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Communications & Marketing

Branding Guidelines

We're really proud of our brand and together we want to bring it to life in everything we do.

Our brand identity embodies and communicates all those attributes that characterise the unique positioning of DCU. The recent revision of our brand identity guidelines therefore represents an indispensable investment in DCU’s future, and like any investment it requires careful management to protect it and to allow it to grow in value.

These brand identity guidelines have been prepared to ensure that all elements of our corporate identity are used in a consistent, considered and effective manner.

All elements of this new brand identity have been approved by the DCU Executive, and are therefore the required format for use going forward by all schools, faculties, units, research centres and campus companies within the university.

Please note, the DCU Communications and Marketing Department should be contacted in the first instance when any further new initiatives are set up on campus, so that we can advise accordingly regarding the correct templates to be used for stationery, publications, web pages etc.

Introduction

From changes in higher education funding to evolving views on the role of higher education itself and the constant march of technology, whichever way you look at it, we live in a time of change. As a result many higher education institutions are re-examining their purpose, their brands and how to maintain their relevance.

As a dynamic and progressive institution, Dublin City University (DCU) has always been familiar with change too. We have never been a place of formulaic responses and we have always had a distinctive view on what defines a modern university education. In this context, it is more incumbent on us than ever before to be clear about our relevance and strengths, as well as to communicate them well.

It is with this backdrop that we have evolved our brand, to highlight our relevance and strengths, as well as to ensure that the exciting reality within DCU is reflected in all our communications. This is not a process we have undertaken lightly and we have consulted extensively within the University and beyond.

The results of this process influence how we message our strengths, how we write, as well as the design of our communications. The process has been thorough and the results are designed, with care and ongoing maintenance, to last us for some years to come. The results are not flippant but an honest reflection of who we are and in step with the degree of change within DCU.

These brand guidelines comprise a summary of the recommendations that have been developed, together with everything you need to adopt them. I commend the results to you and ask you to use them with the same degree of care it has taken to develop them.




Professor Brian MacCraith
President,
Dublin City University

Who we are

Our brand positioning and messaging

If we are to be successful in communicating our strengths, we need to be clear how and why we’re different, as well as our position versus our competitors (our brand positioning). We also need to tell the story around who we are, what we do and why people should choose us (our brand narrative). These are not theoretical, but also provide copy that can be used, or provide a framework where we need to tell our story.

Brand positioning

Brand positioning

Our brand positioning explains what defines our approach, why we’re different and what separates us from the competition. This is the shorthand statement that will – and should – be used most.

PURPOSEFULLY DIFFERENT, CONSISTENTLY EXCELLENT

Brand descriptor

Our brand descriptor explains our focus in ‘drier’ terms than the brand positioning. If a descriptor is required (rather than the brand positioning) then this is the one that should be predominantly used.

UNIVERSITY OF TRANSFORMATION AND ENTERPRISE

Brand descriptor variants

Our brand descriptor variants allow us to use elements of the core brand descriptor, if it’s necessary to change the focus for specific audiences.

UNIVERSITY OF TRANSFORMATION or UNIVERSITY OF ENTERPRISE


Our brand attributes for visual expression

Our brand attributes help guide the design of DCU branded material. The three attributes should be considered together to ensure the right visual balance. They bring our brand positioning and brand narrative to life visually and should inform part of every creative brief for all design work commissioned.

Considered
Quality and care in execution, no gratuitous visual or design elements, a clear point of focus and visual hierarchy within layouts.

Adaptable
Clear and flexible visual system, varied and eclectic but controlled, reflecting themes and trends but with cohesion and consistency.

Individual
Human and accessible, multi-faceted and revealing the hidden differences.


Our Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan has a number of cornerstones that have shaped key elements of our brand. Our brand elements are shaped to fit them and there is a resonance between them. ‘Our mission’ articulates ultimately, why we exist. ‘Our vision’ defines our ultimate aims. ‘Our culture’ captures what drives our behaviour. ‘Our commitment’ outlines our key fundamental beliefs.

OUR MISSION
To transform lives and societies through education, research, innovation and engagement.

OUR VISION
DCU will be a globally-significant University of Transformation and Enterprise that is renowned for:
— the development of talent,
— the discovery and translation of knowledge to advance society,
— its focus on creativity and innovation,
— the advancement and application of technology, and
— its commitment to sustainability.

