A. Trademark in General
B. The Marks; REALTOR®; REALTORS®; REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®; and the REALTOR® Logo
C. Form and Context: Key Considerations
D. Proper Use: The Public Perspective
II. The Protection Program
A. The Protection Program
B. Member Responsibilities
C. Member Board Responsibilities
III. Authority to Use the Marks: The Licensing Plan
A. Authority to Use the Marks: The Licensing Plan
B. REALTOR® Members
C. REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® Members
D. Member Board
IV. Limitations on Use of the Marks
A. Limitations on Use of the Marks
B. Membership Limitation
C. Real Estate Business Limitation
D. Geographic Limitation
E. Context of Use Limitation
F. Form of Use Limitation
Trademarks in General
To understand this Manual and the guidelines and policies set forth in the pages which follow, it is NOT necessary for the reader to be familiar with the laws governing the registration and use of trademarks, service marks, certification marks or collective marks. It is NOT necessary for the reader even to be able to distinguish the various types of marks. It will suffice to know what a trademark is; what function it is designed to perform; and for whom.
Trademarks are nothing more than unique terms, symbols or combinations of terms and symbols that communicate some specific message to the public. The term "COKE", for example, is a trademark which identifies for the public a specific soft drink produced by The Coca-Cola Company. The term "AAMCO" is a service mark which identifies a specific provider of transmission repair services and distinguishes that service provider from all others. Over time, marks like those mentioned become associated with standards of quality or care and the public looks upon such marks as guarantees of repeated quality or care.
History teaches that trademarks not properly protected are soon lost forever. Many of the words we use in our everyday speech were once valuable trademarks and could have been maintained as such had they been properly promoted and protected. The words "escalator" and "aspirin" were once valuable trademarks, but for lack of vigilance, care and public promotion, lost their distinctive protectable qualities and are now words of ordinary use. Preservation of trademarks requires that they be used only in their trademark sense, that they be distinguished from words of ordinary use by the use of capital letters and the registration symbol "®" and that an appropriate program governing their use only in accordance with certain standards of quality or care as to the products or services or qualifications of their users be developed and carefully followed.
The MARKS: REALTOR®; REALTORS®; REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®; and, the REALTOR® Logo
The National Association is the proud owner of numerous marks including but not limited to the terms REALTOR®, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, REALTORS®, the REALTOR® Logo and the Block "R" mark (which may be referred to collectively as the "MARKS").
The Marks are collective membership marks which serve to identify Members of the National Association and distinguish them from non-members*. Since 1916, when the unique term REALTOR® was first "coined" or "invented", the public has come to recognize those who use the MARKS as Members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and, as such, providers of real estate related services consistent with a strict Code of Ethics and the highest standards of professionalism. Member Boards**, through their use of the MARKS, are recognized as Member organizations.
Members are licensed by the National Association to use one or more of the MARKS in connection with or in reference to themselves and their real estate businesses.
Member Boards are licensed to use the term REALTORS® as part of their name, or in the title of their publication, and to use the REALTOR® Logo in connection with their name. Member Boards may also be licensed to use the Block "R" mark in connection with a Member Board logo.
Form and Context: Key Considerations
The primary purpose of this Manual is to explain certain simple but essential policies and guidelines which have been adopted by the National Association to govern and protect the usage of its MARKS. These policies and guidelines include five limitations on the rights of Members and Member Boards to use the MARKS. Without diminishing the importance of geographical, business and membership limitations governing use of the MARKS, Members and Member Boards are encouraged to take special note of those limitations regarding FORM and CONTEXT for these are the key to understanding the various policies and guidelines. The balance of this Manual is devoted to explaining, by example, day-to-day applications of these guidelines and policies which will assist the Member and Member Board in conforming their use of the MARKS to these limitations and to the handling of special exceptions and situations.
