3 T-Shirt Best Practices

When creating a Phi Sigma Pi T-shirt for recruitment or just for your Chapter there are a couple of best practices to keep in mind. These practices are suggested to protect the branding and reputation of the Fraternity. Even though we are a National organization and a lot bigger than just your individual Chapter, the presence you make on your individual campuses affects the Fraternity as a whole. It is important to represent Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity as best you can and that includes the message we put on t-shirts and other apparel. When you join Phi Sigma Pi, you represent Phi Sigma Pi.

3 T-Shirt Best Practices

1. Using Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity Branding

As stated in the National Constitution, Members of Phi Sigma Pi are allowed and should use the Phi Sigma Pi logo, name and graphics on apparel in an appropriate fashion.


Any mark owned by Phi Sigma Pi may be used by any Member or Chapter without expressed written permission of the Fraternity, provided that the use is not in conflict with the purposes or image of Phi Sigma Pi. At any time permission to use the mark may be revoked.

Using the trademarks of Phi Sigma Pi connects all of our Chapters across the Nation. Those trademarks include:

  • The name “Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity”
  • Derivations of the name (ex. Phi Sigma Pi)
  • Phi Sigma Pi in Greek letters (ΦΣΠ)
  • The Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity logo
  • The Coat of Arms
  • The Official Seal of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity

Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity also uses distinct branding colors that the National Office suggests for Members to use whenever possible. They include:

Phi Sigma Pi Colors


2. Keeping it Appropriate

Like mentioned above, when you wear a Phi Sigma Pi t-shirt you are representing your Chapter and the Fraternity as a whole. Although the National Office applauds creativity when it comes to recruitment t-shirts and t-shirts in general, it is important to remember to keep it appropriate.

The t-shirts may not make any reference to

  • alcoholic beverages or bars
  • drugs
  • sexual behavior
  • violence
  • inappropriate language or images
  • use of the word “rush”
  • discriminate or have copyrighted images without permission

Appropriate t-shirts would

  • promote our values (scholarship, leadership and fellowship)
  • inclusivity
  • positivity which best represents our mission and purpose as a National Fraternity

It is important to keep in mind that Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity is open to all majors, people with various religious backgrounds, sexual orientation, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Playing off of the word “honor” is allowed, however, should avoid denigrate people who do not have a 3.0 GPA or suggesting that people without that GPA or higher are lesser people.

3. Keeping it Legal

There are so many awesome movies, tv shows, graphics, etc. out there and it might seem easy and fun to copy the cool trend but it is also important to remember rules about public domain, copyright and derivative work or what you can legally use.

Public DomainThe state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, and therefore not subject to copyright.

Works that are public domain are usually in fair use for your designs and do not require a license or fee to use.

Copyright The exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.

Copyrighted materials must have written permission from the owner. To do this, simply contact the original copyright owner and ask to use or license their work. There may be a cost to using the materials. The best way to stay out of legal trouble is to create your own design.

Derivative Work– In copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work (the underlying work). The derivative work becomes a second, separate work independent in form from the first.

If you have a question about the design you or a Member of your Chapter has made, please send an email to riskmanagement@phisigmapi.org with the graphic attached. We would be happy to discuss your design further.


One comment

  1. […] this awesome blog post we wrote about T-Shirt Best Practices. Keep them in mind before you send your merchandise to be […]

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