Communications

The central communications/public information operation for the USG

Branding and Visual Identity Standards for the University System of Georgia

Introduction

The Board of Regents (BOR) of the University System of Georgia (USG) has responsibility for building and administering a unified program of higher education throughout Georgia’s public colleges and universities. The USG creates and publishes a diverse array of printed, digital and electronic communications tools that feature the graphic mark of the USG. Collectively, these tools help to build the USG brand.

Visual identity standards ensure consistency for the use of the USG logo and other depictions. These standards are the primary reference for anyone who develops correspondence or promotional materials for USG departments, programs, initiatives, conferences, centers, and units. This includes materials for programs sponsored solely by the USG or for which the USG may be a co-sponsor with another institution or organization.   The USG is required by Federal law to abide by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA Section 508 specifically addresses website content and interface functionality to ensure content is accessible to everyone. It is the responsibility of each individual who creates such documents and websites to adhere to the USG and ADA standards to ensure that a clear, consistent message and image are communicated to the USG’s varied audiences. More information can be found by visiting our Website Information page.

Oversight and Responsibility

USG Communications is responsible for maintaining USG visual and editorial standards. All publications prepared for distribution by the USG departments, divisions and its affiliates must be reviewed by USG Communications prior to production in final form to ensure their compliance with the visual standards outlined here.

When considering or developing publications, please contact USG Communications early in the development process to ensure that your publication is in compliance with the USG visual identity standards and, therefore, help build the USG brand.

If you have questions or inquiries about USG visual identity standards, please contact USG Communications at communications@usg.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do the visual identity standards aim to accomplish?
The goal is to develop cohesive messages through branding standards and a consistent visual identity for the USG. Defining our brand provides a road map for that will be a resource for the many departments and functions that make up the USG. Having a defined brand will improve the ability of all to communicate the brand to the appropriate target audience at the appropriate time.

Why does having branding standards matter?
To achieve brand recognition, the USG must provide a distinct, consistent, and memorable experience that is articulated through compelling messaging and a consistent visual identity. Integrating the brand ensures that target audiences will have a consistent experience with the USG, no matter where in that individual or group engages its audience. An integrated brand also ensures that appropriate and timely messages are communicated and reinforced. Over time, this will translate into increased brand recognition and understanding from all key audiences.

How will this affect my department?
This will affect individual departments differently depending on how consistent a department has been in communicating and supporting the USG brand. Adopting consistent messaging and strong visual identity standards will align your communications efforts more effectively with the USG brand, making the extension of the brand richer, stronger, more relevant, and more recognizable.

Will individual departments, programs and initiatives that already have their own logos be able to keep them?
Departments with their own logos will be expected to phase out secondary marks they may be using and to adopt the USG brand architecture. Secondary marks weaken the overall USG brand and create confusion among stakeholders. The USG brand is our most recognizable and powerful asset. When departments directly align with the USG brand, the associated prestige accrues to those departments as well. Programs and initiatives will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be allowed to retain their own logos based on a number of factors including independent, accrued brand recognition.

Is there ever a time when my unit can develop symbols, icons, images, type treatments, marks, or logos?
The overall objective of the brand recognition efforts from the visual side is to create a consistent and cohesive look throughout all media and materials. Going forward, the creation of new logos or marks will be discontinued. However, there are times when individual departments, programs and initiatives will want to create a theme for a special event, conference or celebration. The creation of marks such as these will require collaboration and approval from USG Communications.

How should I implement these changes for my department, program or initiative?
Individual departments, programs and initiatives can implement changes on a gradual basis, coinciding with normal schedules of updating, revising, and redesigning communication materials. The goal is to not incur additional costs associated with being in alignment with the brand initiative. In today’s digital world, many of these changes can be made quickly without incurring costs.



The Name

The first time the name “University System of Georgia” is mentioned in any publication, the reference should be University System of Georgia. Second references may be shortened to USG, not “University System” or “System”.   Never use the phrase “Georgia Board of Regents”. The name “Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia” must be used when referring to the USG governing board. If the full name must be split onto two lines, the break should follow the word “of”.

When referring to the policy-making board comprised of individual regents it is acceptable to refer to the group as the Board of Regents, or the Board; e.g., “The Board of Regents recently accepted a study on regionalization in business practices.”

The USG is comprised of the public colleges and universities in the state as well as the Georgia Archives and the Georgia Public Library System. This is the reference when discussing the USG overall; e.g., “By some measures, the University System of Georgia is the fourth largest such system in the nation.”

Acronyms and Initialism

Acronyms and initialisms should be avoided when using graphics to describe divisions, departments, programs and initiatives because they are not particularly effective in communicating meaning. Initials-based logos will not be supplied, created, or endorsed. One of the overall goals of the visual identity standards is to eventually eliminate previously created initials-based logos.

