Visual Identity and Social Media Guidelines

Presenting a strong visual identity is a critical part of our efforts to promote the university, recruit students, and display a high level of excellence. It is particularly important today, since we produce more materials—brochures, web, and social media pages, posters, advertisements, business cards, stationery, signs, novelty items, clothing, and electronic messages—than ever before.

These guidelines were put together to help university departments and organizations communicate more effectively while also building the university's image. Proper use of our design elements, combined with clear, concise writing, eliminates confusion and presents a sense of unity and coherence in our communications. Poor design, separate visual identities among university departments, and unfocused writing detract from that goal.

To help you navigate through this information, you can use the links below to quickly find the information you need.

If you have any questions regarding any of this information, please contact the Digital Content Manager.

General Visual Identity Guidelines

General Social Media Guidelines

Social Media Branding Guidelines

Facebook

Twitter

General Visual Identity Guidelines

These guidelines are aimed primarily at materials intended for off campus audiences. Print Services, located at the Service Center, is the campus resource for design and production information. Logos are available in several electronic formats on this website. You can contact Print Services at ext. 3394 for more information.

  • Three graphic components—the logo, the seal, and the falcon—are used to express the university's identity. The horizontal university logo is the graphic element most often used in communication.
  • The university's full, official name, Fitchburg State University, should appear on all communications materials. The less formal usage, for second reference, is Fitchburg State—not FSU (since those initials also refer to Framingham State and other institutions).
  • The university seal is generally reserved for more formal occasions and publications.
  • The Book/F symbol should rarely be used alone, but exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis (i.e. social media icons).
  • Avoid rotating or re-proportioning any logo.
  • Borders and embellishments should not be added to the logo or seal.
  • Athletics logos should not be combined with any university logo or seal. For more detailed information on the athletics identity system, please refer to their Visual Identity Manual.
  • The university colors are gold, white, and green. When using color, the logo should be printed in gold and/or green. Yellow is also used for promotional items. Printing ink Pantone colors are 872 Gold, 343 C Green, and 123 C Yellow. For uncoated stock Pantone 363 U Green and 115 U Yellow should be used. In cases when a lighter green is needed, 347 Green can be used. For details on proper use of the colors in specific contexts, please contact Print Services at (978) 665-3394.
  • Stationery with the university logo and address is available. For reasons of consistency and cost, all departments should use official university letterhead, business cards, and envelopes. Personalized stationery will be printed if departmental funds are used.
  • The use of other symbols and logos by campus departments and organizations is not allowed, particularly on publications intended for external audiences. Departments and programs can get an official departmental logo by request from Print Services.
  • The use of a variety of typefaces in a single piece often diminishes the impact. All uppercase and large amounts of bold type should be used sparingly.
  • For written copy, many typefaces are available for use. However, it is recommended that one typeface family be selected for headings and one for body text. The official fonts used for external pieces are Penumbra, Californian, and Candara. Helvetica is also used on the university's forms. Logo artwork uses Penumbra, which we have limited licenses for, so artwork using the logo font must be arranged through Print Services,
  • Clear, lively writing and careful proofreading are perhaps the most important elements of a successful publication.
  • Sample designs and assistance in implementing them is available from Print Services. In general, simple designs tend to be the most effective. Clip art and borders are often at odds with strong visual presentation.
  • In order to present a consistent look and feel, administrative websites must make use of the university's template system. The colors used on the university website logo are (00, 56, 3f) and (e9, af, 2f).

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General Social Media Guidelines

Fitchburg State University supports the ongoing development of an effective social media program that maximizes user engagement.

Academic and administrative departments, as well as individuals, are encouraged to use social media as a means to promote campus activities and achievements. However, it is important that participants be aware of the laws, liabilities, and guidelines associated with such platforms.

These guidelines apply to students, faculty, and staff who make use of social media for work-related purposes and should be followed in addition to the Fitchburg State Acceptable Use of Technology.

Social media websites also have their own terms and conditions that users must follow in order to use the sites. Please take the time to read, understand, and follow those rules as well.

As social media channels continue to evolve, these guidelines will evolve as well. All Fitchburg State faculty, staff, and students will be notified when these updates are made and this document will be modified accordingly.