As used in this Manual, the word FORM refers to the distinguishing style or appearance of these MARKS with respect to accompanying text, punctuation or symbols (e.g., capitalization, boldface type, italics, spacing, color and use of the federal registration symbol "®"). Proper FORM is necessary for the public to recognize the MARKS for their registered status and significance as more than simply words of ordinary use. The word CONTEXT refers to the meaning or definition likely to be attributed to the MARKS by the public as a result of accompanying wording or the overall setting of the use. The discussion of Proper Use appearing below is designed to assist in evaluating the CONTEXT of any particular use of the Marks.
The guidelines and policies set forth in this Manual are designed to encourage the widest possible consistent use of the MARKS while at the same time preserving and perpetuating their meaning and identifying function. Without such guidelines and policies and the cooperation and assistance of Member Boards and Members everywhere in assuring proper use, the MARKS might become confused in the public mind and lose their protectable, valuable qualities. To remain effective in performing their identifying function, the MARKS must be used consistently and correctly.
Proper Use: The Public Perspective
Proper use of the MARKS can never be evaluated solely on the basis of the "intent" of the user but rather must focus predominantly on how each mark as used is likely to be understood by the public. The same evaluation must be undertaken even if the audience is expected to predominately or even exclusively be composed of members. Members and Member Boards are encouraged to assess each use from the perspective of the public. Will the public view the MARK, as it is used, as an indicator of membership? Or will the MARK, as it is used, be misunderstood as a synonym for "real estate broker" or some other term? It is imperative that Members and Member Boards work together and with the National Association to avoid all uses of the MARKS which may suggest to the public that, without regard to his membership in the National Association, a REALTOR® is simply a provider of real estate related services.
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The Protection Program
A comprehensive protection program (sometimes referred to in this Manual simply as the "PROGRAM") has been designed to ensure that the MARKS are used only by or in reference to Members and Member Boards of the National Association, and that all uses of the MARKS are proper as to form and context. The objectives of this PROGRAM, as described in this Manual can be achieved only if Members note and bring unauthorized or improper uses of the MARKS to the attention of their Member Board and, in turn, Member Boards take initial action to discourage such uses and notify promptly the National Association in the event further, more formal action is necessary. The success of this PROGRAM requires the vigilance, cooperation and assistance of Member Boards and Members everywhere.
Questions regarding uses of the MARKS which are not addressed in this Manual should be referred to the Trademark Protection Coordinator of the National Association in Chicago.
l. To become familiar with and conform use of the MARKS to the limitations, guidelines and policies set forth in this Manual. NOTE: To ensure such conformity, Members may wish to consult with the National Association's Trademark Protection Coordinator regarding use of the MARKS on letterhead, business cards, signs and other supplies prior to reprinting.
2. To note uses of the MARKS in his market area and report unauthorized or improper uses to his Member Board.
Member Board Responsibilities
l. To become familiar with the limitations, guidelines and policies set forth in this Manual so that guidance and answers to questions from Members, the media and others concerning the MARKS and their proper use can be provided promptly and accurately.
2. To act promptly to cooperate and coordinate with the National Association in any and all efforts to halt or prevent persistent unauthorized or improper use of the MARKS, by taking the appropriate steps outlined in Part Five of this Manual.
3. To provide educational resources and opportunities to Members and the public to assist them in properly using and understanding the MARKS.
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Authority to Use the MARKS: The Licensing Plan
The MARKS are specifically intended for use by Members and Member Boards and a comprehensive licensing plan has been established to permit and encourage such use. Those individuals who hold REALTOR® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® membership in a Member Board are licensed to use one or more of the MARKS in connection with their real estate business. Which MARK or MARKS are licensed is dependent upon the category of membership held by the Member.
REALTOR® Members are licensed to use the following MARKS:
REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® Members are licensed to use the following MARKS:
REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® Members may also use the logo with the REALTOR® identifier in any use which includes the name of the firm or broker with whom the REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® is affiliated.
The license agreement for Members is embodied in one of the select uniform Articles of the model Bylaws each Member Board is required to include in their own Bylaws. This provision incorporates by reference the limitations, guidelines and policies of this Manual, applicable provisions of the National Association's Constitution and Bylaws and other policies for use adopted by the National Association's Board of Directors. (See the National Association's Constitution and Bylaws, Policy Reference File l0l, Article V, Sections 2-5 and 7-9.)