OUR CULTURE AND VALUES
We foster a culture that is:
— Open
— Collegial
— Collaborative
— Student-focussed
— Ambitious

OUR COMMITMENT
We are committed to:
— Equality
— Educational opportunity
— Social justice
— Ethical behaviour
— Academic freedom

How we sound

Our brand attributes for tone of voice

Our brand attributes also help guide the tone of written content, to ensure our character comes through consistently in the written word. Naturally, these principles apply predominantly to marketing and communications, rather than academic writing.

Considered
— Quality and care in execution, though contemporary in tone
— Considered and accurate in grammar
— Punctuation and syntax

Adaptable
— Artfully modulated tone for different audience types
— Moving with ease from the expansive to the short and punchy, dependent on context
— For headlines and advertising, where and when appropriate, using juxtapositions to reflect the tone and content of the brand positioning

Individual
— Human, warm and empathetic in tone
— Emphasising outcomes and avoiding tentative language
— Talking directly to your audience, using first and second person, as well as relaxed modern English (using contractions and a style that would also be appropriate for the spoken word)

How we look - Visual characteristics

Visual characteristics

Our visual identity brings to life our brand positioning, Purposefully different, consistently excellent; and our brand attributes, considered, adaptable and individual.

Communications hierarchy

We have a wide range of audiences we communicate with, so it’s essential that our visual system has enough stretch to allow us to communicate to specific audiences in slightly different ways. We have defined two communications levels, where the same visual characteristics are used at both levels but colour is used differently.

Level 1
This level is used for the more businesslike, operational side of the University. It applies to our stationery, signage, vehicle livery, annual report, conferring materials, Strategic Plan, ‘corporate use’ PowerPoint template and any materials originating from The President’s Office. The following principles apply:
— Always use a Burnt Gold logo on a Slate Blue colour block
— Use the Level 1 colour palette of Slate Blue and Burnt Gold throughout

Level 1 - Visual Characteristics - DCU

Level 2
All other communications come under this level, including non-corporate use of the PowerPoint template. The following principles apply:
— Use the range of logos shown, with either a White or Slate Blue logo on the specific colour combination shown below
— Use the full colour palette
— Never use the colours, Slate Blue and Burnt Gold exclusively

Level 2 - Visual Characteristics - DCU

Note: Please contact the Marketing Department if you are unsure of which level to use.

Our logo

The DCU logo consists of three elements, the DCU acronym, the DCU symbol and both the Irish and English long hand name in a typographic lock-up. These elements together create the logo and must only be used in the configurations shown on the following page.

Logo artworks are available from the Marketing Department (see p161 of the full brand guidelines for details).

Logo Characteristics

How we look - Logo

Logo usage

Wherever possible our primary use logos are used throughout our communications. The secondary use logos should only be used when space is restricted and when the use of the stacked logo causes it to appear below the minimum size. We also have an International logo version, which does not include our name in Irish, for use by colleagues in the International Office, outside the Republic of Ireland only.

Primary Logo

Stacked Logo

Stacked Logo

Secondary Logos

Secondary Loogs

Usage Guidance
Primary logo - All primary communications
International logo - For use by the International Office outside the Republic of Ireland only
Horizontal logo - Restricted space, e.g. web banners (see p159 of the full brand guidelines)
Small use logo - Signage and restricted space e.g. pencil/favicon33

Logo colour

We have set ways to use our logo colours at both Level 1 and Level 2. At Level 1 our logo is always used in Burnt Gold on a Slate Blue background.At Level 2 our logo is either reversed out white on Flame Red, Charcoal, Sea Blue and Teal backgrounds or in Slate Blue on a Burnt Gold background. For colour references see p63-64 of the full brand guidelines.

Level 1

Level 2

Yellow DCU logo Logo  Red DCU Logo  Blue DCU logo  Teal DCU Logo  Cool Grey - DCU logo

Logo position

When placing the logo in your design ensure that it always sits on a vertical coloured block. The logo can be placed in any corner of the coloured block, making sure to consider the clear space guidance on p41-42 of the full brand guidelines.

Logo positioning guide - DCU

Logo examples

Logo sizing


There are two ways to consider logo sizing depending on the size of the coloured block it appears within.We have also defined some recommended sizes for when the logo sits on a wide vertical colour block or full bleed colour block. When the logo is placed on a narrow vertical colour block it should be adjusted to fit in the block as shown in the following examples.