Basic Responsibilities of Social Media Administrators

  • There must be at least two administrators for each social media page/group. The primary purpose of this request is to ensure there is another administrator that can control the account if you leave the university. We have found quite a few “abandoned pages” associated with Fitchburg State that by the very nature of not being kept up look poorly upon the institution.
  • If you have already created a social media page or group for Fitchburg State University and have not yet contacted the Digital Content Manager about this site, please do so. Please include the URL for the page as well as the names and email addresses of the administrators.
  • If you would like to create a new social media page or group, please contact the Digital Content Manager with the name of your organization/department and the names and email addresses of all administrators for the page. Please do not create the page until you receive an email back approving your request.
  • If you’re going to edit the name of your social media account, add additional administrators, or close your account, please notify the Digital Content Manager so we can update our files and the listing on the social media directory of the Fitchburg State website.

Content Considerations

  • Content should be posted with the understanding that it may be redistributed through the Internet and other media channels and be viewed by the general public. Even if deleted or modified, older versions may continue to exist online. Posts should be focused on furthering the university's mission: education, teaching, and service, and/student recruitment.
  • When redistributing information, be aware that copyrighted information may be protected. In addition, legal issues can arise from posting inappropriate or unauthorized content.
  • To reduce the need for updating, it may be best that social media platforms not be used to post detailed policy or procedural information. Rather, users should be directed to official university websites, electronic resources or publications for such information.
  • Content should be written in a respectful manner, and should not be combative, demeaning, or otherwise negative.
  • Do not post content that depicts injury, violence, or contains comments that might be considered racist, bigoted, or demeaning.

Protecting Confidential Information

At no time is it acceptable to:

  • Post confidential or proprietary information about Fitchburg State or its students, employees, or alumni. Employees must follow the applicable federal requirements outlined in FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), as well as NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) regulations. Employees who share confidential information without appropriate authorization do so at the risk of disciplinary action or termination.
  • Include personally identifiable information that can be used to locate any individual without that person's written permission. This includes an individual's screen name, personal photo, hobbies, identification numbers— such as Social Security numbers or student ID's—addresses and phone numbers (other than an authorized business address or business phone number).
  • Upload, post, transmit, share, or store any private information of any affiliated or unaffiliated third party, including addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, Social Security numbers, and credit card numbers.
  • Use social media platforms to collect personal information of users, as most sites' terms and conditions, as well as state and federal law, impose significant requirements and restrictions on the collection of personal information of users. In the case of minors, significant additional penalties can apply to violations.
  • Post content that could create a security risk for the account holder or the university. Examples include but are not limited to images of restricted access research areas and information technology facilities.

Moderating Comments

University social media efforts should encourage fans, followers, and friends to share their thoughts with one another by commenting on stories, videos, links, posts, etc. within the following guidelines:

  • Comments must be relevant to a topic discussed and to the point.
  • Comments should be constructive and absent of expletives, obscenity, and vulgarity.
  • Posts that are off-topic, abusive, contain profanity, are threatening in tone or devolve into personal attacks will be deleted immediately.
  • Posts with links that are determined to be spam or sales and advertising should be removed immediately.
  • Account administrators reserve the right to review all comments and posted materials and remove such materials for any reason.

Accounts must be monitored and updated on an ongoing basis by the social media administrators that create the account to enable rapid response to any problems that may arise. This also ensures an engaging, interesting environment for visitors.

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Social Media Branding

In an effort to make our social media presence more uniform, we have developed some easy-to-follow guidelines to support the overall Fitchburg State branding while allowing each department and organization enough flexibility to express its unique identity.

Facebook

Profile Photo

Our print design team has developed the following logos for us to use as our profile image on our Fitchburg State Facebook pages. Many institutions have gone through a similar process to maintain branding across the various social media channels. Below are the logos you should upload as your profile image.

Note: We understand that some organizations have a logo they have been using for their social media profiles. Some of these logos work well on these platforms, others do not. We ask that you use the following suggested logos for your profile image. If you feel your organization's logo is really part of your "brand," you may submit it to the Digital Content Manager for review. If approved, you may upload it to your profile. If denied, you'll be asked to work with the Digital Marketing Manager to refine your logo or use the appropriate logo as displayed below.

You should not have to resize these images. They have already been optimized to meet Facebook's Profile image requirement.

Administrative, Academic, Campus Services, and Volunteer Organizations

Student Organizations

Athletics, Recreation, Sports Teams, Cheerleading

If you’re uncertain which logo you should use, please contact the Digital Content Manager.

