University Communications

Graphics Guidelines and Specifics


2 elements must exist on the cover of each publication: the Wesleyan University stamp and the publication title. Text is kept to a minimum. If text other than the title is absolutely necessary, we keep it from muddying the look by putting it in a bar, or by using some other technique. The Wesleyan University return address stamp must be on the back of every publication.

4-color covers, in general, should incorporate one large image (bleeding off 3–4 sides). The cover shot should be chosen with special care. Not only does the cover set the mood for the entire piece, but it also is an important branding mechanism. Cover photography should be chosen on the basis of mood rather than trying to catalog everything within the piece. Text on the cover should be kept to a minimum.

1–3 color covers may be treated in the same manner as 4-color publications (using one large photo). Often a better solution, however, is to create a simple, text and logo cover allowing elegant type to create the design elements. Other than the photo, the elements on the cover should be the same as on the 4-color covers. Text should be minimal. 2-color covers tend to have a red full bleed background.

Graphic Elements

We keep designs simple and clean, with simple graphic elements carried through a publication. Horizontal bars are often used in our publications. As a general rule, we avoid vertical bars.

We do not ghost photos to put type over it.

White Space and Margins

Just because there is room on a page does not mean it should be filled. We are generous with margins and white space. Pages that have more space on top and on the outside seem inviting and open.


Posters do not have to follow all of the rules that the rest of our publications follow. However, they must use the Wesleyan Stamp in an obvious and anchored fashion, and they must meet the same high photography standards we have for all of our publications. If good photography is not available, type should be used to create the overall impression of the poster. Even when type is not the major graphic element, contrast is key. Well defined hierarchy in type and attention grabbing contrasting images and type are important factors. An attempt should also be made to keep the colors within our color pallet.


We limit paper choices to help ensure a high standard of printing, while giving us some control over how Wesleyan red looks when it is printed. Paper swatch books are available from Dena Matthews.

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