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visual identity is the cornerstone of all communication efforts and represents the image and aspirations of an institution. The focus of a visual identity is usually a symbol or logo. However, an identity system is much more than the utilization of a symbol or logo. A comprehensive visual identity system is the framework for communicating and presenting information logically, clearly and with distinction. It must be applied consistently to convey a single, clear message. A visual identity, consistently applied, serves as an external visual representation of an organization. It gives the public an indication of the organization’s standards of quality and also provides an internal source of pride and morale. It is important that a consistency of presentation be maintained and that standards be set to ensure the highest quality possible. Visual identity is the sum of all the visual impressions associated with USF’s name. It is important that all parts of the university

project one clear image through a coordinated identification program. A clear message and visual image highlight the fact that the University of South Florida is a complex, but unified organization. The university signature (USF monogram and wordmark) is the one unifying visual image for all the campuses, colleges, divisions, centers, institutes and other university organizations. The standards and guidelines presented in this manual have firm institutional sup- port. Embracing and following these standards and guidelines is advantageous to the entire USF community. Adherence to the visual identity standards will support USF’s vision and mission, and strengthen its institutional image and marketing strategy for communicating with its many constituencies. Individuals and groups responsible for overseeing execution of publications and other visual representations of the University of South Florida will want to be familiar with this Visual Identity and Graphics Standards Manual and make it available to their staff members.

1. Vision The future of the USFSP Graphic Design program is to be nationally recognized as one of the best public schools to offer a graphic design degree. USFSP will be known for its intensive, academic treatment of the art form, ensuring that graduating designers produce work that is not only of technical quality, but also of sound conceptual origin.

2. Mission For fledgling designers, Graphic Design at USF St. Pete is the only public school that offers a unique, intensely academic and community based curriculum. Students all receive individual attention and critique, due to the selective admission process. The program emphasizes scholarly design through critical writing and explorative creativity. Our goal is to continue to lure students to our program by demonstrating limitless creativity and nurturing of artistic mindsets.

3. Attributes Scholarly, Academic, Criticism, Writing, Community, Family, Individual, Unique, Intensive, Public School, Selective, Exclusive, Artistic

4. Brand Values USF St. Pete is a better choice for your graphic design education for many reasons. The nearest other schools for graphic design cost a shocking $32,290 or $23,472 PER YEAR, and that is without additional costs of room and board, food, art supplies, and other necessities. USF St. Pete, being a public school, boasts not only reasonable tuition, but ensures that every student is offered a well-rounded accredited education. Every USFSP Graphic Design student graduates with a BFA as well as a minor in Art History. Our partnership with the marketing and business colleges on our campus means that you can supplement your artistic education with highly useful business, finance, and self-promotion skills.

5. Key Beliefs Exploration, Expression, Post-Modernism, Art History, Community

6. Audience Primary audience: young designers (high school students or undecided college students) second degree seekers or former students returning Secondary audience: Students’ parents, students at other schools who are dissatisfied with their curriculum or tuition costs

7. Key Competitors Key Competitors: Ringing School of Art & Design, Art Institute of Tampa, other FL public schools that offer graphic design degrees Competitive Advantage: low tuition costs & emphasis on art history/theory

8. Stakeholders Students, Professors, students of sibling majors like journalism and mass communications

THE USFSP logo is based on the Van de Graaf diagram, a set of shapes used to create a “perfect� book layout, popularized by modernist designer Jan Tschichold. When utilized, the USFSP logo has no set axis angle, alluding to the bending of traditionalist rules, a hallmark of the education you will recieve here in St. Petersburg. Rules and traditions provide solid foundations for graphic design education, but are not set in stone. The juxtaposition of tradition and rejection thereof is meant to inspire students academically as well as artistically.

BRAND LANGUAGE The language used when composing informational material for the USFSP graphic design program should specifically be impactful and passionate. Consider structural aesthetics as well as phonetic clarity. Design is not a facile subject and should not be articulated as such. Try not to sound like a fucking idiot.

