DePaul University Brand > Brand Standards > Guidelines

Guidelines

Email

​​​​​The Email Style Guide is a compilation of industry research, the DePaul Editorial Style Guide and internal findings. It has been created to help improve your communications and streamline the use of email to make it an even more efficient vehicle. It is not a set of rules that must be strictly adhered to; rather, it is a list of best practices and guidelines that, if implemented, should make our use of email more effective.

 

Download the Email Style Guide​​​

Photography

​​​​​Usage Rights

Photographers always retain copyright of the photographs they take. When hiring a photographer, it’s important to ensure you negotiate the correct usage rights. DePaul’s Office of the General Counsel has a university photography service agreement that should be used when contracting with a photographer.


Download DePaul’s Office of the General Counsel’s Photography Service Agreement​


Photo & Quote Releases

Subjects must sign a release form before they provide quotes or are photographed for a project. This release gives DePaul permission to use the photo and comments in any university communication vehicle or any outside medium used to represent DePaul. It acknowledges that the signatory understands that the information may be published and shown in public, and that there will be no compensation provided for its use.

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Download DePaul’s Office of the General Counsel’s Photo Release Forms​​

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Download DePaul’s Office of the General Counsel’s Quote Release Forms​

Signage

​​​​​Exterior Signage

All permanent university signage is authorized and determined by the Office of Facility Operations. The design generally consists of the logo and signature, the building name and address. The typeface used for building name and address is Garamond in small caps.

 

Interior Signage​​

University offices sometimes need to produce interior signage. For college offices and departments, the required typeface is Garamond in small caps.


For authorized configurations, contact the manager of Facility Operations​ or the AVP for University Marketing ​Communications​​.​

Social Media

You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr to share information and build communities around common interests. DePaul University supports your participation in these online communities.  Please review our general recommendations for best practices in social media.

If you plan to use these channels on behalf of DePaul, please contact Marketing Communications and ask to be added to DePaul’s Social Media Working Group. You’ll have access to the group’s resource site, where you can find additional guidelines, tools and resources to help you use these tools effectively and follow university policies.

 

General Recommendations

 

Success in social media depends on several factors:

  • Understanding that social channels are conversations, not bullhorns
  • Being civil, honest, ethical and responsive
  • Remembering that nothing is private on the Web

 

Best Practices

 

Listen. Spend time listening before you start posting. What issues are on the minds of the people you want to reach? How do they feel about your area? What do they like: Polls? Funny photos? The better you understand your audience, the more likely you are to post content that they will want to comment on or share.

 

Talk. Social media are unique because it’s the interaction–comments, likes, retweets–that makes the content valuable. Be conversational, ask questions, thank people, comment on other people’s posts. Your participation makes you valuable.

 

Be accurate. Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It's better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction later. If you see a question or complaint online, it’s fine to say that you’re getting more information and will reply shortly. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible; after all, that's how you build community.

 

If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly. This will earn you respect in the online community.

 

Be aware of your impact. Social media often span traditional boundaries between professional and personal relationships. If you’ve ever identified yourself as part of the DePaul community online, readers will associate you with the university, even if you are posting from your own account. Use privacy settings to restrict personal information on otherwise public sites. Choose profile photos and avatars carefully. Be thoughtful about the type of photos you upload.

 

Be calm. If you feel angry or passionate about a subject, don’t post until you calm down. Even if your settings are “private,” posts and comments can be found, copied and forwarded. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post. If you wouldn’t say it publicly, don’t say it online.

 

Be valued. Don't post information about topics like DePaul events or a book you've authored unless you are sure it will be of interest to people who belong to that group. Self-promoting behavior is viewed negatively and can lead to you being banned.

 


Safe Practices

 

Be yourself. Be honest about your identity. If you’re authorized by your supervisor to represent DePaul, say so. Never hide your identity or create a false identity for the purpose of promoting DePaul. It's both unethical and prohibited by the Acceptable Use Policy.

