Visual Identity

The guidelines for the University’s visual identity marks allow flexibility while still providing a unifying look and feel that can be consistently applied in all University communications and marketing.

The purpose of a strong visual identity system is to project  a consistent, high-quality image of the University. The design approach taken for most top-level materials reflects our brand personality—authentic, friendly, and a little quirky. We use primarily authentic (candid, not staged) photography to show off our community and campus, and we prefer flexibility in design over cookie-cutter templates.

The following guidelines for the University’s visual identity marks are intended to allow flexibility while still providing a unifying look and feel that can be consistently applied in all University communications and marketing.

Wordmark and Graphics

Marketing & Communications must approve the use of any HSU logos and wordmarks that are printed on clothing or giveaways such as (but not limited to) water bottles, mugs, and pens to ensure appropriate use and consistency with brand standards. Contact Kristen Gould at or (707) 826-4177 for approval before you place an order.

The horizontal wordmark is HSU's primary identity and should be the most consistent visual component in communications. There are additional graphic elements that can be used in conjunction with it. The typeface used in the wordmark is a customized version of a “half-serif” font that was chosen for its blending of contemporary and traditional qualities.

HSU's wordmark does not have to be green and gray. It can be assigned colors that fit the color scheme of your publication or website. However, it should always be used with the emphasis on “Humboldt” versus “State University.”

The stacked wordmark is intended for spaces that don't fit the horizontal wordmark well. The same color usage applies.

HSU's Spirit H Monogram is a secondary identity mark. It is not meant to stand on its own. The horizontal or stacked wordmark should always be present as the primary identity. However, the Spirit H can be used as an alternative to using the wordmark multiple times in the same publication.

Do not stretch or condense the wordmark or other graphics. HSU's wordmarks and graphics should be enlarged or reduced proportionally.

Example of Stretched Wordmark

Do not display the wordmark at an angle. The wordmarks are meant to be displayed horizontally only.

Example of wordmark at an angle

Do not put the wordmark in a box. Don't add boxes or other graphic elements that have the effect of changing the wordmark.

Example of wordmark in a box

Do not use a substitute font. You should always use the wordmarks supplied by Marketing & Communications — don’t try to replicate or recreate them. HSU's wordmarks are intended to be unique identifiers for Humboldt State University. Typefaces that match or closely resemble these marks diminishes the brand's impact. Any type accompanying the wordmark should be set in a font that compliments the wordmark but does not attempt to match it.

Example of wordmark with substitute font

Do not add any graphic elements to the wordmark. The wordmark should stand alone as HSU's identity. No graphic elements should be added to the wordmark or placed in such a way as to create a new or different identity.

Example of wordmark with added graphic

Do not separate the elements of the wordmark to use them individually, or try to recreate the wordmark font.

Example of Humboldt separated from rest of wordmark

Other Campus logos

University Seal

University Seal

The University Seal is not intended to be used as an identifying mark for most publications, websites, or other materials. The seal is intended for very formal uses or to imply specific endorsement of the University President’s Office. Its use must be approved by the Office of the President or Marketing & Communications. The Seal is used on official University documents, executive stationery, and for select campus-wide events such as Commencement. Please contact Marketing & Communications if you’re considering using the University Seal. 

Informal Seal

Informal Seal Example

The informal seal can be used on publications in place of the wordmark as long as the words are readable. Use this logo with a minimum diameter of .75”.

Official Colors

Green: Pantone 349 C

Color values:

RGB 4 106 56
CMYK 90 12 95 40

Gold: Pantone 123 C

Color values:

RGB 255 199 44
CMYK 0 19 89 0

Get all HSU Wordmarks & Logos

Download All Marks

Usage Guidelines