There is no set axis for the USFSP logo. It may be rotated to suit function.

THE LOGO CAN BE AS BIG AS YOU WANT! (so long as it is not cropped)



This angle makes frequent appearances throughout the USFSP program in graphic design identity. The eleven degree angle echoes the slant in Helvetica oblique. It is applicable in many ways, as a solid shape and as a line. Please refer to the color guides for palette options.

Do not change the color of the USFSP logo.

While not necessary, it is encouraged to desaturate all photos.

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Be mindful of content when overlaying shapes or text. Don’t cover up the main part of the image, but don’t be afraid of bold areas of color.

When applying the logo to a photograph, a white border is required.

Good judgement and artistic liberty is encouraged. Don’t be afraid to edit the logo and type treatments so long as you remain within the font and color choices.

BRAND COLORS The USFSP program in graphic design is environmentally concious, our branding devices try to limit the amount of ink used in printing promotional materials. You will notice that our two primary brand colors are sky blue and rubine red. Full color printing is used for printing accurate colors of student work, so that their work may shine as the artist intended. Our campus is nestled within Bayboro Harbor, and the culture of our community is deeply engrained in the sun, sky, and sea that surrounds us. The waterfront campus is a defining feature of the USFSP campus. The rubine red not only provides a daring contrast, but embodies the passion and dedication of each student who enters and completes the program.


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TYPOGRAPHY headings: drop caps: body copy: misc:

Omnes Black Italic Omnes Hairline Italic Helvetica Neue Regular Helvetica Neue Bold Italic When being used on the web, the primary typeface will be a sans-serif font. If Helvetica is not available, the Arial should begrudgingly be used in its place. Due to the exciting variety in brand identity, and the openness of its applications, there are no set fonts for certain situations. Please refer to the other pages in the identity manual, or the catalog for examples of how varying layout and type treatments come together through usage of shape, line, and color.

The typefaces chosen to represent the USFSP program in graphic design are specifically meant to represent certain ideals. Omnes contains a family of fonts available for free to anyone who downloads it. Helvetica Neue is one of the most prevalent fonts in modern times, and the typeface itself alludes back to the its extensive history, begining during the dawn of the International Typographic Style. When utilizing the brand typography, if needed, it is acceptable to use other members of the above font families. For instance, one may choose to use Helvetica Ultra Light Italic or Omnes Medium if

business cards & letterhead

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The most commonly used type of photograph when composing an ad for the USFSP program in graphic design is those which depict our beautiful campus. Part of the appeal of our program is the positively iddylic locale. Once you have obtained a nice photograph, preferably one with a decent amount of contrast and visual interest, desature it. Do not simply remove the color. Using Photoshop, go the Image Adjustments menu and select the Black and White option. Adjust the hues as you see fit. High contrast is the most ideal, as the overlay effect works best when there is some large areas of white. Add an element, it can be a square, circle, or 11 degree angle. Again, it depends on the content of the photograph. Think about the function of the ad you are making. Is it meant to be a poster, a postcard, a flyer, or simply a decorative element? Gather all the necessary information and place it in the ad. Remember to adhere to the color & typography guidelines from the previous pages.

extra element - Stickers!

extra element - grafitti poster

do you think

OUTSIDE THE GRID? There is something very interesting about grids. On the one hand they are extremely useful tools with which we can organize information. Grids are also sometimes quite confining and limiting. Contemporary graphic design is frequently a push and pull between order and chaos. Order is

necessary for the communication of information and ideas, hence the grid. Chaos, however, is unbridled. Chaos is art, expression, emotion, the unexpected, the unpredictable. As a fledgling designer, you will be presented certain challenges. This is your first one. Can you let go whilst remaining in control?

Caitlin Burns — USFSP Identity Manual  

An identity manual designed for the University of South Florida's graphic design program during ART 4925: Media Workshop: Production. Studen...

Caitlin Burns — USFSP Identity Manual  

An identity manual designed for the University of South Florida's graphic design program during ART 4925: Media Workshop: Production. Studen...