The Spartan Helmet Plume

As part of the current MSU brand campaign—Who Will? Spartans Will.—a distinctive Spartan plume graphic has been created to feature and draw attention to Spartans who are engaged in the important work of Michigan State University.

The plume graphic combines two elements (plume and plume supports) of MSU’s Spartan helmet to provide immediate recognition when it appears over the head of a photographed Spartan subject.

young man painting on a canvas inside an art gallery with a spart plume above his head

Who wears the plume?

Use the plume graphic only in connection with MSU Spartans (faculty, staff, students, and alumni). In marketing communications, the graphic should not appear on its own or on inanimate objects or animals. The only time it may be used alone is to encourage Spartans to stand in a location where they can “wear the helmet” in a photo. For example, a series of plume graphics appear above seats in the Breslin Student Events Center, enabling people seated in that location to appear to be “wearing the helmet.”

Where is the plume graphic used?

  • University-level marketing communications and advertising
  • Brand-aligned college, department, and unit communications that clearly reinforce university brand messaging
  • Need Images? 

Need images? 

  • If you would like copies of high-resolution Spartan plume graphics please contact Joshua Morey from Marketing and Communications at


Using photography makes marketing material more visually appealing, helps communicate important visual information, and will more likely be read and shared by others.

When selecting images of participants in MSU programs or members of the community, be considerate to people’s privacy, especially minors. Select only photo-released images of minors. When using photos of youth at any event where name badges are worn, please edit out readable names.

Use high-resolution photos so your final marketing piece is clear and of the highest possible quality, especially when used in print. If you use a low-resolution photo it can look pixilated and unprofessional. 

Always make sure you have permission to use the photo. You can use a photo you’ve taken yourself or use photos from the public domain that are available royalty-free or under certain conditions under a Creative Commons license. Always read the site license to ensure that you know the criteria for using a photo.

Beaumont Tower in background of nature shot

MSU Photos

University Communications Photos:

MSU’s catalog of photos is available to license and download for use.


1. Select the photo(s) you want and click the share icon at the top of the page.

image of a shiny metallic Spartan Helmet with a icon to share highlighted at the top

2. Copy and paste the link shown into an email to the marketing and communications office to license the photo for use.

A photo demonstrating where to copy and past a link, the area is circled

Marketing and Communications Office Email: Joshua Morey –

College of Arts & Letters Flickr:​​​​​​

Photos on the College of Arts & Letters Flickr page are available to download for use.

Stock Photos

Freeimages (Royalty-free)
Morguefile (Royalty-free)
Commons.wikimedia (Public Domain and Creative Commons)
Compfight (Flickr search with easy Creative Commons filter)
Pexels (Royalty-free)
Stocksnap (Public Domain)
Ipmimages (Royalty-free)
Pixabay (Royalty-free)
Unsplash (Royalty-free)
NASA (print and digital usage for educational or informational purposes)
Smithsonian Open Access (Royalty-free)