Welcome to the College Toolbox

The College of Agricultural Sciences Design Toolbox contains a number of resources for your use including college and departmental word marks, PowerPoint templates, color palettes, and college fonts. This page also links to university resources and guidelines related to the University’s brand philosophy and design guidelines.

Please send any questions to Communications at Ag-Comm@colostate.edu

Understanding the CSU Brand

What is our brand?
Our brand is not our logo, advertising campaign, identity system, or set of talking points. Our brand is the stories, experiences, and attributes that define Colorado State University. It is the sum of all the interactions our audience – students, alumni, fans, community members – has with CSU. It is the feeling we leave them with. It is what they say about us to their friends. It is why they choose us.
It’s what we do
Because it is the culmination of the CSU experience, each of us is key in shaping our brand. We influence the brand when we select our areas of inquiry, talk about our research, or help a lost student.

A poor or inconsistent experience does more to shape perceptions than any advertising or public relations campaign. We must act with intention to create an experience that reflects our community and its values. 

It’s what we say 
When writing or talking about Colorado State, we have an important opportunity to express the University’s brand. Of course, brand-building is not simply telling people to love Colorado State or listing our many achievements. We further the University brand by telling stories that reveal the values and purpose we share with our audience. It’s about people loving Colorado State University because of who we are, their experience with us, and what we stand for.

It’s how we look
Over time, our University’s visual symbols and aesthetics become symbolic of our brand. While they are not our brand, they serve as a shorthand, evoking memories of our audiences’ emotional bonds with us. For this reason, graphic standards ensure that we deliver consistent messages about ourselves.

It’s our shared identity
CSU is a universe of colleges, departments, divisions, and centers that encompasses a variety of individual and group missions. Yet, each of these many and varied parts share in the combined strength of our reputation for excellence and credibility that comes with being part of the Colorado State University brand. It’s a reminder that we’re better together.

University Identification and Affiliation

Which standards do we follow?

Our brand identity system assigns graphic standards procedures based on your department, program, or division’s primary offering to the public. This system places audience, rather than our organizational chart, at the forefront of decisions about visual identity, ensuring that the University provides a unified face to each of its unique constituent groups.

There are four subgroups within our graphic standards program; read below for a description of each.

  • Core University
  • University Enterprises
  • Student Organizations
  • University Extensions

Core University

Colorado State University’s primary offering is education. Any department, unit, or program that provides or supports higher education adheres to Core University graphic standards.

Units that fall under the Core University standards must follow all University graphic standards, including the signature and word mark on all communications. To align with the public’s perception of our University as a single entity, Core University units should avoid developing independent logos and marks.

Core University examples: Office of Admissions, College of Natural Sciences, Department of Mathematics, School of Education, Adult Learner and Veteran Services


University Enterprises

Occasionally, units create and market products and services that stand apart from the University’s primary offering. University Enterprises may also include centers and institutes that specialize in government and industry research. These University Enterprises compete in service and retail marketplaces that require additional identification to differentiate themselves from similar products and to avoid brand confusion with the University’s primary product.

Like Core University units, University Enterprises must also follow University graphic standards. They may develop an additional logo or mark for product design and marketing. These marks must be approved and on file with Creative Services. They must also include the CSU Signature

University Enterprise examples: Fermentation Science and Technology, Ram Country Meats, the Powerhouse Energy Campus, the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, the Lory Student Center


Student Organizations

Student Organizations are an important demonstration of our community’s vibrance and diversity. Student leaders’ school pride in and ownership of the CSU brand promise its health and strength for years to come.

Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are encouraged to use CSU marks and visual branding as Core University units. However, they may elect to not use CSU branding or marks in favor of national or internally preferred colors, marks, or messages.

Though they may create independent club logos, RSOs should avoid club logos that incorporate any of the University’s logos or word marks, including the Ram’s Head.


University Extensions

University Extensions are units or entities that have independent public identities and receive more than half of their funding from an entity external to CSU. Their audiences and public offerings are typically very different from the Core University’s, but they benefit from affiliation with the University.

A University Extension adopts the University’s graphic standards, but maintains flexibility to develop a unique word mark that includes the CSU Signature.

University Extension examples: CSU Extension, Colorado State Forest Service, Robert H. and Mary G. Flint Animal Cancer Center

University Brand Campaigns

University Brand Campaigns

Colorado State University is an institution that serves people throughout their lives with education, research, community, and philanthropic opportunities. As a result, our externally facing advertising campaigns may vary by unit, but they are always united by our State Of umbrella brand.
brand campaign diagram
The State Of campaign 
The State Of campaign features Colorado State’s primary offering, higher education. The primary headline, State of Progress, encompasses the University’s mission moving the world forward with research and knowledge that improves the lives of everyday people. Core University units may develop their own extensions of the State Of campaign by selecting a complete headline that describes their unique offerings.
state of campaign image
Find Your State Find Your State is Admissions’ sub-campaign aimed at high school students and their families. Aspirational in nature, it uses dramatic visuals, a lighter tone, and heavy social media engagement to target digital natives who are the next generation of CSU Rams.
find your state campaign image
Make a Statement Make a Statement is Colorado State’s sub-campaign reserved for Athletics use. It captures the bold, active spirit of Rams sports while adhering to the University’s overall look. Make a Statement is reserved for Rams Athletics audiences and offerings, which may overlap with CSU’s general higher education target, but also extends to community members and fans seeking home team pride and entertainment.
make a statement campaign image
State Your Purpose State Your Purpose is the newest of the University’s sub-campaigns. Introduced in February 2016 with the University’s current fundraising campaign, State Your Purpose calls to an audience beyond traditional donors.
state your pirpose campaign image

