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Brand Center Sacramento State

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Design & Review Process: How to create projects that meet Sac State brand requirements.

Remember the project represents Sacramento State

No matter what type of project, keep in mind that the recipient or user should easily be able to identify it as Sacramento State. This not only helps the recipient recognize an official communication, but it gives the project immediate credibility because of its association with the University.

Primary visual brand elements include the Sacramento State logo, correct use of the University’s name, Sac State State Green and Sac State Gold with the approved supporting color palettes, and approved fonts.

See Sacramento State Brand at a Glance for an overview, and the Visual Identity Style Guide for comprehensive details.

 

Consult University Marketing early in the process

The best way to make sure a project is developed in brand and meets the identity requirements is to consult with University Marketing at the beginning. This is especially helpful when a third-party vendor or consultant is involved. Even with access to the identity style guide, it is easy to make mistakes that can be difficult to reverse farther into a project.

Alternatively, if a Sac State Template is available, starting with an existing approved design is a good way to make sure requirements are met.

Email University Marketing with questions and for consultations.

Use these steps to keep on track:

 

Step 1. Find the right voice. Every communication has an appropriate one voice and it will direct the rest of the visual elements.

  • Formal - Appropriate for official, ceremonial and International communications.
  • Standard - Good for most all external/internal communications. Most commonly used.
  • Nickname/Casual - Best to use only for communications that are strictly physically on-campus.

 

Step 2. Use the University name that goes with the voice.

  • California State University, California (Formal)
  • Sacramento State (Standard)
  • Sac State (Nickname/Casual)

 

Step 3. Select and use the corresponding logo or logotype. A logo is required on all official communications, make sure it is used according to specifications.

 

Formal

The University’s Official Seal

Standard

primary logos

Administrative units, colleges, departments as well as other programs can also use integrated logos that are specific to their areas.

Nickname/Casual

Nickname Casual Logos

See Logos & Logotypes and Usage Guidelines to see all options and complete usage details.

 

Step 4. Use Sac State Green and Sac State Gold in your design.

Depending on the voice, the amount of green and gold required will vary, but it must be in there. Additional support colors are available for each voice.

 

State Green and Sac State Gold

See Formal Voice Color Palette, Standard Voice Color Palette and Casual Voice Color Palette for breakdowns and supporting colors. A modified palette is available for web and digital design.

 

Step 5. Use an approved University font.

It should also correspond with the selected voice. If these fonts are not available, the alternate is Garamond. It is standard on all computers. The font standard for web is different from print. It uses fonts that will not default on viewers personal devices.

See Visual Elements University Fonts for a complete list of available fonts and usage guidelines to be used for print items. See web guidelines for web fonts.

 

Step 6. Confirm the supporting elements are approved for use and applied appropriately.

They may include the following:

  • Logo
  • Graphic elements
  • Tagline
  • Photos/Videos
  • Special marks

Download a comprehensive Visual Brand Identity Checklist.

 

Step 7. Allow time for official review and approval

If your project or communication will be seen by an off-campus audience, it needs to be reviewed by University Marketing prior to being printed or going live. Allow up to 5 business days.

Submit items for brand review and approval

All projects, materials, or communications representing Sacramento State that will be seen by off-campus audiences need to be reviewed by University Marketing before the materials are printed or go "live.” This applies to printed materials such as advertisements, fliers, brochures, booklets, and magazines, as well as digital communications, including social media branding, webpages, emails, newsletters, and videos. 

The reviews ensure visual brand standards are consistently met, helping maintain the integrity of the University’s visual identity. 

For approval, email universitymarketing@csus.edu the project as a PDF with: a brief overview of what it is, how it will be distributed, and the target audience. Allow at least five working days to review.

If you are unsure if your project needs to be reviewed or is meeting brand requirements, ask us! The process tends to be quickest when University Marketing is consulted early.