Each Member Board that uses the term REALTORS® as part of its name has executed a written license which permits it to do so. Upon special application and by separate license agreement, Member Boards may become licensed to use the term REALTOR® or the term REALTORS® as part of, or in connection with, the name of a Member Board-operated service without also using the Member Board's full name (see also Part Four, Section IV, E). Also, upon special application and by separate license agreement, Member Boards may become licensed to use the Block "R" mark (see Part Four and Appendix C of this Manual) as part of a Member Board logo which also incorporates the Member Board's full name.
Member Boards wishing to license use of the MARKS under such special circumstances should contact the National Association's Legal Affairs Department for more information.
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Limitations on Use of the MARKS
The privilege to use one or more of the MARKS which is conferred upon Members and Member Boards under the licensing plan is NOT without limitations. The geographic, real estate business, membership, form and context limitations described below represent official policy interpretations of the National Association's Constitution and Bylaws regarding use of the MARKS. These limitations, and the guidelines and policies under them, are essential to the orderly, uniform use of the MARKS, to their preservation and promotion, and to establishing each Member Board's obligation and right to maintain and enforce proper use of the MARKS within its assigned jurisdiction.
The MARKS are reserved by the National Association for use exclusively by its Members and authorized licensees. Accordingly, except as specifically authorized, only individuals who are Members of the National Association, by virtue of holding REALTOR® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® membership in a Member Board, are licensed to use one or more of the MARKS.
The criteria for REALTOR® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® membership in each local Board are determined by the local Board. Such criteria must not be inconsistent with or more stringent than the 7-Point criteria for REALTOR® membership or the 6-Point criteria for REALTORS® who are not principals and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® membership, both as promulgated by the National Association. Moreover, because a Member Board may not confer REALTOR® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® membership on individuals engaged solely in the business of franchising real estate offices or in other activities not within the currently recognized definition of the term "real estate business," these individuals and their organizations may not be authorized to use the MARKS (see Real Estate Business Limitation below).
A Member's license to use one or more of the MARKS terminates automatically in the event such individual ceases to be a REALTOR® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® Member in good standing of a Member Board, for failure to pay dues or any other reason, or in the event his Member Board ceases for any reason to be a Member Board in good standing of the National Association. Although the license terminates automatically along with membership in the Member Board, the Board must still notify the individual that he is no longer authorized to use the MARKS.
Because this limitation requires continuing membership as a condition of the right of the Member to use the MARKS, Members are encouraged not to adopt usages which cannot be readily changed in the event membership ceases. For example, Members should not take phone numbers which correspond to the letters spelling the term REALTOR® or secure license plates which bear that or any of the other MARKS. In the event membership were to be terminated, telephone numbers and license plates cannot be readily changed to reflect the loss of the Member's privilege to use one or more of the MARKS. For the same reason, use of the term REALTOR® as part of the corporate name or business name of any Member is prohibited. This prohibition is necessary to avoid the legal formalities of a corporate or business name change in the event of a termination, suspension or expulsion from membership in a Member Board. Forethought must be exercised also as regards use of the MARKS on costly, immovable or unalterable business signs.
Real Estate Business Limitation
National Association membership is available only to individuals actively engaged in the "real estate business." Members are licensed to use the MARKS only in connection with their real estate businesses, and not in connection with other business activities in which they may also be engaged. For purposes of this limitation, the term "real estate business" includes: real estate brokerage, property management, mortgage financing, real estate appraising, real estate counseling, real estate syndication, land development and building. Thus, Members are not authorized to use the MARKS in connection with activities which do not fall within one or more of these recognized areas, such as insurance brokerage, real estate education or for real estate franchising. (But see Part Two, "In Institutional Advertising," for a more complete discussion of franchise and multi-office operations).
