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I'm going to be attending a political science conference. The conference has some panels dedicated specifically to graduate students. I thought it would be neat to promote Politics.SE to the grad students, who are in an excellent position to provide expert answers.

However, I'm wondering about the legality of using the StackExchange logo and other designs to promote the site. I imagined I would print off some kind of flier or card with the site's information to hand out.

Does anyone know if this is allowable?

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I know from previous (offline) conversations with a Stack Exchange employee that they are actively interested in promoting the site (specifically Politics.SE and SE in general).

I would encourage you to contact them with some kind of a proposal. E.g. "I want to print out a 20" x 36" poster of this version of the logo with the caption, 'Politics.SE, the place to go with political science questions.' I would put up the poster at this location and include the URL."

If you're going with a flier, you might want to include some sample questions and answers. It would be appropriate to use a meta post to gather suggestions, although you might want to talk to stack exchange first.

If they have concerns, they can then explain them to you and help you come up with something that works for both sides.

  • Thanks. Is there someone particular I should get in touch with? What's the best way to contact someone? – indigochild Jul 6 '18 at 17:39
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    @indigochild I would use the email on the guidance page (towards the top as "contact us"). Presumably they have some sort of system for making sure that the right person sees it. I already emailed the person with whom I spoke previously in case that system is flawed. Of course, it is now the weekend and may have been a holiday week. So don't be too surprised if you don't get much of a response until next week. – Brythan Jul 7 '18 at 3:25
  • I accepted this as the answer. It turns out that you need stackexchange's permission to use their branding when promoting a site. Your advice to contact them was spot on. – indigochild Jul 10 '18 at 19:30
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See Guidelines for the Use of the Stack Exchange, Inc. Trademarks for some guidance. Here's some relevant excerpts.

Some guidance on how trademarks work:

Trademark and Copyright

The logos associated with Stack Exchange Inc. and any Stack Exchange site are a trademark. The purpose of trademark law is to prevent consumers from being misled as to the origin of a product. So if you were making a product, and you used a Stack Exchange name or logo in your product (or in its advertising) in such a way that would mislead someone into thinking that your product was owned by, operated by, endorsed by, or in any way part of Stack Exchange Inc., you would be violating the trademark and this would not be legal.

In relation to advertising:

Use of Our Name or Logo in Advertising

  • Do use the most current logo where applicable and permitted.
  • Do use the proper name for our company, product, or service (see "Proper Use of the Stack Exchange Name" below).
  • Do not use our logo unless you have been granted special permission by Stack Exchange Inc.
  • Do not use our name or logo in a way that might imply a false sense of partnership or endorsement with your product.
  • Do not use any name or logo that is similar to or might be confused with our name or logo.
  • Do not distort or alter our logo in any way.
  • Do not use our logo in a way that confuses our brand with another brand.
  • Do not use any other artwork from our network without explicit permission.

In relation to what is covered:

The Stack Exchange name and logos are trademarks of Stack Exchange Inc. The names and logos for sites and products operating on the Stack Exchange network are also trademarks of Stack Exchange Inc.

It's not super clear to me if "Do not use our logo unless you have been granted special permission by Stack Exchange Inc." would apply in your case. There are instructions to contact them on the page if you have any questions.

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Ask Skeptics moderators. AFAIR, they had people going to some conferences and doing similar things, so they would have first hand knowledge.

  • Done. Thanks for the tip! – indigochild Jul 5 '18 at 23:22

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