Changing your Facebook profile photo:

  1. Right click the appropriate logo above, choose Save Image as, select your Desktop, and click the Save button.
  2. Sign into your Facebook Account
  3. Mouse over your profile picture at the top of your Facebook Page
  4. Click on Edit Profile Picture
  5. Choose Upload Photo
  6. Locate the logo you saved to your desktop and click Open (PC) or Choose (MAC)
  7. The new logo should appear in the Profile box on your Facebook Page

Cover Photo

Here’s your opportunity to make your Facebook Page unique to your department/organization. Our only request is that you upload a high-resolution photo that positively represents your organization or Fitchburg State University. Suggestion: a nice photo capturing the people or an event your organization participated in is a great way to do this.

Keep in mind Facebook has its own set of cover photo guidelines you should also read before uploading.

Please do not upload a graphic you created or clip art you found on the Internet. It may reflect poorly on your department or organization if it is not done professionally.

If you need help taking or locating a photo that is appropriate, please contact the Digital Content Manager.

How to add a cover photo if you don’t already have one:

  1. Take or find a photo that represents your organization and save it to your desktop as a .jpg file at the size Facebook recommends in their cover photo guidelines.
  2. Sign into your Facebook Account
  3. Click
  4. Choose Upload Photo
  5. Locate the photo you saved to your desktop and click Open (PC) or Choose (MAC)
  6. Once you place the photo, you can reposition it by clicking on the image and dragging it up or down
  7. Click Save

How to change your Facebook cover photo:

  1. Take or find a photo that represents your organization and save it to your desktop as a .jpg file at the size Facebook recommends in their cover photo guidelines.
  2. Sign into your Facebook Account
  3. Mouse over your cover photo at the top of your Facebook Page
  4. Click on Change Cover
  5. Choose Upload Photo
  6. Locate the photo you saved to your desktop and click Open (PC) or Choose (MAC)
  7. The new photo should appear on your Facebook Page

Basic Information

To make the most of your Facebook Page, we recommend you review the information you included under the Basic Information section of your Page to make sure it is updated and best describes your department / organization. We did not include all of the fields Facebook lists in the information below—only the ones we think you should pay particular attention to.

How to edit your Basic Information on Facebook:

  1. Sign into your Facebook Account
  2. Go to the top of your Page and click on Edit Page and then Update Page Info.
  3. Fill in the fields as outlined below and update any out of date information.
  4. When finished, click Save Changes.

Category - When you created your Page, you were asked to choose a category for your Page. You probably chose Companies & Organizations, which you should now see on your Basic Information page under Category. You might have also chosen University. If that’s not the case, you have the opportunity to choose those categories now.

Place Sub-categories - For our main Fitchburg State University Page, we selected College & University as our sub-category. You might want to do the same. This will appear as a link in the box below your profile photo.

Address - 160 Pearl St.

Town - Fitchburg, MA

Zip Code - 01420

Short Description - This is an opportunity to market your organization and is the text seen in the box below your profile photo and above the About link. The box only shows about 150 characters so make sure you summarize who you are as succinctly as possible. You can include a longer description in the next few sections.

Company Overview, Description, General Information - Here you can get into more detail about your organization. It’s what people will see if they click on the About link on your Facebook page. Include anything you think will help people understand who you are and why they should “Like” and follow your page.

Phone & Email - Complete these fields only if you really want people to contact you this way. Remember, if your Page is public, this information will be, too.

Website - If you have a page on the Fitchburg State website, I would include that URL here. If you don’t have a page, you can include a link to our main website at http://www.fitchburgstate.edu.

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Twitter

Profile Photo

You can use the same logo below for both Facebook and Twitter. If you have already saved one of these logos to your desktop when updating your Facebook Page, skip down to “How to upload your Twitter profile photo.” If you only have a Twitter account, locate the appropriate logo below to use as your new profile photo.

Note: We understand that some organizations have a logo they have been using for their social media profiles. Some of these logos work well on these platforms, others do not. We ask that you use the following suggested logos for your profile image. If you feel your organization's logo is really part of your "brand," you may submit it to the Digital Content Manager for review. If approved, you may upload it to your profile. If denied, you'll be asked to work with the Digital Marketing Manager to refine your logo or use the appropriate logo as displayed below.

You should not have to resize these images. Twitter's guidelines state that the image should be 400 x 400 pixels, and these images scale accordingly when placed. 

Administrative, Academic, Campus Services, and Volunteer Organizations

Student Organizations

Athletics, Recreation, Sports Teams, Cheerleading

If you’re uncertain which logo you should use, please contact the Digital Content Manager.

How to upload your Twitter profile photo:

  1. Right click the appropriate logo above, choose Save Image as, select your Desktop, and click the Save button.
  2. Sign in to your Twitter account.
  3. Click the gear icon in the top navigation bar and select Edit profile.
  4. If it’s not already selected, choose Profile in the left column.
  5. Click the Change photo button next to your photo. Click Choose existing photo.
  6. Locate the logo you saved to your desktop and click Open (PC) or Choose (MAC)
  7. After selecting the file, click Save changes.
  8. You will see a notification that your image has been successfully published to your profile.