If otherwise appropriate and consistent with this Manual, a Member may use the term REALTORS® or REALTOR® and the REALTOR® Logo in connection with the name of his real estate business even though other services not within the definition of "real estate business" are offered under that same name and out of that same office, provided, however, that:
1. Such other services are lawful and the Member is licensed or otherwise legally entitled to offer such services***; and
2. Such other services do not, and are not likely to, undermine or diminish public respect for or understanding of the MARKS, other Members, Member Boards or the National Association.****
Compliance with the real estate business limitation is simply a matter of avoiding use of the MARKS with respect to any business or activity which does not come within the scope of "real estate business" as that term is defined above.
The real estate business limitation applied to Member Boards precludes use of the MARKS in the name of or in connection with Member Board services, activities or functions which are not within the scope of the OBJECTS set forth in Article II of the Constitution of the National Association, or activities for which the Member Board lacks authority under its Bylaws, federal, state or local laws, or governmental agency regulations.
The National Association's Constitution and Bylaws place responsibility on the Member Board for enforcement of the Code of Ethics and proper use of the MARKS within its assigned jurisdiction. It is imperative, therefore, that the public, as well as other Members, be able to identify each Member with a specific Member Board. To assure that connection, a Member's right to use the MARKS is limited to the geographic area which comprises the jurisdiction of the Member Board to which he belongs, except under the following circumstances:
1. A Member is authorized to use the MARKS in connection with place(s) of business located within a state in which the Member does not hold primary membership in any of the local Member Boards if the Member holds primary membership in a local Member Board within a contiguous state and if dues have been paid based upon the licensees at the place(s) of business who are employed by or affiliated as independent contractors with a Member provided such use includes the name and address of a place or places of business within the state; or
2. A Member is authorized to use the MARKS in connection with a place of business located within a state in which the Member does not hold primary membership and for which no dues have been paid based upon the licensees employed by or affiliated as independent contractors, but only if the Member has obtained the written consent of the State Association within whose jurisdiction the place of business is located; or
3. A Member is authorized to use the MARKS in areas outside those provided for herein provided such use of the MARKS includes the name and address of a place of business in connection with which the Member is authorized to use the MARKS.
Similarly, a Member Board's right to use the MARKS is limited to its assigned jurisdiction, except as follows:
1. A Member Board is authorized to use: (a) its name, as licensed, beyond its jurisdiction; and (b) the REALTOR® Logo adjacent to that name, beyond its jurisdiction, provided such uses are not misleading or inconsistent as to the jurisdiction assigned to and served by such Member Board or other Member Boards; or
2. A Member Board may use one or more of the MARKS outside its jurisdiction if expressly authorized to do so under a separate license agreement with the National Association.
In most instances, compliance with the geographic limitation by Members is simply achieved by using the Member's business name and office address within the jurisdiction of his Member Board each time the MARKS are used.
Context of Use Limitation
It is vitally important to the preservation of the MARKS that they be recognized consistently by the public as identifiers of Members of the National Association. To assure that the MARKS are not used inadvertently and improperly to denote a vocation or business, Members and Member Boards are licensed to use the terms REALTOR®, REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® and the REALTOR® Logo only in a context in which the MARKS will be understood by the public to denote membership in the National Association.
The guidelines and policies concerning context of use are designed to assist the public in recognizing that the term REALTOR® has the following meaning or definition:
REALTOR® - A registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
Moreover, the MARKS are registered as "membership" marks and must be promoted as such if the registrations are to be preserved.
Compliance with this context of use limitation is simply determined in the case of written or visible use of the MARKS by substituting the word "member" for the term "REALTOR®." If the meaning or intended message is unchanged and not compromised by such substitutions, the term REALTOR® is appropriately used. If not, the term REALTOR® should be replaced by another phrase such as "real estate broker," "real estate agent," "appraiser," "property manager," or other words, as may be appropriate.
To illustrate the foregoing test, consider the following statement:
"John Doe is a lawyer, REALTOR® and insurance agent."
substituting "member" for "REALTOR®" yields:
"John Doe is a lawyer, member and insurance agent."
