Visual Style Guide

In September 2018, as part of our core messaging project, Wesleyan introduced a new set of visual elements to represent the University. Though Wesleyan’s history is rich, it’s unfinished—we are always moving forward.

The foundation of the system is our main wordmark, which will be the most commonly used element. It is the University’s name in Copernicus, a font that connotes a strong academic institution. The wordmark also introduces a new element that we call the “open shield,” a modern take on a traditional academic shield, reflecting the way we embrace new perspectives and highlighting our tradition of breaking tradition. The academic seal has also been updated, building on Wesleyan’s strong history, representing our founding year and one of the most iconic buildings on campus. 

The visual system also focuses our typography on Copernicus and Replica fonts, which work well in digital as well as analog situations. Our school colors of red and black have been modernized so they are consistent from screen to the printed page.

We now have two consistent photo styles to represent our amazing community. One is “hero” photography (strong leading images) that captures the unique abilities and interests of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The other is “lifestyle” photography, which authentically represents Wes in a candid, natural, and realistic way.

The guide below describes these different graphical elements along with proper usage.



Wesleyan University wordmark logo

Our wordmark is a combination of our name and open shield element. The open shield represents openness, welcoming unique perspectives, unwritten history, and revolutionizing tradition. Breaking the tradition of center alignment often seen in academic marks, our open shield anchors our name sitting at the left-hand corner. Our name is set in Copernicus Bold, a modern typeface rooted in tradition. 

Minimum Sizing

1.25 inches wide for print; 150 pixels wide for web

Minimum Spacing

When pairing with other components, always refer to the height of the open shield icon to act as a space buffer around the mark. For tighter layouts, the buffer can be reduced by half.    


Wesleyan Monogram Red

Our monogram is shorthand for the master wordmark and can be used in its place.  For external use, the monogram icon should be accompanied by the master wordmark or exist in the context of Wesleyan already.  

Minimum Sizing

.5 inches wide for print; 40 pixels wide for web

Minimum Spacing

When pairing with other components, always refer to the height of the monogram icon down to the top of the "W" as a guide to measure a space buffer around the mark. For tighter layouts, the buffer can be reduced by half.   



Wesleyan University academic seal

The academic seal is strictly reserved for academic or official University purposes. Always check with University Communications on proper seal usage. 

Minimum Sizing

1 inch wide for print; 90 pixels wide for web

Minimum Spacing

When pairing with other components, always refer to the width of half the inner shield shape. For tighter layouts, the buffer can be reduced by half.   



Our primary colors are Cardinal Red and Black Squirrel. If a secondary palette is needed, use tints of these colors listed below.
Wesleyan color palette



Our type family consists of two typefaces. Copernicus, our serif typeface, is used in our master wordmark and as body copy in print and on the website. Copernicus gives an academic, editorial, and professional feel. It may also be used in bolder applications when working on more expressive materials such as posters and flyers. Replica, our sans serif typeface, is used for web headers, for print headlines, and call-out treatments. 

NOTE: In the event where usage of Copernicus and Replica isn’t possible, Georgia can be substituted for Copernicus and Helvetica or Arial can be substituted for Replica.  

Wesleyan University typography  




The open shield is to be used sparingly, as a graphic element to highlight subjects in photography and to highlight messaging. The open shield graphic cannot be adjusted to fit into images. Images that can be easily highlighted by the open shield will be selected.  

 Wesleyan University open shield color                        Wesleyan University open shield black 




Tone: Hyper-stylized, High Contrast, Energetic, Diverse 

Wesleyan hero photography is used to capture the excitement that surrounds the unique abilities and focus of the Wesleyan community. 

Wesleyan University hero photo sample


Tone: Candid, Realistic/Natural, Diverse, Saturated, Energetic 

The primary focus of Wesleyan lifestyle photography is to capture faculty, students, and alumni in a candid fashion. Lifestyle photography is used to highlight the wide range and diversity of people, activities, studies, and ways of thinking that make Wesleyan unique. While the content of each photo may vary from shot to shot, the spirit and tone should remain consistent.  

Wesleyan University lifestyle photo sample

ADA Compliance

Wesleyan University makes every effort to ensure use of our colors, marks and imagery meet ADA Compliance standards.  We utilize guidelines and tools such as WCAG 2.0 AA standards and WebAIM's Color Contrast Checker as part of our design process.   For more information on Wesleyan's commitment to support all students in their academic and co-curricular endeavors, please visit our Accessibility Services website.