University Facts

About the University

Our history
  • Colorado State University was founded as the Agricultural College of Colorado in 1870 and welcomed its first class of students in 1878. It was one of the land-grant colleges established as a result of the Morrill Act of 1862. Signed by President Abraham Lincoln, the act encouraged states to establish colleges by earmarking federally controlled land for their use. These universities were to provide practical higher education in agriculture, engineering, and science to poise the United States for industrialization.
  • The “A” painted above Hughes Stadium stands for Aggie, CSU’s mascot when it was still Colorado A&M. Since its creation in 1923, students have hiked up the hill every fall to wash it with a new coat of paint.
  • In 1957, the Colorado General Assembly renamed Colorado A&M to Colorado State University.
  • In the early 1960s, renowned CSU engineering professors Maurice Albertson, Pauline Birky-Kreutzer, and Andrew Rice proposed the idea for the Peace Corps. Colorado State remains one of the Peace Corps’ top sources of volunteers, with more than 1,500 Rams serving since its inception.


Our students

  • There are 33,198 students attending CSU in the Fall 2016 semester. This includes the largest incoming freshman and transfer class in the history of Colorado State University.
  • Colorado State is Colorado’s school of choice. More Colorado high school graduates enroll as freshmen at CSU than any other school in the state.
  • With 1,981 international students and scholars representing more than 90 countries, campus continues to adopt an international worldview. When these students arrive, they’re not alone; more than 20 percent of tenure-track faculty are international.
  • Through our Education Abroad program, more than 1,200 CSU students studies in one of 90 countries each year. Other students participate in one of our 17 foreign university partnerships or practice at CSU’s Todos Santos Center in Mexico.
  • 9 of 10 CSU grads say they would choose CSU again.  Not only have more than 86 percent secured their first-destination plans within six months of receiving their diplomas, they earn more than the national average for college graduates.

Our research

  • CSU is one of the world’s top research universities and a recognized leader in cancer research, atmospheric science, animal science, climate change, forest and wildlife management, engineering, and water.
  •  In 2014-15, CSU recorded its seventh consecutive year with more than $300 million in research expenditures, ranking among the nation’s top universities without a medical school.

Our state

  • There are more than 214,000 living CSU alumni.
  • There are more CSU alumni on the Front Range than graduates from any other university.
  • CSU Extension was established in 1912. Its Colorado county offices apply research to local issues such as cutting-edge agricultural production, water quality and conservation, nutrition and food safety, 4-H youth development, gardening, and community economic development.

Our supporters

  • In February 2016, Colorado State announced its latest fundraising campaign, State Your Purpose. The campaign aims to raise one billion dollars by the year 2020.
  • In 2016 CSU set a record for fundraising for the fifth year in a row, reaching nearly $200 million in support.
  • Alumni engagement is the highest in the history of the University, with seven straight years of increased alumni participation.
  • For the third year in a row, CSU has raised more money than any campus in the state of Colorado.

Our team — the Colorado State Rams

  • Colorado State University is a founding member of the Mountain West (MW) Conference.
  • The cumulative grade-point average of Colorado State student-athletes through Spring 2016 (3.047) continues to outpace that of the general student population at CSU (3.042). Student-athletes have recorded term and cumulative GPAs above 3.0 for five consecutive semesters, beginning with Spring 2014.
  • The Rams have a combined .779 winning percentage (No. 1 in the nation) among the four revenue-generating sports of football, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball over the past two school years, 2014-15 and 2015-16.
  • Over the past two seasons, the Rams have amassed a 98-14 (.875) home record in the four ticketed sports, including an astonishing 56-6 (.903) home mark against MW opponents.
  • CSU claimed four Mountain West Championships in 2015-16: Volleyball, women’s basketball, and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field. The four championships are the most by any member school in the MW.
  • CSU’s new on-campus stadium is scheduled to host its first game on Sept. 9, 2017.

Our community
Fort Collins, which has been home to CSU since the University’s inception in 1870, is a vibrant, friendly city of 161,000 tucked against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Northern Colorado. The city boasts a lively arts and cultural scene, shopping in historic Old Town, a strong economy, and is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With more than 200 miles of bike paths and trails, easy access to the scenic Poudre River and majestic Rocky Mountain National Park, and within easy driving distance of Colorado’s iconic ski areas, it is a year-round paradise. Boasting a mild climate, thriving high-tech industry, and some of the best microbreweries in the world, it’s no wonder Fort Collins annually ranks among the most livable small cities in the United States.

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