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  • High-fives: A quick look at 3 on-brand social graphics

    In my first weeks as a designer on the SMB team, I’ve spent a lot of time digging into the design section of our brand guidelines site. I’ve also enjoyed looking for examples of how campus units are using design aspects of the brand. Here are a few recent Twitter graphics that have done a […]
  • Calling all U of I designers!

    When I joined the SMB team in April as a Strategic Design Specialist, I was not only new to the team, I was new to the U of I. As I’ve been able to meet some other designers, I discovered that there really isn’t a design community on campus that meets regularly to share ideas […]
  • On-brand Webtools skins are here

    You may have seen an email about a week ago from Web Services, announcing the release of two new Webtools skins that incorporate our campus-wide brand standards. Take a look at the basic instructions for the skin here, and feel free to reach out to Web Services if you have any questions or issues using […]
  • Communicating unit identity without a wordmark

    Whether or not you have a wordmark, the new brand standards encourage everyone, when possible, to buck the formality of wordmark in favor of a clear, more flexible layout that allows you to communicate more about your unit than its name. Here are some ways you can leverage a combination of on-brand design and messaging […]
  • Design templates make it easy to stay on-brand

    Implementing a new brand during a pandemic might not have been on the top of your to-do list for 2020, but we’re trying to make it as easy as possible! Maybe you’ve already downloaded the new university logos, fonts and are using the new and improved color palette (if not, that’s a great place to […]
  • Why standardizing iconography matters

    Certain icons and symbols are universally recognizable. For instance, a red octagon is understood by drivers as “stop” even before the four white letters on the sign are legible. Before road signs were standardized, a cross-country trip could see drivers encountering roads marked with a plethora of unique symbols, all trying to communicate the same […]
  • Making the most of the flexibility in the brand

    Two important goals we needed to accomplish while creating the U of I brand was for it to be unified, yet flexible. It’s important that we’re unified when we need to be – that’s the whole point of establishing a university-wide brand – but we also understand that we need to allow for design flexibility for […]
  • Creating on-brand design in three easy steps

    Since releasing the campus-wide brand standards in July, our team has been working hard to improve and expand the guidance and resources available through our website. We know there are still some areas that could use additional clarity. I want to take a minute to share how designers can apply our current standards to create […]
  • Unified

    I’m not a huge sports fan, but when the Oakland A’s go out onto the field, I’m pretty sure they all have the same embroidered A on their uniforms. It’s not just “similar” or roughly the same. They didn’t pick up the thread from different places. The third baseman doesn’t have particular font preferences. The […]
  • Pairing our brand fonts to create contrast and emphasis

    There are many pros to having a flexible brand with five typefaces to choose from – especially if you’re a trained designer. For others, it might be intimidating to know which typefaces to use when and where, and how they can best work together. I’ll provide some basic guidelines in this post. Before I get […]