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University releases detailed visual identity guidelines

by Jeanne Baron

April 21, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU Visual Identity publication.
Publication available at
KALAMAZOO--An expansive and detailed set of identity guidelines for use in representing Western Michigan University visually has recently been released by the Office of University Relations and is now available for campuswide use.

In development over a two-year period, the guidelines reflect the input of marketing and communication professionals across the campus. They are designed to help WMU personnel produce print materials with a consistent and professional look and feel.

The new guidelines, which replace a set of minimal guidelines in place since 1997, were reviewed earlier this semester by the University's Senior Leadership Team and Provost's Council.

A detailed 40-page publication explaining the guidelines is available at as a PDF document. That university relations website also will serve as a location for posting PowerPoint templates and a range of other templates as they are developed.

"The basic elements of the guidelines draw heavily on our great traditions," notes President John M. Dunn in an introduction to the newly released WMU Visual Identity Program publication.

"Our treasured seal and signature combination has been updated and will continue to represent WMU for formal use. In addition, we have assigned a new role for a very old mark--the 'W,' which has been a part of our history for nearly 100 years. That mark will now be the choice for daily and less formal uses."

WMU Visual Identity Program outlines when and how units should use the "W" and the University seal and signature as well as which versions of these types of marks have been discontinued.

In addition, a set of 10 frequently asked questions is included to convey information about how units can transition to the new guidelines and address concerns about specific needs.

It also presents an updated set of primary, secondary and metallic color palettes as well as suggested accent colors and information about how to use them. Also covered are typography, stationery and business-card design, electronic letterhead, use of background textures and development of promotional marks for individual University units.

Available artwork and backgrounds shown in the publication may be obtained electronically by contacting David H. Smith, director of graphics and design, at or (269) 387-8433.