General Guidelines for Print and Digital Communications
Each year, the University of North Dakota, as well as its many colleges, schools, departments, and offices produce hundreds of materials - both large and small - to support the University's overall branding and communication objectives.
Individually and collectively, all forms of print and digital communications (e.g., offline and online advertising, brochures, magazines, and other publications) must work together to create an appropriate and lasting impression associated with the University's identity.
In order to provide a consistent and effective identity across the University and its various units, it is important that each item be designed and produced with attention to quality, detail, and University branding.
By following the design guidelines listed below, designers can maintain creative freedom while producing visually consistent print and digital communications that support the overall University identity.
- Use clean lines, typefaces, and graphics.
- Reduce the use of backgrounds with overly saturated color and busy graphic designs.
- Eliminate and/or reduce the use of special effects (e.g., beveling, drop shadows, etc.) unless they are necessary for readability.
- Use white or solid saturated colors from the UND Color Palettes.
- Minimize the number of colors used for a clean look.
- Use simple typefaces from one of the recommended UND Typefaces.
- Minimize copy as much as possible to create "white space" to rest the eye. To effectively get across a point, less is more.
- Format copy in bullets or use short lines or columns, as they are easier to read.
- Consider using the "tag cloud" effect, in which the size of the type is increased on select words or phrases in order to draw attention to key points.
When including URLs, emails, and phone numbers in a design, use the standard formatting:
URL Format - Write with an uppercase UND and lowercase subdomain to help the brand stand out; to appear more modern, do not use the "www," e.g., UND.edu or education.UND.edu.
Phone Number Format - Use periods instead of dashes to complement the formats of URLs and emails and to appear more modern, e.g. 1.800.CALL.UND or 701.777.3000.
- When photos are prominent in the design, use candid, action, or environmental shots.
- Avoid staged "standing still" photos. If used, be sure that they serve a strong purpose and the subject is identified with a caption.
- Photo captions are generally written in the present tense.
- Use photos that show a depth of field, e.g., blurred background or surroundings with an in-focus subject.
- Avoid the use of stock photos and clip art. If you use stock images, ensure that you have legal permission to do as many images are copyrighted and may charge royalty fees for use.
- If you need a photo, contact the campus photographers at the UND Division of University & Public Affairs (U&PA) or a member of the UND Design Group.
- Release Forms: Refer to the Video section for guidelines on obtaining signed release forms for UND photos. If you have questions, please contact U&PA.
- Consider adding a QR (Quick Response) Code to print or digital communications for audiences to scan with their smartphones and be directed to a website, online video, or other mobile content. (Learn more about QR Codes.)
- QR Codes are also valuable tools to track the effectiveness of printed pieces.
- For ease of use, QR Codes should be at least 1 square inch in size.
- Be very careful if recoloring the QR Code because it may affect the integrity of the barcode. Only vector-based design programs should be used to recolor QR Codes.
- Test and test again. Make sure that your QR Codes are functioning properly before going to print. If possible, test on multiple smartphones and scanning applications.
- All UND entities should use a centralized system to generate and track QR Codes. To receive instructions, email identity@UND.edu.
- An approved logo or mark from the UND Logo System must be clearly and prominently displayed on all print and digital communications. Please note:
- It is recommended that the Primary UND Logotype (or an appropriate Secondary variation) or the Primary Unit Logo is used for all advertising (print or digital), on printed materials, and on the front covers of multi-page publications produced for external audiences.
- On the back cover or mailing panel of multi-page publications, the Primary or Secondary UND Logotype, the Primary or Secondary Unit Logo, or the Secondary Unit Stamp may be used.
- It is recommended that the Primary or Secondary Unit Logo appears on the inside front cover for multi-page publications produced by specific units.
- When and where appropriate, the words "University of North Dakota" should be used in page folios (footers).
- Using the full name of the institution is a priority because it cannot be assumed that "UND" by itself is readily understood by all audiences as a reference to this institution.
- In external communications, the University of North Dakota should always be spelled out as an identifier (usually accomplished through the Primary UND or Unit Logotype) and in the first instance the University is referenced in body content.
- Note: The word "The" is not part of the official name of the University.
- Because it cannot be assumed that all audiences know the location of UND, it is recommended to include "Grand Forks" in the content of external communications, e.g., contact information, body content, or on the spine or cover of a publication.
- All official logos and marks from the UND Logo System may be printed over the top of a photograph, texture or other graphic, provided that the logo remains a prominent visual element.
- To keep the integrity of the official logos and marks within the UND Logo System, no text or graphics should overlap or cover them. As such, it is not recommended that UND logos be used as watermarks in print and digital communications.
- If designers wish to treat any of the UND logos as a watermark, they must receive prior approval from the UND Office of University Relations.
- Exception: Videos and stand-alone photos produced by UND may use watermarks to properly identify the University.
- In situations where partnerships with external organizations exist, the trademarks or logos of the partners may be displayed in print and digital communications. The partnership logos:
- should not be given greater prominence than the UND logos and marks, and
- should be clearly separated from the UND logos and marks.
For more information about the proper use of University logos and marks, refer to the UND Logo System.
UND Flame Treatment
Designers may use the UND flame as a stand-alone design element that furthers the UND brand. Although the UND flame is not trademarked or considered to be an official logo by itself, the integrity of the UND flame must be protected as it is an important element of the official UND Logotype.
As such, the following design guidelines have been established for using the UND flame:
- Acceptable colors = Use only the colors of orange, white, black, or gray. The flame may not be recolored or filled using any other colors or images.
- Special effects = Do not modify, distort, or apply any special effects to the flame, such as beveling, gradation, embossing, drop shadows, etc.
- Cropping = It is preferred that the flame is not cropped, but if it must be cropped for design purposes, at least 75% of the original flame must be intact.
- Watermarking = The flame may be used as a watermark in the background of a design.
- Lettering = The flame may not be added to letters within words, such as in the letter D. The use of the flame within a letter is reserved exclusively for the UND Logotype.