The word "member" in the statement clearly does not further the writer's apparent purpose of describing Mr.Doe's professional diversity. It is possible, of course, that the writer did intend to state that Mr.Doe is a Member of the National Association as well as a lawyer and an insurance agent. However, there is a possibility that an uninformed consumer would incorrectly understand the statement to mean that Mr.Doe is a lawyer, real estate broker and insurance agent. Thus, use of the term REALTOR® in the statement is inappropriate.
The same approach points up the problem with letterhead, business cards, signs and ads which include following the name of the brokerage firm notices such as:
John Doe, Inc.
Builders -- REALTORS® -- Insurers
The likely intent of such notices is to advise would-be customers that the services offered include real estate brokerage. Even if the intent is to indicate membership, there is also a possibility that such usage may cause the public to again view the term REALTORS® inaccurately as a substitute for "real estate agent," rather than an indicator of membership. Thus, use of the term REALTORS® is inappropriate.
This problem can be cured by amending such a notice to read:
John Doe, Inc.
Builders -- Real Estate Brokers -- Insurers
Of course, if Doe's firm is a Member firm and he wishes to so indicate, the following usage is appropriate:
John Doe, Inc., REALTORS®
Builders -- Real Estate Brokers -- Insurers
Compliance with this limitation in the case of oral communication requires forethought and continued awareness that the term REALTOR® does not describe a vocation or profession.
For example, when asked what he does for a living, an unthinking Member may answer incorrectly:
"I am a REALTOR®"
Obviously, the speaker does not mean that he makes his living as a "member". Unfortunately, the response makes sense only if the listener assigns to the term REALTOR® the meaning "real estate agent." Thus, by the answer given, the Member has incorrectly used the term REALTOR® and, in the process, may have contributed to a misunderstanding of its meaning. The same is true for statements such as: "John Doe is a licensed REALTOR®", and uses of other modifiers with the MARKS.
A response that is sure to clarify the registered status and special meaning of the term REALTOR® is following:
"I am a real estate broker and a REALTOR®."
If asked to clarify the distinction, the Member can provide an explanation of the fact and nature of membership, including the binding commitment of the Member to the Code of Ethics.
Remember, the objective is to make the public understand that not every real estate broker or professional is a REALTOR® and not every REALTOR® is a real estate broker or professional. A REALTOR® may be an appraiser, a counselor, a property manager or a specialist in some other facet of the real estate business.
Compliance with the context of use limitation requires that use of the terms REALTOR®, REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® be used only where the context of the use clearly and unambiguously expresses the meaning of the MARKS as indicators of membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
With regards to the REALTOR® Logo, the context of use limitation requires that the Logo be used in connection with the Member's name or the name of the Member's firm and address. Members and Member Boards are not authorized to use the Logo in the absence of identification of the Member, the Member's firm or a Member Board.
The REALTOR® Logo context of use limitation most commonly arises in connection with items developed by Members or Member Boards to be given away or sold at discount to clients, customers or the public. Compliance with this limitation requires simply that such items, customarily intended to promote business or public service activities by dissemination to non-members, bear the REALTOR® Logo in close association with the name of the Member or Member Board responsible for such distribution.
This limitation does not preclude the giving away or conferring of items or awards bearing the REALTOR® Logo without other identification so long as the recipient and end-user is a Member Board or Member licensed to use that Mark.
These same principles apply to items bearing the terms REALTOR®, REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®.
Form of Use Limitation
Members and Member Boards are licensed to use the terms REALTOR®, REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® and the REALTOR® Logo only in forms which are likely to highlight the registered status, significance and special meaning of those MARKS in the eyes of the public and distinguish them from words of ordinary use and other marks or symbols. The objective of this form of use limitation is to make the terms REALTOR®, REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® stand out in relation to adjoining print by: (l) the use of capital letters and, where necessary, boldface print or italics; (2) the use of separating punctuation where appropriate; and (3) the use of the federal registration symbol "®" adjacent to each of the terms.
