Objectives and Benefits
Through the proper and consistent placement of our university logo and its affiliated designs, we have the opportunity to communicate to the world messages about what Fresno State means. Our visual identity reflects more than artistic designs and thoughtful typestyles; it speaks about our values and image. Consistent use of our visual identity, as outlined in this manual, will help our university to reinforce the image we hope to portray.
A visual identity is much more than a logo. It’s more than colors and fonts. It’s everything we produce that states the name of the university. When individual units and departments seek their own individual logos instead of paying special attention to the university’s logo (not just how it looks, but what it means), then it sends the wrong message. There is not a clear statement as to the university’s visual identity when it presents itself with numerous logos and thus, the university is viewed as unorganized. Moreover, when units and/or departments use their own logos, the university is perceived as secondary, when in reality, those units/departments are dependent on the university for their existence. Research has proven that multiple logos from a single institution dilute the core identity.
The look and feel of Fresno State materials – whether publications, advertisements, video productions or Web pages – show our personality and strengths. Unfortunately, they also can show our weaknesses if we do not present them properly. A true unified visual identity will happen for Fresno State when all of our visual communications come together to reinforce the core identity of the university.
The purpose of this manual is to help you understand the university’s need to present a unified visual identity. No, things don’t need to look the same. But there are elements that need to be consistent, and that starts with the university logo. And even with the logo, there are variations we have provided for you that allow you more flexibility than ever before.
Within this manual is an outline that will help to explain why certain units are being asked to eliminate or modify their current independent logos, and recommendations about how to begin that process. The Office of University Communications is happy to work with the campus community to meet the standards outlined in this manual.
Why have a unified visual identity?
The simple reason is to help the university communicate more clearly to all of its audiences. By clearly communicating who we are and what we stand for we are better able to:
- Raise the university’s profile in the region and across the country
- Communicate as a whole instead of in parts
- Support donor cultivation
- Help recruit new students
- Connect current students to university
- Keep alumni connected after they graduate
What’s wrong with having multiple identities?
- Additional logos put the university second to those other logos – and weakens our identity as a whole
- Makes us compete with one another
- Inefficiently uses limited budgets and resources
- Dilutes the institution’s sense of itself
- Confuses the students, alumni, donors, influencers and community
Values and Themes
The visual identity that is presented in this manual is the result of more than a year of development, including research and testing sample designs. Concurrent with this project, members of the design team have been involved with projects that also measured opinions about our campus. The themes of these messages are also the focus of the Fresno State recruiting video and the foundation for the new campus website.
Graphics Standards Oversight
The visual identity program is administered through the Office of University Communications, which oversees the university’s publications and graphic design. Policy questions about the rules contained within this manual should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Office of University Communications works within the division of University Advancement in cooperation with the offices of Printing Services, Mail Services and Purchasing to oversee implementation of these guidelines and to provide consultation and ensure compliance.
General questions about these guidelines and use of the marks should be directed to the executive director of Web communications and publications or email email@example.com.
Approval and Usage
While this manual is intended to set policies and guidelines for the use of the university’s visual identity, it is also meant to provide users with flexibility and assistance so they can visually portray the university in a consistent manner.
To ensure that materials are in compliance with this manual and Fresno State policies, all printed materials must be officially approved by the Office of University Communications. It is the policy of the university that the purchasing department will not issue payment to a print vendor unless this approval is received in advance of publication, regardless of funding source.
Letterhead, business cards and similar materials printed by the university’s Printing Services office are not required to go through the Office of University Communications for approval, since templates for such materials have already been approved. However, special exceptions to the standard models must be approved by the executive director of Web communications and publications before printing.
The Office of University Communications encourages campus units to use its graphic design services, but departmental and off-campus designers are also welcome. Publications created outside of Fresno State’s Office of University Communications MUST be approved before the material is printed. Please allow at least two working days for review.
To schedule a meeting to discuss design and printing needs, email firstname.lastname@example.org.