Recommended logo sizes

Format (mm)Logo size (mm)
A3 297 x 42057
A4 210 x 29740
A5 148 x 21033
DL 210 x 9940
210 x 27040
DCU Size 1 190x27037
DCU Size 2 162x23034
DCU Size 3 134 x 190

31


Scenario 1 – Re-sizing the logo in a narrow colour block

Problem 1a
The logo is used at the recommended size for the format used, but appears unbalanced within the colour block it is positioned in.
Solution 1b
The logo size has been increased in accordance with the positioning guide on p21 of the full brand guidelines, so the logo now appears balanced within the colour block.

Logo sizing - example 1A

Scenario 2 – Wider colour block

Problem 2a
Re-sizing the logo as stipulated in scenario 1 would make the logo too large, creating an unbalanced layout.
Solution 2b
As the colour block used is at least the width of two logos (at the recommended size for the format), use the recommended logo size and position the logo to the left/right of the colour block.

Logo sizing - example 2A

Clear space and minimum size

Clear space is the area around the logo used to protect its legibility and avoid interference from other typographic and graphic elements. The clear space is defined by the size of the letter ‘D’ from the logo which is equal to 1x.The minimum size measurement helps to ensure the legibility of the logo. A small use logo (without the long hand names), is available for limited use when there is not enough space for the minimum size logo.A logo without the full name in Irish is available for use in international markets.

Minimum sizes

Minimum sizes for DCU logo

Clear space

Clear space of the logo - DCU

Logo blocks


Our logo always appears within a colour block, in set colour combinations as shown on p35-36 in the full guidelines. Across all of our communications, the layering of colour blocks are an integral part of the design. However, for some situations, such as on merchandise or for use by third parties, we have created logo block artworks. This ensures that colour combinations and the space around the logo are used correctly.

Level 1 / Level 2

Image blocks


What not to do

  1. Always make sure you’re using the correctly coloured logo version within the colour block (see p35-36 in the full brand guidelines for guidance)
  2. Never centre the logo within the colour block horizontally or vertically. Always make sure the logo is positioned in at least one corner of the colour block
  3. The logo should never be placed in a horizontal colour block
  4. The horizontal and small use logos should never be used when space is not restricted
  5. The logo should never be placed outside of a colour block
  6. Make sure that when layering colour blocks and imagery on a layout they never infringe upon the clear space of the logo

what not to do - dcu logo  what not to do - dcu logo  what not to do - dcu logo

what not to do - dcu logo  what not to do - dcu logo

How we look - Colour

Colour palette

Our colour palette helps to create a consistent impression and has been selected to reflect our brand. The choice of colours is considered and harmonious, but they can also be used to create different tonal impressions through the use of the multiply effect (p65-66). The palette is split into two to differentiate between the two levels in our hierarchy. Colours can be used to aid navigation, e.g. in the prospectus or on the website, but should not be used for colour coding e.g. faculties.

Black and White
Generic copy should either appear in 100% Black or White (if on a darker colour block). White can be used as a background colour.

Colour Selection

Level 1: Only use Slate Blue and Burnt Gold
Level 2: Use the full colour palette but never use Slate Blue and Burnt Gold exclusively. When creating a design, a maximum of 4 colours can be used at once (excluding black tints).

Multiplying

When colour blocks are overlaid with the multiply effect applied (in InDesign and Illustrator) new colours are created which adds further visual depth and dynamism to a design. To create the same effect in PowerPoint, apply a 5% transparency to the colour blocks.

How to apply multiply effect – InDesign

  1. Select the colour block you want to apply the effect to (ensuring it sits on top of another colour block)
  2. Select the ‘Effects’ from ‘Window’ in the menu panel
  3. In the drop down (‘Blending mode’) menu select ‘Multiply’ (ensuring opacity is set to 100%)

How to apply multiply effect – Illustrator

  1. Select the colour block you want to apply the effect to (ensuring it sits on top of another colour block)
  2. Select ‘Transparency’ from ‘Window’ in the menu panel
  3. In the drop down (‘Blending mode’) menu select ‘Multiply’ (ensuring opacity is set to 100%)

multiply - palette

Tints

To maintain a bold and confi dent impression, colour tints should never be used within the colour blocks. Colour tints of 5% or 10% canbe used as a full bleed background colour,which can help differentiate types of information within a document. A wider range of tints can also be used in charts and diagrams.

In colour blocks, 5% to 15% tints of black canbe used. Within icons, tints of black from 5% to 75% should be used.

