We talk the talk. We are a top tier university. One of the best in Canada. Our visual identity will help us walk the walk. Our look should be as sophisticated as USask is prestigious.
Graphic design plays a vital role in building a sophisticated brand—when it is professionally executed, we are confident; when it conveys a powerful message, we are inspired; when it is true, we are proud. When creating any type of material at USask, whether it’s a brochure, a presentation or even an email, be mindful of our brand and be as proud of your work as we are of our university.
These guidelines are for anyone who has a hand in creating or using the USask brand, including both internal staff and external suppliers. Managing and growing a brand is a big job, and we all have responsibility to make sure everything we’re doing is contributing to our brand in a positive way.
If you have any questions, require any further assistance or would like any of the resources noted below, please contact us and we can help you out!
1. Our Logo
The USask logo has been in existence for over 100 years. It has evolved considerably since our university was founded in 1907, but people have come to recognize it as a visual symbol of our strong heritage and reputation. This makes it a solid foundation on which to build the credibility of your college, unit, program or service.
2. Graphic Elements
Graphic elements are visual features that convey a big idea or a brand attribute—in the case of the USask they signify our prairie landscape, recognizeable to anyone who's seen the patchwork of fields flying over our beautiful province.
These squares can help bring visual consistency in a subtle and unobtrusive manner. Even a light background of the square pattern can make the difference between a USask branded design and a generic design.
The main USask campus is proudly situated on Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Métis. As such, Indigenous symbols representing the array of cultures from across Saskatchewan have been developed to help promote the indiginization of our campus. This suite of symbols is available for applicable materials.
Our supporting font is Minion Pro, great for longer documents such as newspapers, magazine articles and books.
Unless you're a graphic designer, you may not need them.
Myriad Pro and Minion Pro can be saved for high level design, meaning paid advertising, large banners or very public facing marketing materials that we'd expect professional graphic designers to be producing. They will have access to those fonts in their design programs. For pieces like Word documents, PowerPoint files, emails, etc., Calibri or Arial can do just fine.
If you're producing a lengthy report, a serif font such as Cambria or Times New Roman in place of Minion Pro will be easier to read.
Finally, keep in mind if you're sharing a file that does not embed fonts, such as Word documents, PowerPoint files and emails, every computer opening those files must have the same fonts installed. So if you use Myriad Pro in a PowerPoint presentation and open it on another computer, it may substitute that font and mess up your beautiful layouts. In these cases, stick to the standard fonts listed above.
If you have further questions, don't hesitate to contact us!
4. Colour Palette
Next to our logo, colour is the most recognizable element of our visual system. Consistent use of colour will strengthen people’s recollection of USask's visual elements. The USask primary colour palette contains varying shades of green, which are representative of our vast prairie landscape. Here is a selection of the main greens, though some fluctuation is acceptable as long as the same family of green is maintained.
To complement the bright greens and clean whites, grey can be used as a means of creating an elegant look for our designs and maintain the clean, professional look we strive for.
r190 / g214 / b0
r113 / g149 / b0
r65 / g118 / b48
r214 / g214 / b212
r154 / g155 / b157
r77 / g78 / b83
Our photography features the genuine beauty of our campus and its community. Photos capture candid, real moments of students, faculty and staff working, playing and connecting. Highlighting the extraordinary beauty in ordinary moments gives our photography a sense of familiarity, while also encouraging people to see everyday situations in a new way. Skip the pose, and the contrived setting, and capture real life.
6. White Space
Organize your content into a flowing visual hierarchy that looks good and reads sensibly. Add extra space to margins, between paragraphs, columns and around photos. Stay consistent with this spacing and don't be afraid to leave room for the eye to breathe.
Align and distribute elements on your page evenly—most programs have built-in tools to do this automatically at the click of a button or a snap of a guide.
Pay close attention to the typography in headlines, subheads, bulleted lists, footers and other elements that will stand out on the page. Adjust kerning and tracking as needed so everything is nice and legible at a glance.
Keep the design simple. Focus on clarity by doing the minimum necessary to convey the information. Avoid anything that doesn’t serve a function—don’t decorate a page; design it.