The preferred method of Member and Member Board compliance with this form of use limitation is through use of all capital letters (e.g., REALTOR®, REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®). However, use by Members of initial capitals and stylized print for the terms REALTOR® and REALTORS® is permitted in connection with the Member's firm name when that Member's firm name appears in the same stylized print, and the federal registration symbol "®" is used. When the preferred all-capital form is used, the federal registration symbol "®" must also be included unless its use is not possible. The preferred form would be:
Permitted (but only when use of the "®" is not possible):
Also Permitted (but not preferred):
When REALTOR®, REALTORS® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® are used in the text of brochures, pamphlets, newsletters or otherwise in the body of written material, all capital letters and the registration symbol "®" should be used in connection with at least the first use in each section of the body of the written material and in connection with each subsequent appearance to the extent practical. Each use must, however, contain initial capital letters in the body of the text. If all of the copy in the body of the written material is in capital letters, the terms REALTOR®, REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® should be made to stand out by the use of boldface type or by some other means sufficient to distinguish them from words of ordinary use and, in such instances, the registration symbol "®" should be used in connection with every appearance of each MARK. The following excerpt illustrates compliance with this limitation:
It will be of interest to your buyers and sellers alike that as a REALTOR® you are bound by the National Association's strict Code of Ethics.
IT WILL BE OF INTEREST TO YOUR BUYERS AND SELLERS ALIKE THAT AS A REALTOR® YOU ARE BOUND BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION'S STRICT CODE OF ETHICS.
IT WILL BE OF INTEREST TO YOUR BUYERS AND SELLERS ALIKE THAT AS A REALTOR® YOU ARE BOUND BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION'S STRICT CODE OF ETHICS.
The following definition should appear at the bottom of the page on which the term REALTOR® is first used:
REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
The terms REALTOR® and REALTORS® may be used in connection with, but not as part of, a corporate or business name provided such terms are separated from the business name by appropriate symbols or punctuation.
J.J. Jones, REALTORS®
S.S. Smith -- REALTORS®
Separating punctuation should be used even when the term appears on a separate line immediately below the firm name.
J.J. Jones and Company,
S.S. Smith, Inc.,
The terms REALTOR® or REALTORS® may not be registered by any Member or Member's firm as part of a business logo. As we discussed previously, it is also unpermissible for a firm to incorporate under or register an assumed business name which includes either of these terms.
Possessives should be avoided to the extent possible. Where necessary, possessives are formed as follows:
The form of use limitation also applies to the Logo. In this case, however, the form of use requirements deal with spacing, size, color contrast, and positioning, as well as use of the registration symbol "®". Such requirements are designed to assure that through uniform and consistent use the public will continue to recognize the Logo as a distinctive registered mark and not simply some decorative symbol.
The REALTOR® Logo consists of an "R" set in Futura Typeface on a sharply contrasting rectangular background to form a block "R" under which is centered the term REALTOR®. The relative dimensions of the rectangle, the size of the Futura "R" within the rectangle in relation to the rectangle dimensions, the length and typestyle of the term REALTOR® and the space between the term REALTOR® and the rectangle are all important features of the REALTOR® Logo. These features as well as the color identity between the term REALTOR® and the rectangle must be observed.
Used as shown with the block "R" to form the REALTOR® Logo, the term REALTOR® is called an "identifier."
The distinctiveness of the REALTOR® Logo is strengthened by use of black and white or sharply contrasting colors and by consistent size relationships and spacing among its component elements.
Approved reproduction proof sheets of the Logo are available from the National Association. To preserve the precise size relationships, spacing, and weight of the component elements, it is preferable that the REALTOR® Logo not be reset locally.
The color contrasts among the three major elements of the REALTOR® Logo (the Block, the stylized "R", and the term REALTOR® with the federal registration symbol "®") should always remain consistent, i.e. the Block underlying the stylized "R" and the term REALTOR® must always be the same color, and must contrast sharply with the stylized "R" and the underlying paper stock or other material.