Tint examples

What not to do

  1. Never use tints of our brand colours in colour blocks.
  2. Never decrease the opacity of a colour block, they should always be 100% opaque and have the ‘multiply’ blending mode applied, if using a transparent effect.
  3. Never apply a transparent effect, such as the ‘Multiply effect’ to the DCU logo.
  4. Avoid using any black tints darker than 15% in colour blocks.
  5. Never use more than 4 colours in each design.
  6. Always ensure the correct blending mode (‘Multiply’) is applied. Using the incorrect mode results in a very different effect.
  7. Avoid using any colour tints darker than 10% in backgrounds.
  8. Do not use tints of colours within the icons.

What not to do - colour dcu

How we look - Typography

Primary typeface

Our brand typeface is Objektiv Mk 2. This typeface should be used for all our communications, where possible.

DCU font - Objektiv

When using Objektiv Light always use left-aligned text with leading set to at least 3pt more than the type size. Set kerning to optical and tracking to -25.
When using Objektiv Regular always use left-aligned text with leading set to at least 3pt more than the type size. Set kerning to optical and tracking to -25.
When using Objektiv Medium always use left-aligned text with leading set to at least 4pt more than the type size. Set kerning to optical and tracking to -25.
Objektiv Bold can be used in both upper and lower case. When using it in lower case, follow the same principles set for the lighter weights. In upper case, set leading to at least 6pt more than the type size. Set kerning to optical and tracking to at least +50.

Typeface purchase:

Note: Objektiv is available in a range of cuts. Make sure you always use the Mk 2 cut and not Mk 1 or Mk 3. Objektiv Mk 2 can be purchased from:

Use of italicsItalics are never used, apart from when needing to italicise publication titles within documents.

System typeface

System typeface

The Arial typeface family is the preferred typeface for use on all other communications. Arial is supplied with most standard Microsoft applications and is available on the majority of PCs. For this reason, it is the preferred typeface for the content of letters, memos, presentations and any other materials generated internally within DCU.

Our system typefaces; Arial Regular and Arial Bold should be used for all Microsoft Office applications such as MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel and in emails.

Please note, Arial should never be used in any of our corporate communications, such as brochures, advertising and signage.

Type usage

The way we use typography helps to create our distinctive look and feel. By using a single typeface we ensure a consistently excellent impression, but by using it in a variety of ways we can create clear hierarchies of information and purposefully different layouts.

These examples are for guidance only and can be adapted.

  1. Page titles - Page titles are set in Objektiv Bold caps with +75 tracking applied.
  2. Headlines and introductions - Objektiv Medium is used for headlines and introductions in a large font size to communicate the primary message within the layout.
  3. Headings - Within body copy, section headings are set in Objektiv Bold and can have a 1pt underline applied. These can also appear in colour. Sub headings are also set in Objektiv Bold in the same colour as body copy.
  4. Body copy - Objektiv Regular is used for body copy always in sentence case. Bullet points are a long dashed bullet with text indented by at least 4mm. They can be set in either Objektiv Bold/Regular. Additional information or annotations are set in Objektiv Light or Regular Italic.
  5. Pull-outs - Objektiv Bold is used for pull-outs in a large font size with the option of an 1pt underline applied, with descriptive text in Objektiv Regular.
  6. Navigation - Upper case vertical type set in Objektiv Bold in a vertical colour block can be used to aid navigation through a document.
  7. Page folios - Lower case vertical type set in Objektiv Regular can be positioned within the margins of the page.
  8. Colour blocks - Colour blocks can be used to hold sections of copy or to highlight individual words within a headline. Ensure the text is legible on the colour block used.

Type Usage

How we look - Photography

Photography overview

We have a varied, eclectic and flexible approach to photography, allowing us to demonstrate our belief in seeing and doing things differently. Our rich mix of images shows the multi-faceted aspects of DCU life and means we can tailor communications for different audiences. All our image choices are considered, in terms of style, subject matter and the way they are used.

Though it is varied, our photography is always:

— Human and accessible
— Looking at things in a different way; in an individual image or the way they’re combined
— Based in the real world
— Spirited and positive
— Representative of the gender balance and diveristy at DCU

Photography style principles

Photography can be full colour, black and white, or cut-out. The style of our photography should always capture a sense of purposefully different, whether with a candid, captured moment or a more carefully composed shot.

