Illustration and Iconography
The shape of our brand
Our illustration style is clean and modern; it’s built on refined geometric shapes mixed with rounded edges. While we encourage unique and varied styles, our core aesthetic is circular, reflecting the confining shape of our logo, the Ram’s Head. Whenever possible, align designs with CSU branding by including circles and rounded corners in patterns, illustration, infographics, and iconography.
When to use illustration
While photography is suitable when representing tangible situations and subjects, illustration best conveys the abstract and conceptual.
Spot illustrations are different from full-fledged illustrations in that they stand on their own, without a background scene. This type of illustration can highlight information, visualize a simple concept, or add personality. They are not to be confused with icons, which are more functional.
In our data-driven world, infographics have emerged as a favorite way to display and interpret numerical information. When developing infographics, consider the project a visual story rather than a list of facts. As with any story, too many details distract from the theme. Carefully choose and display data with minimal colors, icons, and information so that the most important ideas are at the forefront.
Icons are quick, visual guideposts that allow readers to skim with ease. Utilitarian in nature, icons are helpful additions to directional signage, Web navigation, and mobile interfaces. The most useful icons are simple, universally understood, and without extraneous detail. When using or creating icons, lean on universal symbols. For example, the mail app icon on your phone is an envelope as opposed to a mail carrier’s bag or a post office symbol.
The University’s custom icon pack includes directional, educational, lifestyle, and communications-related icons. CSU Creative Services will occasionally create new icons as needed. Contact us with recommendations.