Web Site Requirements & Guidelines

Updated November, 2011

Web page content presents an image of the University to the world, and therefore official University pages must undergo the same professional scrutiny and careful preparation given to any other official University publication.

All new Web sites must comply with current web standards and guidelines. Questions about the standards and guidelines should be directed to the Department of Web Communications.

Web & the Communicator's Toolbox

The Communicators Toolbox provides a set of standards to be used by University communicators to build a consistent, clear, and positive image of the University in the minds of our constituents. It includes detailed information on the brand, use of the logo, colors and typography.

The information below supplements the standards outlined in the Communicators Toolbox with respect to the University web presence.

  • The CSU Brand - The CSU Brand is a key element in the evaluation of sites for adherence to the University graphic standards.
  • The University Look - The University "look" should be used for externally focused, high profile sites.
  • University Logo - In addition to information in the toolbox, the University logo must be prominent and appear in the top 200 pixels of the design, and link to the University home page. Web versions of the Colorado State University logo are available for download. Dark green, gold and white are acceptable colors for web use and white logos may only be used on a green background.
  • University Color Palette - Dark green and gold must be the predominant colors of all web designs and all designs must include dark green.
  • University Typography - Minion and Swiss 721 are primary typefaces for Colorado State University and should be used in design elements. Garamond and Helvetica are acceptable alternate typefaces. The body should use a sans serif font (Arial, Helvetica, Trebuchet MS, etc.).

Additional Requirements

Required Links
Official pages and sites must incorporate the following links
Academic departments
  • Sites, pages, and applications maintained on Colorado State University computers, disk storages, networks, or other resources must include a link to the student personal Web page disclaimer statement (http://www.colostate.edu/info-studisclaimer.aspx).
Contact Information
  • All official University Web pages must include contact information. The contact may be a specific individual, a generic contact, or a link to a page of contacts for the department or unit. The contact(s) must include an e-mail address(s) and/or a telephone number(s). Providing both is encouraged.
Use of Copyrighted Materials
  • Written permission will be obtained for use of copyrighted materials, with the clear understanding on the part of the copyright holder that these materials will be used on the Web. This applies to the use of text, logos, photographs, drawings, video clips, sound clips, or other copyrighted materials.
Directory Information
  • Directory information of faculty, staff, and students may be included without permission. In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students have the option of removing themselves from the directory.
  • Sites containing eCommerce will be useful, manageable, and secure. In particular, all such sites must be in compliance with University fiscal procedures, while protecting the privacy of online customers. All eCommerce done under the auspices of the University must be pre-approved by Business and Financial Services and Communications and Creative Services.
Content Guidelines
  • Links to commercial sites are strongly discouraged, with the exception of resources licensed by the University and links to various search engines that include advertising.
  • Materials should be carefully checked for proper grammar and spelling.
  • Materials should be updated and maintained in a timely manner.
Accessibility and Usability
  • Official University Web sites should make use of the industry-standard technologies, such as those defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and use the technologies according to specification.
  • All pages of official CSU University Web sites should conform to the CSU Web Accessibility Standards (see http://accessibility.colostate.edu/).
  • Materials should be developed with proper regard for the generally observed principles of electronic etiquette ("netiquette"). For more information, visit http://www.albion.com/netiquette.
Search Engine Functionality
  • To enhance functionality with search engines and to promote University identification, official University Web pages should include a meaningful, unique <title> tag that includes the text "Colorado State University." Example: "College of Business at Colorado State University" or "Colorado State University - College of Business."
  • Official University Web pages should also include accurate <meta> description and <meta> keyword tags.

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