University Identification and Affiliation
Which standards do we follow?
Our brand identity system assigns graphic standards procedures based on your department, program, or division’s primary offering to the public. This system places audience, rather than our organizational chart, at the forefront of decisions about visual identity, ensuring that the University provides a unified face to each of its unique constituent groups.
There are four subgroups within our graphic standards program; read below for a description of each.
- Core University
- University Enterprises
- Student Organizations
- University Extensions
Colorado State University’s primary offering is education. Any department, unit, or program that provides or supports higher education adheres to Core University graphic standards.
Units that fall under the Core University standards must follow all University graphic standards, including the signature on all communications. To align with the public’s perception of our University as a single entity, Core University units cannot develop independent logos and marks.
Core University examples: Office of Admissions, College of Natural Sciences, Department of Mathematics, School of Education, Adult Learner and Veteran Services
Occasionally, units create and market products and services that stand apart from the University’s primary offering. University Enterprises may also include centers and institutes that specialize in government and industry research. These University Enterprises compete in service and retail marketplaces that require additional identification to differentiate themselves from similar products and to avoid brand confusion with the University’s primary product.
Like Core University units, University Enterprises must also follow University graphic standards. They may develop an additional logo or mark for product design and marketing. These marks must be approved and on file with Marketing & Brand Management. They must also include the CSU Signature.
University Enterprise examples: Fermentation Science and Technology, Ram Country Meats, the Powerhouse Energy Campus, the Lory Student Center
Student Organizations are an important demonstration of our community’s vibrance and diversity. Student leaders’ school pride in and ownership of the CSU brand promise its health and strength for years to come.
Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are encouraged to use CSU marks and visual branding as Core University units. However, they may elect to not use CSU branding or marks in favor of national or internally preferred colors, marks, or messages.
Though they may create independent club logos, RSOs should avoid club logos that incorporate any of the University’s logos or word marks, including the Ram’s Head.
University Outreach is comprised of units or entities that have independent public identities and receive more than half of their funding from an entity external to CSU. Their audiences and public offerings are typically very different from the Core University’s, but they benefit from affiliation with the University.
University Outreach adopts the University’s graphic standards, but maintains flexibility to develop a unique word mark that includes the CSU Signature.
University Extension examples: CSU Extension, Colorado State Forest Service, Robert H. and Mary G. Flint Animal Cancer Center