Web Guidelines and Standards

Filed under Web

Just like our printed communications, the information we post online should be quickly accessible and visually consistent with the NC State brand. The more intuitive and simple the organization, the more likely the user will interact with and return to the site. Web sites should be able to stand alone and give visitors a sense of the brand with every click. They also have the ability to link the many different departments together to show the extensive reach NC State has in the state, nation and world. From type to photography to tone, all the design elements can be used here to help advance the brand through this very powerful medium.

Branding Bar
The NC State branding bar offers a simple way to connect our thousands of sites and let users know where they are at all times. This element must appear at the top (centered or left-aligned) of all official NC State Web sites and pages. No content of any kind may appear above this bar. The branding bar is available in various color combinations consistent with official university colors, but it may not be edited or altered in any way outside of the options presented when downloading.
The branding bar may not be required for certain entities operating under unique circumstances. Exceptions will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Web Communication will provide support for the branding strip but will rely on the college, unit and other entities internal Web or IT staff to implement the strip. For implementation or exception questions, e-mail Web Communication at web_feedback@ncsu.edu.


Primary Color Palette
These official university colors should be the most dominant colors on any of the NC State sites. They should anchor all Web site designs.


Secondary Color Palette
These colors offer complementary options for navigational elements, promotional areas and other prominent design and content elements. As many as two secondary colors can be used with the primary color palette, but they should never be more dominant than the primary colors.




Support Color Palette
These colors should be used for subtle accents (link styles, horizontal rules, etc.) and not for primary design elements. One support color can be used with the primary and secondary colors so as not to overpower the design.



Banner Typefaces
The University’s official Web banner typeface is Univers. Colleges and central administrative units are encouraged to create site banners using the Univers typeface to maintain a consistent Web presence.



HTML Typeface
University Web sites should use Verdana, Arial and Georgia typefaces for all HTML text.


Headlines (H1 – H6 Tags) and Section Headers
HTML headlines and section headers can use any of the fonts approved for university Web sites.

Required Elements
All Web sites must have a “contact” link or contain direct access to contact information for the unit responsible for the content of the Web site or page.

All Web sites must contain a link to an appropriate Privacy Statement. A link to the university Policy Disclaimer should also be included, preferably in the footer of the site.

All Web sites must include contact information for the Web developer, site manager or Web space owner somewhere in the Web space. This information does not need to be available publicly, but must be present in the Web space. For sites developed by third-party contractors, vendors, current students or former students, contact information must include both the site developer and the site owner/manager.