It may be necessary or desirable at times to use the component elements of the Logo on a dark background. In such cases, it is permissible to reverse the usual color contrast of the REALTOR® Logo to a light Block on a dark background, provided the background is sufficiently dark to insure a high degree of contrast. When the contrasting colors of the Logo are reversed in this way, the usual colors of the Block, the stylized "R" and the term REALTOR ®must all be reversed so that both the Block and the term REALTOR® appear in the light color on the dark background.
Improper Form Proper Form
Color can be a positive element in communicating the REALTOR® Logo to the public. The National Association has adopted as its official colors REALTOR® Blue and REALTOR® Gold and strongly encourages widespread use of these colors in combination as a means of making the appearance of the REALTOR® Logo uniform and prominent.
REALTOR® Blue (PMS 293) and REALTOR® Gold (PMS 873) have been standardized by Pantone, Inc. of Moonachie, New Jersey. Any printer can purchase these colors from any licensed Pantone Matching System ink manufacturer. This is preferable to having a printer attempt to independently match the official colors.
Where Members are presently using distinctive colors other than REALTOR® Blue and REALTOR® Gold to identify their firms, the REALTOR® Logo may be printed in any single color selected by such Members provided the paper or the surface of the other substance on which the Logo is to be printed is white or a sharply contrasting single color. For example, if dark green ink is chosen for printing letterhead on white paper, the logo may also appear in dark green.
Where Members are using two color printing for their letterhead or stationery, the darker of the two color choices should be used for printing the REALTOR® Logo. For example, when using dark brown and orange to print letterhead, the REALTOR® Logo should appear in dark brown. The REALTOR® Logo itself should never be printed in two colors (not including the color of the material upon which the logo is printed) unless blue and gold (preferably REALTOR® Blue and REALTOR® Gold) are used, and then only if the gold is used for the stylized "R" in the Block portion of the Logo. The term REALTOR® or other approved identifier must not appear in gold in a two color image.
The REALTOR® Logo should be separated from other lettering, designs or emblems by a minimum distance of one-half the width of the Block "R".
Where the REALTOR® Logo appears alone without other information, e.g., on an office window decal, the minimum space permitted around the Logo is equal to the space between the identifier and the Block "R". The REALTOR® Logo must never be framed or outlined. The edge of the device on which the REALTOR® Logo appears should define the outer border of this space.
The size to which the REALTOR® Logo may be reduced is often determined by the intended application, i.e., business cards, stationery, etc., and the manner in which the mark is to be reproduced (letterpress, offset, etc.). The REALTOR® Logo must never be reduced to the point where the identifier cannot be read or where the registration symbol "®" is not legible. The size of the registration symbol, "®", may be increased as necessary to insure its readability.
The REALTOR® Logo is shown below superimposed on a grid to illustrate the proper size relationships among elements. Such a grid illustration should be provided to sign companies, ad agencies and others retained by Members or Member Boards as an aid for large scale applications such as building signs.
*References in this publication to "membership in the National Association" should be understood to mean a membership in the family of the National Association, including its Institutes, Societies and Councils, and its State Associations and local Boards, all in accordance with its Constitution and the three-way agreement.
**"Member Boards", as that term is used in this Manual and in the National Association's Constitution and Bylaws,
encompasses both State Associations and local Boards or Associations that hold membership in the National Association.
***For example, the term REALTOR® may not be used in connection with the name of a real estate business if insurance is being sold by the same business without an appropriate insurance brokerage license.
****For example, the term REALTOR® may not be used in connection with a real estate business if pornographic literature, liquor or drug paraphernalia were being sold by the same business or out of the same office.
*****The REALTOR® Logo and Block "R" are separately registered. The National Association has itself used the Block "R" without an identifier but has not authorized use of the Block "R" without an approved identifier by Members. However, use of that mark has been authorized in Member Board Logos which have been approved in writing by the National Association. (See Part Four) For a further discussion of approved identifiers, see Appendix C.
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