At least one or more of the following principles should be demonstrated in our photography:

— Unusual, unexpected viewpoints
— Dynamic compositions
— Sense of scale, including close-ups and wide-angle views
— Close crops
— Abstract views of real world subjects

Always ensure the image/s represent the gender and diversity balance at DCU.

Photography subject matter

The choice of subject matter in our photography can also really show DCU in a different way. Our photography should always be chosen to support a message, but doesn’t have to be obvious and literal.

More unexpected subject choices help reveal different aspects of DCU and create a richer impression.

Consider different aspects of DCU:
— Student life
— DCU campus
— Dublin
— Wider world, including different workplaces and geographies

Photography Styles

Photography combinations

Our combination of different photography allows us to layer multiple images within a layout whilst still communicating a clear message.

Single image
A single image has to work harder to capture DCU, so an unexpected or abstract image often lends itself well to this.

Colour or black & white
When constructing a layout, use the following guide to ensure a correct arrangement of black and white (B&W) and colour images on the page:
— 25% B&W + 75% colour
— 75% B&W + 25% colour

When using a single image, it can either be colour or black and white (i.e. for a more corporate publication a black and white image, may be more suitable).

Different styles and content
Combining; a full colour abstract campus image; a closely cropped black and white image and a full colour cut-out portrait.

Different aspects of one subject
Multiple images to show different perspectives of the same subject, e.g. a case study in a prospectus.

What not to do

  1. Never use imagery that is dated, lifeless and depicts bland areas or spaces.
  2. Avoid using images which feel predictable or contrived within their context.
  3. Do not use images that have been manipulated or specifically created.
  4. Illustration should never be used.
  5. When choosing abstract close crops of images, always make sure the subject matter is identifiable and relevant to the intended communication piece.
  6. Imagery should never feel posed or staged, as it fails to capture a real sense of life at DCU.
  7. Never used over or under-exposed imagery.
  8. Never use computer manipulated or three-dimensional imagery.
  9. Never use imagery where the composition hasn’t been carefully considered and has no interesting point of focus.

What not to do - photography - DCU

How we look - Iconography

Icon style

Our icons are supporting elements that can help guide our audience though a communication piece or bring a touch of wit and humour to an otherwise ‘dry’ message.

Colour and form
When creating an icon, always keep it simple by using as few elements as possible. Our icons are flat graphics (two dimensional with no perspective) with a block-like feel, in keeping with our overall visual identity. They primarily use tints of black and the highlight colour can be any of the brand colours (no tints of these colours should be used).

DCU icon style

How we look - Layering system

Layering system overview

Our adaptable layering system of blocks and bars is a key component of our visual identity. It allows us to communicate a multi-faceted view of DCU, revealing the hidden differences in a varied and eclectic, but controlled way.

The use of layers should be carefully considered, always with a clear point of focus and visual hierarchy, with no gratuitous design elements. The blocks contain either colour or photography and can be brought together in different combinations. The way the blocks are layered can create different tonal impressions from calm and understated to dynamic and energetic.

Layering exmaple:

DCU - Layering Example

Layering system elements:

layering elements - dcu

How to use the layering system:

— The colour block in which the logo is positioned is always vertical, but the dimensions can vary

— Though different orientations of colour blocks can be used, vertical blocks should feature strongly

— Blocks can hold either a colour or image

— The blocks are useful to hold and separate information, and type can be held within coloured blocks, or run over the edges

— Cut out images can be used to break up the straight edges of the blocks

Note: The same principles apply to both levels

Usage rules

Layering system – Typographic

These indicative layouts show how the layering system can be used with just blocks of colour and no imagery.

Logo position
The logo is placed in a vertical colour block in line with the positioning guide on p21 (1).

Colour blocks
Here (2) two opaque colour blocks are overlayed with each other. Here (3) a total of three brand colours and a 10% tint of black have been used. The Flame Red and Sea Blue blocks are overlayed using the multiply setting.

Typography
The headline copy runs over the edges of the colour blocks (4), which helps to communicate a sense of being purposefully different within the design. Part of the headline is also reversed out on a darker colour block.

The headline here (5), is set in caps and runs outside of the red horizontal colour block.
The sub-title copy (6), is anchored to the bottom of the Sky Blue colour block so it doesn’t appear ‘floating’ within the 10% black tint colour block.

Additional information and titles can be positioned vertically within the colour block (7).