 

If you post about DePaul on your personal time, identify yourself as a DePaul faculty or staff member. Say that you’re sharing your views as a member of the higher education community, not as a formal representative of the university. Use a disclaimer on your site or profile similar to this: "The views expressed here are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of DePaul University."

 

If you blog or write online reviews, the Federal Trade Commission requires you to reveal if you have been compensated in any way–monetarily or in kind, such as a free copy of a book, dinner, or a complimentary admission–or have a relationship to a company, product or service you review.

 

Be respectful. You are more likely to achieve your goals or sway others to your beliefs if you are constructive and respectful while discussing a bad experience or disagreeing with a concept or person. It’s Vincentian.

 

And, of course, the Acceptable Use Policy prohibits threats or harassment by using DePaul's computing resources to "transmit material or data that causes or encourages physical or intellectual abuse or that causes or encourages harassment, explicit or implied."

 

Maintain confidentiality. Don’t post confidential or proprietary information about DePaul, its students, its alumni or your fellow employees. Use good ethical judgment and follow university policies and federal requirements, such as FERPA, HIPPA and Health Information Security and Privacy. For a list of topics you should not discuss in any medium, refer to the Progressive Discipline Policy.

 

If you discuss a situation involving individuals on a social media site, be sure that they cannot be identified. As a guideline, don't post anything that you would not present at a conference.

 

Respect university time and property. As stated in the Acceptable Use Policy/Network Security​, university computers and your work time are to be used for university-related educational and business purposes. It's appropriate to post at work if your comments are directly related to accomplishing work goals, such as seeking sources for information or working with others to resolve a problem. Limited personal use of computing resources is acceptable as long as it doesn't violate any policies, but for the most part, you should maintain your personal sites on your own time using non-DePaul computers.

 

Be aware of liability. You’re legally liable for what you post on your own site and on the sites of others. Individual bloggers have been held liable for commentary deemed to be proprietary, copyrighted, defamatory, libelous or obscene (as defined by the courts). Employers are increasingly conducting Web searches on job candidates before extending offers. Be sure that what you post today will not come back to haunt you.

 

Obviously, using university computing resources to threaten or harass anyone is a violation of the Acceptable Use and the Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment policies, which "forbids any unlawful harassment which includes any behavior (verbal, written, or physical) that abuses, assails, intimidates, demeans or victimizes or has the effect of creating a hostile environment for any person based on protected characteristics (i.e. race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, parental status, family relationship status, physical or mental disability, military status). " Violating any university policy while using social media can trigger consequences under the Progressive Discipline Policy.

 

Follow a code of ethics. There are numerous codes of ethics for bloggers and other active participants in social media, all of which will help you participate responsibly in online communities. If you have your own social media site, you may wish to post your own code of ethics.

 

For examples, see:

http://forrester.typepad.com/charleneli/2004/11/blogging_policy.html

Video

It’s easy to create videos for the Web, but creating compelling video takes skill.

 

  •  Avoid talking heads; video is best for showing, not telling
  • Be brief; no longer than three minutes.
  • Be creative, but also be mindful of the university’s brand
  • Be sure you have good, clean sound

 

It’s important to comply with copyright and trademark law, university policies, and intellectual property and licensing considerations before creating and publishing your video. Here are the steps to follow. We encourage you to contact University Marketing Communications and/or the Media, Production and Training department in Information Services for support as you develop your video.

 

Use of DePaul Name and Logo

If your video is produced on behalf of DePaul or one of its departments or units, it must contain the university name and Tree of Wisdom logo. You may include this in the closing credits. Please contact University Marketing Communications for an approved logo file.


  • To protect our copyright, DePaul’s logo and/or signature cannot be modified or animated in any way. If the logo fades in or out, the entire logo must fade together—the logo cannot be “built” out of pieces.
  • The logo can move up, down or across the view screen.
  • Don’t add a shadow or dimension to the logo or signature
  • Don’t tint the logo or signature
  • Don’t use different colors for part of the logo or for the logo and signature.
  • Don’t use the logo or signature as a watermark (screened back behind other elements).
  • Don’t use the logo to make a pattern.

