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Overview of The Brand Guidelines

The following guideline provides an overview of updates to the CU Boulder web brand identity standards. The new web identity standards for CU Boulder are part of an overarching refresh to CU system brand standards for each campus. It is important to note:

  • The update to the web identity standards in no way affects the use of print-specific, unit-based campus logos used for printed materials and communications.
  • All print-based brand standards remain and can be reviewed on the Brand website.

The web brand identity standards must be used on all official university websites. These include the following types of sites/organizations:

  • CU Boulder colleges and schools
  • Campus departments, units, labs
  • Campus-recognized affiliates conducting official university business
  • CU Boulder faculty research and/or professional websites
  • Officially sanctioned CU Boulder student groups who want to use the CU Boulder brand (student groups approved by the Center for Student Involvement).

The CU Boulder web brand identity may not be used on personal websites.

Outline of the Web Brand Identity Standards

The web brand identity standards comprise four key areas:

  • Header elements
  • Footer elements
  • Web font
  • Color palette 

The following provides more details of each:

Elements of the Updated Web Brand Header

  • Campus header: This is where the interlocking CU logo will display alongside the campus-specific wordmark.
  • Site name header: This is where your site name will display along with the affiliated major unit the site falls under (e.g., College of Arts and Sciences). The following shows an example:

Campus Header, Site Name and Major Unit

About the Affiliated Major Units

A new element of the brand web header is the inclusion of the website’s affiliation to a CU Boulder major unit organization. Affiliated major units will be applied to the following types of websites:

  • Department/unit (academic, program, certificate, residential)
  • Academic support
  • Faculty (professional)
  • Research group/lab
  • Support services
  • Center
  • Institute
  • Service/resource/support department
  • Events (college/department specific)
  • Museum
  • Publication
  • Official student groups
  • Official club sports

The following is the list of what is considered a CU Boulder major unit. Major units will not have a senior executive level affiliation applied to their site:

  • Chancellor (executive level)
    • Advancement (major unit)
  • Academic Affairs (senior executive level—Russ Moore)
    • Colleges
      • Arts & Sciences, College of (major unit)
      • Engineering & Applied Science, College of (major unit)
      • Media, Communication and Information, College of (major unit)
      • Music, College of (major unit)
    • Schools
      • Business, Leeds School of (major unit)
      • Education, School of (major unit)
      • Law, School of  (major unit)
      • Graduate School (major unit)
    • Academic Support Units
      • Continuing Education, Division of (major unit)
      • University Libraries (major unit) 
    • Academic Resource Management (major unit)
    • Academic Planning & Assessment (major unit)
    • Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement (ODECE) (major unit)
    • Faculty Affairs (major unit)
    • Research & Innovation (major unit)
    • Strategic Initiatives (major unit)
    • Student Affairs (major unit)
    • Undergraduate Education (major unit)
  • Strategic Resources and Support (senior executive level—Kelly Fox)
    • Enrollment Management (major unit)
    • Finance & Business Strategy (major unit)
    • Human Resources (major unit)
    • Information Technology (major unit)
    • Infrastructure & Sustainability (major unit)
    • Institutional Equity and Compliance (major unit)
    • Integrity, Safety & Compliance (major unit)
    • Strategic Relations and Communications (major unit)

Elements of the Web Brand Footer 

  • Link to your unit contact page, email address, phone number and/or address
  • Be Boulder image
  • University name: University of Colorado Boulder
  • Copyright statement: © Regents of the University of Colorado
  • Privacy and trademark links: Legal & Trademarks | Privacy

Footer elements

Brand Font

The official brand font is Helvetica Neue. 

Only the campus-supported Web Express platform has a web font license to use Helvetica Neue on all sites under colorado.edu. Subdomain sites can purchase their own web font license of Helvetica Neue or use the secondary (free) font.

The secondary approved brand web font is Roboto (website use only).

Subdomain sites are encourage, but not required, to implement Roboto for their web font. Roboto is a free font maintained by Google and you can add the font to your site with the code below:

<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto:400,700|Roboto+Condensed:700" rel="stylesheet"> 

Brand Colors

As part of the web brand identity standards, we have outlined a suite of approved web colors. An important part of the color selection was the proper color contrast for accessibility and general readability. The combination of background, text and link colors have all been thoroughly tested and are in compliance with color contrast requirements outlined in our accessibility policy. It is important to follow the color guidelines exactly as they are outlined to meet the required color contrast.

Details of these colors can be found on the CU Boulder web style guide.


Units or organizations that have previously been eligible for co-branding exemptions are not exempt from following the above guidelines. These units are encouraged to use their logos in other ways on the site.

Other Considerations

Portals/Web Applications

Web applications, such as the campus portals, may add additional navigation or interactive elements to the local header to take advantage of design systems such as Google’s Material Design and create a cleaner user interface.

Examples of additional elements include hamburger menus, search, notifications and user account information.

We encourage you to reach out to the CU Boulder Brand team if you are implementing a campus web application.

Third-party Web Applications

In most cases, units that need to use a third-party web application for student-facing transactions must comply with brand standards. We recognize that most third-party applications have limitations on how to apply brand. TO

  • Option one (preferred): Work with the third-party vendor to comply with guidelines as stated.
  • Option two: If the third-party platform isn’t capable of following the guidelines as stated, you should reach out to the CU Boulder Brand team to help determine alternative solutions.

Note: In addition to complying with the guidelines above, all websites and web applications should clearly describe the name of the site/application and its purpose, following web content and search engine optimization best practices.

Procurement of third-party platforms is subject to brand review (including naming) to ensure compliance and a cohesive overall user experience across university sites and web-based applications.