Layering system - typographic system    Layering system - typographic system

Layering system – Single image layers

These examples show how the layering system can be used with a single image, either cropped or as a full bleed background.

Logo position
The logo is placed in a vertical colour block in line with the positioning guide on p21 (1).

Colour blocks
The number of colour blocks used can vary, creating different effects from strong and simple (2) to dynamic and energetic (3).
The Flame Red colour block here 3 is multiplied over an opaque grey colour block and full bleed abstract image.

Typography
To draw attention to the main headline, it has been indented from the copy below (4).

(5) The faculty/school name is vertically positioned within the colour block (see p28 for positioning guide). - CHECK PAGE No.

Imagery
The choice of imagery is appropriate to the intended audience. A simple, striking black and white campus image is chosen for a more corporate publication (6). Whereas a more vibrant, bold and abstract image is used for a student focused publication (7).

Layering system – Single image layers - DCU   Layering system – Single image layers - DCU

Layering system – Multiple image layers

These examples show how the layering system can be used with multiple images, including cut-outs.

Logo position
The logo is placed in a vertical colour block in line with the positioning guide on p21 (1).

Colour blocks
A 10% tint of black and three brand colours are used here (2), with the multiply setting applied on several colour blocks, which creates depth and a dynamic and energetic effect. Using a colour block (3) to hold the
primary information, contrasts against the image and the other colour blocks used which draws attention to primary information.

Here (4), a horizontal colour bar has the multiply affect applied, creating a focal point and uniting the different elements on the page. A wider Sea Blue colour block holds the logo against a white background (5).

Typography
All the copy is contained within the Burnt Gold colour block (3). Here (4), the heading is held within the horizontal colour block and the secondary information is vertically positioned on the page and positioned in the top right corner of the page (6).

Imagery
A full bleed, compelling student portrait is used (7) together with a close crop image of a campus building.

Cut-out images are always layered with colour or black and white images (8). The layering of these different images, a black and white and image of Dublin and a colour campus image reveals different aspects of DCU.

Layering system – multiple image layers - DCU  Layering system – multiple image layers - DCU

What not to do

  1. The primary messaging on the page should always be anchored to, positioned within or overlapping with at least one of the colour blocks on the page
  2. There should never be more than 4 brand colours used per design
  3. The logo should never by placed over photographic imagery. It should always sit inside a colour block
  4. If using a full bleed image, there should be at least two colour blocks used on a design
  5. Only one cut-out image should be used per design
  6. When using cut-out imagery it should always be part of a layered arrangement with colour or black and white images
  7. Be careful not to layer too many images and colour blocks in your design as it starts to look cluttered and confusing
  8. When using multiple images, black and white images should always be included (see p83-84 full brand guidelines for guidance).

What not to do - layering system

How we look - Grids

Grids - A4

As our layering system is made up of overlapping blocks and bars, it is helpful to use an underlying grid to position them. Using a 12 column grid as our basis, gives us maximum flexibility when designing layouts. There is a wider outside margin to accommodate the vertical page folios used in brochures (this margin can be altered if folios are not needed).

A4 portrait spread grid dimensions

The grid shown here is based on a A4 document size, 210 x 297mm. When working with different dimensions, scale the grid proportionally making sure to retain the fundamental principles.

Top margin: 12mm
Bottom margin: 12mm
Inside margin: 12mm
Outside margin:20mm
Columns: 12
Gutter width: 4mm

A4 - Grid

Grids – DCU Sizes 1 & 2

Our standard 12 column grid also applies to the DCU Size 1, 190 x 270mm. It is scale d down to a 10 column grid when used at DCU Size 2, 162 x 230mm.

DCU Size 1: 190x270mm
Grid dimensions

Top margin: 12mm
Bottom margin: 12mm
Inside margin: 12mm
Outside margin: 12mm*
Columns: 12
Gutter width: 4mm

DCU Size 1 - grid

DCU Size 2: 162x230mm
Grid dimensions

Top margin: 10mm
Bottom margin: 10mm
Inside margin: 10mm
Outside margin: 10mm*
Columns: 10
Gutter width: 4mm

*For spreads you may need to adapt measurements as shown on p105-106 of the full brand guidelines.

DCU Size 2 - grid

Grids – DCU Size 3 and usage examples

Our grid also adapts to the DCU Size 3, 134 x 190mm, where a 9 column grid is used.

