’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) before entering into an agreement.

In such cases, please contact OGC and include the requested revisions from the photo or video subject. The review process with the OGC will take time. It is recommended that releases are discussed early on in the planning process when working with high-profile individuals.

In these instances, high-profile photo and video subjects often request that they be given an opportunity to review and approve any and all instances in which their likeness will be used. 

It is incumbent upon any unit entering into such an agreement to have controls in place for all media assets that feature the subject to protect ASU from any risk or contract violation. 

For example, an easy solution for review may include setting up a Dropbox or Google Drive folder with limited access (view and/or comment only) to the assets, as well as building in a review process with your unit lead communicator before publishing or printing the final designed pieces.

Model release forms

This print and digital photo recording model release form has been approved by the Arizona State University's Office of General Counsel (OGC).

In early 2020, ASU’s OGC approved the use of digital releases. There are two options available including Easy Release® (low-cost, one-time purchase) and Fillable PDF (fillable for free with Adobe CC).

Aventri does not have a digital signature feature, nor is it possible to have a registrant fill out a form that includes a digital signature (such as Adobe Sign) during the registration process.
Here are the options for obtaining a digital signature when using Aventri:

  1. Provide registrants with the digital signature doc before the registrant navigates to the registration site and provide a file upload field in the event registration.
  2. Provide a download link to registrants after a registration form is submitted. A download link can be programmed on the final registration page (called the Registration Record); or in the confirmation or other follow-up email.

You can learn more about best practices for capturing and archiving photo release forms with comparisons of digital release options by reviewing the ASU Marketing Academy “Model releases, schmodel releases” presentation.

Model releases (English and Spanish)

Spiral-bound model release books are available free of charge through the Print and Imaging Lab. Orders can be placed by clicking the button below and logging in to the Print and Imaging Lab website.

Order release booklets

Working with a freelance photo or video contractor

Sometimes it is necessary to hire a photographer or content creator outside of the ASU community for a project. When hiring a freelance photo or video contractor, it is essential that appropriate steps are taken to ensure that ASU owns the resulting content and work. In the absence of a written agreement, the default under copyright law will be that the freelancer owns the content, and not ASU, which could hinder ASU’s use of the content, or cause legal issues down the road.

Contracts with freelance photographers or content creators must always stipulate that the Arizona Board of Regents owns the copyright for all resulting Work. 

If a contractor will not assign full copyright ownership to ABOR, that individual may not do work for the university.

Departments may use the independent contractor form available on the Contract forms section of the Office of General Counsel website when hiring. Any deviation from the independent contractor form, or any use of an agreement provided by a freelancer, requires sign off from ASU’s Office of General Counsel. Please allow 10 business days for the Office of General Counsel to review and approve independent contractor agreements.

Review the list of approved freelance photo and video contractors here.

Using student or third party-taken photography/videography

Use of student taken images or videos, or images taken by any third party, requires permission. ASU’s Office of General Counsel has approved the following Student Artwork Authorization and Release and Student of Third Party Photographer/Videographer Authorization forms, which grant ASU a broad license to use the student or third party created content.

Third party vendor copyright release and student artwork release forms

Related training

Additional information and resources