 

Use of the Blue Demons athletic logos must be approved by the director of Sports Marketing in Athletics. Blue Demon logos should only be used in videos that directly pertain to DePaul’s athletic program. Athletic logos cannot be modified or animated in any way.

 

Individual students and student groups or organizations, with the exception of the Student Government Association, may not use DePaul’s logo, signature or athletic logos in videos. Official student organizations may use the words “DePaul University.” University Marketing Communications has created wordmarks that student groups may use in place of the official university logo.

 

As specified in the Endorsements Policy, groups of students who are not recognized as official organizations by Student Life may not use DePaul's name, logo, signature or any other university marks in videos.

 

Intellectual Property

Ownership of any videos created on behalf of or while employed by DePaul University would be determined by the Discovery and Copyright Policy.

 

Music Copyright

All music used in DePaul videos must comply with copyright.

 

If you plan to purchase music, there are many royalty free stock music options found on the Web.

 

When purchasing usage rights for music, be sure to purchase the rights for all the distribution channels you might logically use. For example, usage rights for a video that will be uploaded to YouTube will be broader than rights to a video distributed via DVD or confined to the depaul.edu domain. It’s generally more expensive to go back to the distributor to purchase additional rights or to re-edit your video than to purchase all the rights you will need in the initial negotiation.

 

Photo Copyright

All still photography used in DePaul videos must comply with copyright.

 

Per university policy, you must get permission on a per-project basis from the Division of Enrollment Management and Marketing (EM&M) to use images commissioned and purchased by EM&M. This includes but is not limited to EM&M images on DePaul's Web site, images in recruitment and other print materials created by or in conjunction with EM&M, and images in the photo archive (photo library) maintained by EM&M. To request permission, contact assistant director for Advertising.

 

Photo Releases

You must obtain a signed photo release for all students and non-employees appearing in your video; you may download a photo release form​​. Keep these releases on file.

 

University Policies

Videos developed for use at or by DePaul must comply with all university policies, including Copyright and Fair Use, Discovery and Copyright Policy, Trademark and Licensing, University Logos and Signature, Use of EM&M Marketing Photographs, Use of Intercollegiate Athletics Photographs, Endorsements Policy, Code of Conduct for Licensees, Software Licensing, Contract Requirements and Procedures, Information Security Policy, Access to and Responsible Use of Data Policy, and Acceptable Use Policy/Network Security. 

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Web Content

Web content is different from printed content - users scan pages more than read. Break information into small chunks. Use bullets. Highlight key phrases. More rules:

 

Keep it short

  • Use short sentences, simple words and short paragraphs
  • Try to have just one idea per paragraph
  • Use half the words you would in a brochure

 

Keep it simple

  • Write as though you were speaking
  • Cut welcoming text
  • Be clear; avoid jargon

 

Make it scannable

  • Put the most important information at the top of the page
  • Put the most important idea in the first sentence of your paragraph
  • Use bold text to emphasize key words and phrases
  • Use headlines, subheads and bulleted lists

 

Be accurate

  • Keep your content current
  • Check your facts
  • Spell-check and proofread your text

 

Use links wisely

  • Make your links short and descriptive so users know where they will lead
  • Don’t distract users with links that don’t enhance your message
  • Most links should lead to other pages in your site, not to another site

 

 More Web content guidelines can be found at usability.gov.

Writing

The DePaul Editorial Style Guide provides the preferred standards and definitions for expressions and constructions frequently found in DePaul publications. These guidelines, which are based upon the AP Stylebook, are intended to help writers and editors preparing copy for university publications resolve basic questions about style and help maintain consistency across DePaul publications. Please share them with outside vendors contracted to produce publications for DePaul to ensure consistency of style.

For all matters of spelling, style and usage, please consult references in the following order:

  1. DePaul University Editorial Style Guide
  2. The Associated Press Stylebook
  3. Webster’s New World College Dictionary, fifth edition
  4. The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition

This style guide is a living document, and entries are added or updated regularly by University Marketing Communications.


Editorial Style Guide »

Punctuation Guide »

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