Header Photo
We ask that you use a photo that best represents your group or organization and it should be high-resolution. If you have a Facebook Page, you might want to use the same photo for continuity. 

Twitter recommends 1500×500 pixels but to make sure it looks good on large monitors, we suggest uploading a 3000 x 1000 pixel photo that is no larger than 5MB.

How do I upload a header photo?

  1. Sign in to your Twitter account.
  2. Click the gear icon in the top navigation bar and select Edit profile.
  3. If it’s not already selected, choose Profile in the left column.
  4. Click on Change Header and then Upload Photo
  5. Click Save changes

Profile Header Copy
Unlike Facebook, you can make changes to your Twitter account name and username after you have opened your account.

Name - Your name is a personal identifier (sometimes a business name or real name) displayed in your profile page and used to identify you to friends and followers. In the graphic above our name is “Fitchburg State.”

We ask that you use “Fitchburg State” in your name (whenever possible) to let people quickly identify that they are on a Fitchburg State site. Also note that you can use spaces between the words. It does not need to appear as one word (i.e. FitchburgState).

However, your name can only be 20 characters long so we understand not every organization will be able to use “Fitchburg State” in their name.

In general, we do not support using “FSU” in the name because there are other universities with the same initials. However, we are making an exception when it comes to Twitter because of the limitations on character count. Only use this acronym if absolutely necessary.

Bio – The bio is your opportunity to let people know a little bit about your organization, what you represent, and why people should follow your page.

If you did not use “Fitchburg State” in your name, you should use it somewhere in your bio to let people know where your department or organization is from.

Location – Please put Fitchburg, MA as your location.

Website – If you have a specific URL you would like to link to on the Fitchburg State website for your department or organization, include it here. If you don’t have a specific page, please link to http://www.fitchburgstate.edu.

How do I update the name of my page, bio, website & location?

  1. Sign in to your Twitter account.
  2. Click the gear icon in the top navigation bar and select Edit profile.
  3. If it’s not already selected, choose Profile in the left column.
  4. Make the desired changes to your Name, Location, Website, Bio
  5. Click Save changes. You're all set!

Username or Twitter handle
If you’d like to change your username because it’s not exactly what you wanted when you opened your account or isn’t representative of your Fitchburg State department or organization … you can! (Provided nobody else snatched up the name you want along the way.)

Username - Your username appears in your profile URL and is unique to you. It's used for logging in, @replies, and direct messages. Your username can contain up to 15 characters. In the above example, our username is “Fitchburg_State.”

NOTE: Changing your username will not affect your existing followers, direct messages, or @replies. Your followers will simply see a new username next to your profile photo when you update. We suggest you alert your followers before you change your username so they can direct @replies or direct messages to your new username.

Please note that if you change your username, you will use the new username (or your email) to login to your Twitter account going forward.

How do I change my username?

  1. Sign in to your Twitter account.
  2. Click the gear icon in the top navigation bar and select Settings.
  3. If it’s not already selected, choose Account in the left column.
  4. Type in the Username you would like to use in the top box. If the username is taken, you'll be prompted to choose another one.
  5. Click Save changes at the bottom of the page.

Twitter Background
As of April, 2014 Twitter will no longer be using background images on your profile. If you haven't yet updated your profile to accept these changes, please follow the directions below. Otherwise, you can skip this section.

How do I change my Twitter background & theme color?

  1. Right click the background image above, choose Save Image as, select your Desktop, and click the Save button.
  2. Sign in to your Twitter account.
  3. Click the gear icon in the top navigation bar and select Settings.
  4. Choose Design in the left column.
  5. Scroll down to the Customize your own section.
  6. Click on Change Background and then Choose existing image.
  7. Locate the Twitter background you saved to your desktop and click Open (PC) or Choose (MAC)
  8. Choose left for your Background position.
  9. Type in #1C540E for both the Background color and Theme color.
  10. Choose a white transparent overlay.
  11. Click Save changes.

Other Social Media Sites
At this time, we are only including guidelines for Facebook and Twitter pages. In the future, we will notify you when we have added guidelines for any additional social media sites and include that information here.

Questions?
If you have any questions about these Social Media Guidelines, please contact the Digital Content Manager.

* Portions of the document were adapted from Facebook and Twitter’s online Help Centers.

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