Acronyms were developed as a space saver. If you have the space, say what you mean. (Acronyms were popular in ancient Rome because it reduced the letters one had to chisel out of stone. We no longer use individually hand-carved stone to communicate our daily messages, so there is very little need for initials-based graphics.)



Identifiers and Logos

Division/Department Identifiers

  1. The USG Division/Department Identifier must be used for all official correspondence materials including letterhead, business cards, envelopes, note pads, forwarding pads, fax cover sheets, and forms. Division/Department Identifiers will be provided free of charge to each unit by USG Communications upon request. To ensure consistency, USG Communications is the sole source for creating and distributing Division/Department Identifiers.

  2. The USG Division/Department Identifier may be resized while maintaining the proper proportions. Using the corner handles and simultaneously holding down the shift key to resize will accomplish this. With some software the user may not need to hold down the shift key when resizing. If the identifier looks squished, squeezed or distorted you have not resized correctly. The identifier must not be edited or altered in any way outside of the variations described in this manual. In rare cases, there may be exceptions with the approval of USG Communications. Please contact USG Communications if you have questions.

USG Communications logo
USG Communications logo stacked
USG Communications logo USG Communications logo stacked

The USG Division/Department Identifiers may be reproduced in:

Blue, grey and black color palette

Sample 1:
Blue:

  • RGB: R=0, G=56, B=168
  • CMYK: C=100%, M=88%, Y=0%, K=0%
  • Web Color: #0038A8

Sample 2:
Grey:

  • RGB: R=121, G=121, B=121
  • CMYK: C=54%, M=45%, Y=45%, K=10%
  • Web Color: #797979

Sample 3:
Black:

  • RGB: R=0, G=0, B=0
  • CMYK: C=75%, M=68%, Y=67%, K=90%
  • Web Color: #000000

White, not shown because it is not visible on a white background:

  • RGB: R=255, G=255, B=255
  • CMYK: C=0%, M=0%, Y=0%, K=0%
  • Web Color: #FFFFFF

University System of Georgia Logo

  1. The USG logo consists of the words “University System of Georgia” below or beside the circular graphic that has the words “Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia” circling the columned building icon. The two elements, the words “University System of Georgia” and the circular graphic, must always appear together. The circular graphic should never be used alone or be incorporated in any other logo. The columned building icon is an outline and, in most cases, should not be filled in. There are exceptions where the icon can be filled in. Embroidery on clothing items are one example. Please contact USG Communications for specific cases.

  2. The USG logo must be used for purposes where the USG Division/Department Identifier is not used or is not appropriate. For example, the USG logo should be used on system wide agendas, certificates, awards, invitations, ceremonial programs, and other official USG documents. To ensure consistency, USG Communications is the sole source for creating and distributing the USG logo.

  3. The USG logo may be resized while maintaining the proper proportions. Using the corner handles and simultaneously holding down the shift key to resize will accomplish this. With some software the user may not need to hold down the shift key when resizing. If the identifier looks squished, squeezed or distorted you have not resized correctly. The logo must not be edited or altered in any way outside of the variations described in this manual. In rare cases there may be exceptions with the approval of USG Communications. Please contact USG Communications if you have questions.

  4. The USG logo must appear with the URL (usg.edu) without the www prefix on the back of all publications.

USG Logos Available for Download
Logo Download File File Type
Logo - Black PNG
Logo - Black EPS
Logo - Black - Stacked PNG
Logo - Black - Stacked EPS
Logo - Blue PNG
Logo - Blue EPS
Logo - Blue - Stacked PNG
Logo - Blue - Stacked EPS
Logo - White PNG
Logo - White EPS
Logo - White - Stacked PNG
Logo - White - Stacked EPS

The USG logo may be reproduced in:

Blue, grey and black color palette

Sample 1:
Blue:

  • RGB: R=0, G=56, B=168
  • CMYK: C=100%, M=88%, Y=0%, K=0%
  • Web Color: #0038A8

Sample 2:
Grey:

  • RGB: R=121, G=121, B=121
  • CMYK: C=54%, M=45%, Y=45%, K=10%
  • Web Color: #797979

Sample 3:
Black:

  • RGB: R=0, G=0, B=0
  • CMYK: C=75%, M=68%, Y=67%, K=90%
  • Web Color: #000000

White, not shown because it is not visible on a white background:

  • RGB: R=255, G=255, B=255
  • CMYK: C=0%, M=0%, Y=0%, K=0%
  • Web Color: #FFFFFF

The Seal

The Seal of the University System of Georgia has limited uses. The seal should be used only on legal documents and with special permission from USG Communications. The seal should not be used without approval from USG Communications.

