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Graphic Identity Standards

What is a brand?

Name. Vision. Mission. Design style of university publications. Logo usage. Colors. While these elements are all vital to upholding the university’s brand, they are only part of the equation. Sophisticated brands involve much more than a visual identity and an insightful mission statement.

South Dakota State University’s brand is the emotional and psychological relationship we have with our stakeholders. Strong brands elicit thoughts, emotions, and sometimes physiological responses from constituents. Branding the university yields both internal and external benefits. Externally, we create an identity that resonates with stakeholders. We form emotional relationships with them.

Within a university, the brand serves as an internal compass of focus. If the institution is clearly branded, we have a collective understanding of what we are about. We have a self-awareness that dictates our actions. All decisions, not just marketing, are made in alignment with the brand. By keeping within our brand, over time, we will build a stronger university identity.

The strongest brands build an emotional bond with stakeholders, creating a sense of loyalty and ultimately influencing how constituents interact with you now and well into the future.

Graphic Standards

This section provides standards for use of many of the specific communications components that represent the South Dakota State University brand including our name, trademarks, logos and other marks. Only official university entities and commercial enterprises that enter into a licensing agreement with the university may use these components. These graphic standards are designed to ensure accurate, consistent, and responsible use of these components.

Consistency, good visibility and legibility are key elements to ensure proper use. Do not modify or distort the South Dakota State University logo, Wordmark, mascot or external marketing mark in any way. The logos and Wordmark should only be reproduced using official university downloadable files.

Note: This guide is meant to be used as a reference tool to show the proper uses of the university marks. It is not intended to turn every person on campus into a graphic designer or brand expert but merely explain how and why certain marks are used when and where.

All graphic files in this manual are available from University Marketing and Communications, which also has several graphic designers on staff to assist with your specific needs.

**Approval is required for any and all use of university trademarks. University faculty and staff can submit materials (saved as a PDF) to University Marketing and Communications for review.

Communication Assurance

To achieve the goal of consistent communication, all SDSU communications are subject to review by University Marketing and Communications prior to production.

The trademarks policy applies to all official SDSU print publications as well as specialty items, banners, advertisements, and Web/electronic, audio, and video communications targeted for any level of external distribution.

Elements of this review include:
• adherence to university graphic standards;
• proper use of copyright, trademark, and service marks and verbiage;
• consistency with university marketing and brand platform, and
• production quality improvement recommendations.

University Marketing and Communications will assist with each review in as expeditious a manner as possible.

As per South Dakota purchasing regulations (policy No. 12-9-1), the SDSU Print Lab should be the first source for your printing needs. If the Print Lab is unable to accommodate your request, they will direct you on the required use of environmentally preferred products. University Marketing and Communications staff and the Print Lab staff can decide what jobs should be included on the state’s bid letting schedule.

In addition, University Marketing and Communications has several graphic designers on staff who can assist in our publication needs. Visit Creative Services and Branding to view the different services offered as well as the fee structure. The office can also assist with finding cost-effective printing prices.