Graphic Style

Maintaining consistency in our design style gives significantly more power to our marketing efforts. Why? Because if we invest in marketing one aspect of WCU but it looks and feels nothing like our marketing effort for another part of the university, those two parts have to stand on their own effort. If the two look and feel similar, each benefit from the added brand visibility that the other offers. You've heard it before: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. At the same time, we recognize that the diversity of our programs, offerings and audiences demands flexibility in our style.

We offer both consistency and flexibility through design elements that can be customized to fit the needs of the particular piece:

All about the Angle

many print pieces spread out on a table

 

Our primary design element is the moving angle, and we bring that to life in a few different ways. For every use, the angle is intended to support our brand personality: it carries with it a sense of direction and purpose while giving a subtle nod to our mountain location. 

honors ad with a purple anchor element

 

Anchor

Our most common use of the angle is as an anchor or footer used on pieces from vertical banners and brochures to print ads and fliers. The anchor most often consists of two asymmetrical layered angles with varied transparency. They provide a home for copy content as well as a natural space for the Western Carolina logo.

The angles are most often purple but can appear in a secondary color or in white. Avoid mixing two colors together.


Construction management ad with a purple call-out element

 

Call-outs

An angled call-out bar can be used to highlight important aspects of your messaging. The bar is almost always angled left-to-right, showing forward movement. 

The call-out bar is not usually used in conjunction with the anchor, but instead provides a nod to the angle on smaller format items such as digital advertising and when a photo bleeding to all edges is preferred.


sport management print ad

 

Identity Tabs

A purple angled shape is sometimes used at the bottom or top of a flier, advertisement, poster, or booklet cover to house the university logo, a signature mark, a url or primary contact information. 

In the example provided here, the identity tab provides a natural home for our brand color and logo as well as the program website.


Please Do Not

Do not use more than one color when working with overlapping angles.

Do not use more than one color when working with overlapping angles.

Do not use the angles with a screen or transparency less than 50%.

Do not use purple angles with a screen or opacity less than 50%.

Do not use multiple separated angles on an individual piece. Keep shapes in an overlapping group or use a single angle.

Do not use multiple separated angles on an individual piece. Keep shapes in an overlapping group or use a single angle.

When using “call-outs” keep their angles parallel and the space between them even.

When using “call-outs” keep their angles parallel and the space between them even.


Purple Overlay

Admissions booklet showing purple overlay

 

On interior pages of collateral, feature areas on a web page, and more, we often use a simple transparent purple box to house text or graphics overlaid on top of photography. The use of the box is as much about the photo behind it and the text inside it as it is about the box itself. The simplicity of the overlay puts the focus on the image, which shows off our campus community, while providing a home for text. 

How to Use It

Here are a few important notes for designers on using the overlay:

  1. The photo and its context should always take first priority. Don't place an overlay on top of the photo's primary focus. Use open space in the photo landscape to house the overlay.
  2. The overlay should in most cases be transparent with a recommended opacity of 70-90 percent.
  3. The overlay can house body text, call-out information and graphics. It should be used less often for headlines and secondary photos. It should never be used for the WCU logo alone. Use the angled identity tab for the logo instead.
  4. If a piece is using tertiary colors (see more about these on our color page), the overlay may utilize those colors. Otherwise, purple is preferred as our WCU gold with purple text is more difficult to read. 
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