When in doubt about the appropriate uses of the USG logo or seal, contact USG Communications at communications@usg.edu

The state seal of Georgia.


PowerPoint Templates

The PowerPoint templates in this section are a requirement for presentations to the Board of Regents. They are intended to make presentations more uniform in appearance, promote our brand and strengthen the identity of the USG. The slide templates have been created for your convenience and can be downloaded below. Choosing File>Save as Template as soon as you open the file will add the templates to the PowerPoint application on your computer. This eliminates the download step for future presentations.

To maintain the integrity of the template colors and graphic elements select “Normal View” in PowerPoint to create your presentation. The templates are in square and wide-screen formats and include an optional title slide with the USG logo in the upper left corner and secondary slides with USG logo in the bottom left corner. Please select fonts listed in the Typography and Styles section when creating your slides.

These PowerPoint templates can be easily adapted and provide a good starting point for presentations to groups other than the Board of Regents.

USG PowerPoint Templates Available for Download
Slide Samples Download File File Type
Widescreen white PPTX
Standard white PPTX
Widescreen blue PPTX
Standard blue PPTX
Widescreen grey PPTX
Standard grey PPTX


Color Palettes

Primary Color Palette

The official color of the University System of Georgia is blue.

Blue, grey and black color palette

Sample 1:
Blue:

  • RGB: R=0, G=56, B=168
  • CMYK: C=100%, M=88%, Y=0%, K=0%
  • Web Color: #0038A8

The USG logo and USG Division/Department Identifiers may also be reproduced in:

Sample 2:
Grey:

  • RGB: R=121, G=121, B=121
  • CMYK: C=54%, M=45%, Y=45%, K=10%
  • Web Color: #797979

Sample 3:
Black:

  • RGB: R=0, G=0, B=0
  • CMYK: C=75%, M=68%, Y=67%, K=90%
  • Web Color: #000000

White, not shown because it is not visible on a white background:

  • RGB: R=255, G=255, B=255
  • CMYK: C=0%, M=0%, Y=0%, K=0%
  • Web Color: #FFFFFF

Secondary Color Palette

The secondary color palette may be used for graphic elements in banners, displays and PowerPoint slides, except those used in presentations at Board of Regents meetings for which templates are provided. The USG logo and USG Division/Department Identifiers should not be produced in these colors. You must adhere to the Primary Color Palette when using the USG logo and USG Division/Department Identifiers.

Secondary color palette for USG

Sample 1:

  • RGB: R=45, G=63, B=80
  • CMYK: C=84%, M=68%, Y=47%, K=38%
  • Web Color: #2D3F50

Sample 2:

  • RGB: R=239, G=71, B=77
  • CMYK: C=0%, M=88%, Y=69%, K=0%
  • Web Color: #EF474D

Sample 3:

  • RGB: R=215, G=218, B=219
  • CMYK: C=14%, M=9%, Y=10%, K=0%
  • Web Color: #D7DADB

Sample 4:

  • RGB: R=110, G=188, B=219
  • CMYK: C=54%, M=9%, Y=7%, K=0%
  • Web Color: #GEBCDB

Sample 5:

  • RGB: R=141, G=198, B=65
  • CMYK: C=50%, M=0%, Y=99%, K=0%
  • Web Color: #8DC641

Sample 6:

  • RGB: R=42, G=129, B=186
  • CMYK: C=81%, M=42%, Y=6%, K=0%
  • Web Color: #2A81BA


Typography and Styles

While there are an abundance of fonts available to those who produce documentation, USG Communications seeks to limit which fonts may be used in official USG publications to establish a consistent visual identity, as well as to ensure legibility. Generally, serif fonts are used for documents that will be printed, while sans-serif fonts are for Web-based use.

The following fonts are acceptable to use in USG documents. Cambria is the standard USG serif font, with Times New Roman and Georgia as substitutes. Arial is the standard USG sans serif font, with Century Gothic and Verdana as substitutes. Font size can vary among and within documents; the examples shown below are 10-point size with bold headings. Use your professional judgment as to what font style and size are most appropriate for your specific document.

Acceptable fonts for USG documents.

Writing Style Reference Sources

The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law is the official reference source for USG editorial style standards.

Additional style, usage, and writers’ reference sources include:

  1. The Chicago Manual of Style

  2. The Web Content Style Guide

  3. Merriam-Webster’s free online dictionary and thesaurus

While advice on a given topic may differ from one guide to another, all the works listed here have value because different users may find more or less helpful explanations of a usage that they find puzzling.​

Need Help?

  1. If you have questions or need assistance with any information about the USG visual identity standards, you can contact USG Communications at communications@usg.edu.