DCU Size 3: 134x190mm
Grid dimensions

Top margin: 8mm
Bottom margin: 8mm
Inside margin: 8mm
Outside margin: 8mm*
Columns: 9
Gutter width: 3mm

Examples of size 2 and 3 grids in use.

DCU Size 3 - grid

Grids in use – Prospectus example

The example below shows how our standard 12 column grid works across an indicative prospectus spread. The type styles and sizing shown on this page act as a guide to show the flexibility of working with our grid.

210x270mm
Grid dimensions
Top margin: 12mm
Bottom margin: 12mm
Inside margin: 12mm
Outside margin: 20mm
Columns: 12
Gutter width: 4mm

Page titleStandfirstSub headingBody copyPull-outAnnotation
Objektiv font weightBoldMediumBoldRegularBoldRegular/Light
Font & leading size21/29pt12/20pt11/14pt11/14pt12/20pt8/11pt
Tracking+75-25-25-15-25-15
ColourWhite100% Black100% Colour100% BlackWhite/Black

100% Black

Sample Grid structure

Applications - Level 1

This level applies to our stationery, signage, vehicle livery, annual report, conferring materials, Strategic Plan, ‘corporate use’ PowerPoint template and any materials originating from The President’s Office.

Stationery

These notional, example visuals illustrate how:
— The layout is strong, modern and simple
— The layering system wraps around, from the front to the back, of the business card
— The brand shorthand statement and social media accounts can be used on the reverse of the business card
— Only the Level 1 colours, Slate Blue and Burnt Gold, are used
— The Level 1 logo is used within a Slate Blue colour block
— All text is in Black
— As an option, single colour social media icons can be used on the back of business cards

For full stationery specifications please contact the Marketing Department

PowerPoint

These notional, example visuals illustrate how:
— A strong, modern and adaptable design works for different types of content
— The Level 1 primary logo is positioned towards the top of the colour block
— The small use logo is positioned towards the bottom of the colour block on all content pages
— The content slides use a pared back version of the layering system, as a consistent framework, with blocks of Burnt Gold and Slate Blue
— Level 2 colours can be used for charts and diagrams if necessary
— Arial, our system font is used
— The layering system can be used to create impact and interest using key statements, blocks of colour or imagery
— Icons can be used to support messages and add visual interest

Powerpoint - L1

Powerpoint - L1

Annual report

These notional, example visuals illustrate how:
— The design is strong, sophisticated and pared back, appropriate for the audience
— The Level 1 primary logo is positioned towards the top of the colour block
— Only the Level 1 colours are used in the layering system
— Pace and impact can be created using type at different levels and blocks of colour
— The messaging is a tailored version of our positioning statement

Strategic Plan

ANNUAL REPORT

Social media applications

The notional, example visuals here illustrate how indicative pages could work on LinkedIn and Twitter:
— A small use Level 1 logo is used.
— The hero images used can be interchangeable.

Always consider your audience and channel, to decide if a Level 1 logo should be used. If you’re unsure, contact the Marketing Department.

SOCIAL - L1

Applications - Level 2

All other communications come under this level, including non-corporate use of the PowerPoint template.

Undergraduate prospectus

These notional, example visuals illustrate how:
— A young, vibrant impression is created, appropriate for the audience
— A mix of photographs is used to create a rich impression of DCU
— Coloured blocks are used to hold different messages
— A white background creates breathing space as a backdrop to the layering system
— There is a clear hierarchy of information, with typography arranged in carefully considered blocks, which fits with the layering system
— A spread can give an overview of DCU through clear messaging and the right mix of images

UG PROSPECTUS COVER

UG SPREAD

Postgraduate prospectus

These notional, example visuals illustrate how:

— A camera facing portrait helps create a bold, confi dent impression
— A Level 2 Slate Blue primary logo is positioned towards the bottom of a Burnt Gold colour block
— Striking transparent coloured blocks are used over the cover image
— The layering system can be used to layer images and colour blocks containing text and to tell a case study story in a spread
— A narrow transparent block can be used to draw attention to a key fact

PROSPECTUS COVER

PG SPREAD

International prospectus

These notional, example visuals illustrate how:

— Content can be tailored for different audiences with a sample spread showing different individual perspectives of international students
— A Level 2 Slate Blue International logo is positioned towards the top left of a Sea Blue colour block
— The use of white space can be used as a background on a cover
— The layering system can be used in a considered way to link student portraits and quotes
— All black and white photographs can be used on some spreads to create points of differentiation within an application. These should be combined with blocks of colour.