  2. For website design questions, you can contact Information & Web Services at w3admin@usg.edu.

  3. For Information Technology Services communications questions, you can contact Information Technology Services Strategic Communications at comm@usg.edu.

Visual Identity Examples

The following samples are provided to give some ideas about how to use the USG logo and USG Division/Department Identifiers.

Visual Identity letterhead example



Preprinted Materials

Ordering Business Cards, Envelopes and Other Materials

All orders should be placed directly with Office Resources at 404-962-3229, or with the Information Technology Services Assistant Director, Business Resource Management, who can be reached at 706-583-2017.

By following this procedure, we ensure consistent quality and adherence to the visual identity standards, and by ordering these materials through Office Resources or the Information Technology Services Assistant Director, Business Resource Management from a single vendor, the USG benefits from a considerable financial advantage as well.



Official Formatting

Letterhead

All USO employees, including those located at 270 Washington Street as well as any satellite locations, have access to a letterhead template that can be customized with their Division/Department Identifier, telephone, email information and website URL. Download the official University System of Georgia letterhead and/or Division/Department Identifier template using the links below. You can obtain the identifier for your division or department by contacting USG Communications. Selecting the generic identifier and using the “Change Picture” command in Word will maintain correct size and placement when customizing the letterhead with your Division/Department Identifier.

This template is used in lieu of generic, preprinted stationery resulting in significant savings. Open the template, add your phone/email information/website URL, add the date, address and salutation information, and proceed normally. Self-created fax cover sheets, memoranda, note pads and forwarding pads must all follow the same official letterhead format.

  1. The block on the left consists of the USG logo or the Division/Department Identifier. The Division/Department Identifier does not include the words “Department of…” or “Office of…” They are not particularly effective in communicating additional information, take up additional space and are unnecessary. Name only is the accepted format (e.g. Administrative & Fiscal Affairs, Communications, Economic Development, etc.).

  2. The two subsequent lines in the left block are for the street address, and then the city, state, and zip code.

  3. The block on the right consists of three lines, including phone number, email address and website URL. For the URL, do not use http:// or www. With current browser technology only what appears after www. is needed. For example: www.usg.edu/chancellor can now be shortened to read usg.edu/chancellor/ .

  4. At the bottom of the letterhead is the University System of Georgia homepage URL: usg.edu

BOR Letterhead Available for Download
Download File File Type
USG Letterhead.docx DOCX
Dept ID Letterhead.docx DOCX

Mailing Address

  1. Items in USG addresses should be listed in the following order:
    • Individual’s Name
    • Title
    • University System of Georgia
    • Division or Department Name [Name only. Do not include “Office of” or “Department of”]
    • Street Address
    • City, GA, Zip Code
  2. When citing numbered street addresses:
    • Use numerals to denote house and street numbers.
    • Abbreviate the common descriptor (road, street, avenue, boulevard, etc.).
      • Examples: 350 Parnassus Ave., 1200 Sloat Blvd.
    • When citing the name of the location only, without a numbered address, spell out the common descriptor.
      • Examples: 2nd Avenue and Irving Street, Essex and Union streets
    • In narrative text, use the following format:
      • Example: The culprit lives at 1234 Sesame St., in Moscow, Idaho.
  3. Use P.O. Box with periods.
  4. Use Postal Service state abbreviations with no periods in all addresses.

Email

Email is regularly used to communicate both inside and outside of the organization. It is often the first or only contact with a customer. For this reason, email messages should be considered the same as electronic letterhead and should be professional and consistent in style. It is permissible to use the default font of your email client. Outlook, for example, uses Calibri. If you choose to use a different font for email you should use only the fonts listed under the Typography and Styles section. Email backgrounds, graphics or quotes that are not part of these standards should not be used. Use the following template for all USG email communications:

  • Individual’s Name
  • Title
  • University System of Georgia
  • Division or Department [Name only. Do not include “Office of” or “Department of”]
  • Street Address (optional)
  • Phone(s)
  • Email address (optional)
  • Website URL (optional)

This standard email signature layout lessens any confusion from clients that work with multiple persons within the organization. Secondary signatures can be used for internal or casual emails where formality is not needed.

Other considerations include the following:

  1. In text, email addresses are usually lowercase: john.doe@usg.edu. However, you should follow the spelling and capitalization of the addressee if different.
  2. A long email address may be broken and continued on a second line. Do not add a hyphen where the break appears. Instead, make sure that the break is after a slash or period in the address. Adding a hyphen leads to confusion about whether or not the hyphen is part of the address.
  3. Do not use a font size smaller than 10 point.
  4. Use black or the default Outlook blue for the text color.


Website Governance and Standards

USG website governance, standards and accessibility information can be found by visiting our Website Information page.