INTERNATIONAL PROSPECTUS

INTERNATIONAL PROSPECTUS- Spread

Course flyers – covers

These notional, example visuals illustrate how:

— A simple system can be created for a suite of materials through a consistent layout and approach to imagery
— A single image can be combined with coloured blocks in the layering system
— The abstract images show an unexpected view of the course
— A Level 2 White primary logo is positioned towards the top of a Charcoal colour block
— The faculty name appears in a set style, running vertically in the same colour block as the logo
— Different coloured blocks hold the course information, but the faculties are not colour-coded
— The hierarchy of information is clear and functional, with prominent course titles and no additional marketing messaging on the cover

Course leaflet - covers  Course leaflet - covers

Course flyers – spreads

These notional, example visuals illustrate how:

— The typographic layout reflects the blocks of the layering system
— Typography is used in different weights, type sizes, colour and blocks to differentiate different levels of information
— The layering system is used in a pared back way to help structure information
— The faculty name appears in a set style, running vertically in a coloured block
— An icon and coloured block are used to highlight a key piece of information

Course leaflet - spreads

Student support leaflet

These notional, example visuals illustrate how:

— A cut-out image can feature prominently in the layering system, creating a different impression
— A Level 2 White primary logo is positioned towards the bottom of a Flame Red colour block
— An identifier can be used to indicate which part of DCU a communication is from
— Icons are used to highlight key information and add visual interest on an inside spread
— Vertical upper case text is used in a block as a way of signposting information on a page

Departments - leaflet

Departments - leaflet spread

Publications

This notional, example visual illustrates how:

—The layering system works without imagery, using overlapping colour blocks
— A 5% tint of black is used as a background colour
— Only two colours are used in the design
— Functional title, in upper case runs vertically up the edge of the Teal colour block
— Part of the headline is reversed out in white and overlaps part of the Flame Red colour block

This notional, example visual illustrates how:

— Three colours and a 5% tint of Black are used, with additional blended colours created from the transparent overlays
— The headline, in upper case runs outside of the horizontal colour
— Information relating to the survey source runs vertically up the edge in lower case
— A reversed-out, bottom-stacked logo is used, locked to the bottom of a colour block
— A Level 2 White primary logo is positioned at the bottom left of a full bleed Teal colour block

Publications cover  Publications cover

PowerPoint

These notional, example visuals illustrate how:

— A strong, modern and adaptable design works for different types of content
— The Level 2 white primary logo is positioned towards the top of the colour block
— The small use logo is positioned towards the bottom of the colour block on all content pages
— The content slides use a pared back version of the layering system, as a consistent framework, with blocks of Burnt Gold and Teal
— The Level 2 colour palette is used throughout
— Arial, our system font is used
— The layering system can be used to create impact and interest using key statements, blocks of colour or imagery
— Icons can be used to support messages and add visual interes

Powerpoint - L2

Powerpoint - L2

Social media applications

These notional, example visuals illustrate how indicative pages could work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:

— A small use Level 2 Slate Blue logo is held within a Burnt Gold block on Facebook and Twitter.
— For the more student-facing social media accounts such as Instagram, different coloured logos can be used. Here, a small use White logo on a Flame Red background is used.
— The hero images used can be interchangeable, which allows you to place campaign specfic imagery in when needed.

Always consider your audience and channel to decide if a Level 2 logo should be used. If you’re unsure, contact the Marketing Department.

SOCIAL - L2

To view our section on brand architecture, log in using your username and password here.

Downloads and Useful Links

For downloadable links to logos, PowerPoint templates and branding guidelines, log in using your username and password here.

For external parties please contact one of the contacts below for information on our branding and assets.

Full details of the university's corporate guidelines can be obtained from the DCU Communications and Marketing Department. If you have any specific questions relating to the DCU brand, or if you would like to organise a presentation on the DCU brand guidelines to members of your unit, faculty, school, research centre or company, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Head of Marketing
Deirdre Wynter
E: deirdre.wynter@dcu.ie

Graphic Design & Multimedia
Katy Halpin
E: katy.halpin@dcu.ie

Graphic Design & Multimedia
Marie Leahy
E: marie.leahy@dcu.ie

Corporate Identity Guidelines - Stationery

For stationery needs including business cards, headed paper or compliment slips please contact our procured printing partner Neogen:

T: 01 8612062
E: info@neogen.ie
W: www.neogen.ie