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Creative Services

DESIGN GUIDELINES

Why do you create flyers, brochures and posters? So people will find out about your events and programs, right? Well, if your materials aren't designed the right way, they won't have the effect you hoped for, or worse, they will have a negative effect. In order to help you promote effectively, we're providing these guidelines for creating materials to promote your area.


MAKE SURE YOUR PIECE SAYS HOFSTRA
This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people print up a poster or flyer without mentioning that the event or program takes place at Hofstra. Some people just assume that by being distributed on-campus that it will be considered a Hofstra promotion. Don’t assume. Put the Hofstra name on your piece. You should also…


USE THE HOFSTRA LOGO--CORRECTLY
The Hofstra logo is a seal of approval that helps people see your event or program as something that’s part of the University. However, if you use it incorrectly, it has the opposite effect. The guide for how to utilize the logo correctly can be found at hofstra.edu/licensing. If you need logo files, please contact creativeservices[at]hofstra.edu. Don’t take the logo from the website; it will not look good.


DO NOT CREATE NEW LOGOS
If you create a new logo for your area or program, you risk degrading the overall Hofstra brand and making your project seem unofficial. The University has a logo treatment integrating your department name and the official logo that’s easily created and can be provided to you. Just contact Creative Services at creativeservices[at]hofstra.edu.


COLOR CORRECTLY
The Hofstra colors are Hofstra Blue and Hofstra Gold. For details on these colors, including their correct color codes for use in design software, please see the Brand Style Guide at hofstra.edu/licensing.


DO NOT USE COPYRIGHT-PROTECTED IMAGES
Did you take the photo or create the image? If not, did you get permission to use the image from the creator? Just because you found an image in google, doesn't mean you can use it.

There are royalty-free image sites online, but most charge a fee to use their images (Royalty-Free means you don't have to pay the photographer and models also, not that the image is free to use.)  Instead, you can use photos tagged with an Attribution License from

Flickr Creative Commons [http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/] (just make sure to credit the photographer) or use Morguefile.com.


AVOID USING PEOPLE’S FACES
Unless you have a model's permission, you shouldn't show their face. 


ALSO AVOID TRADEMARKED ELEMENTS
Trademarks need to be respected when designing. Promoting a program about mobile phones? Don’t show an iPhone, and don’t show a Verizon logo. However, trademarked elements aren’t limited to products and logos. It also extends to things like slogans and similar brand elements. For instance, use of the famous I ♥ NY design is heavily guarded by lawyers, extending to imitations of it. If you’ve seen something well-known and used by another company, it’s a bad idea to use it or something that plays off it. There are no fair-usage protections when it comes to promotion.


DON’T INCLUDE INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT
Again, this seems like common sense, but leave the sexy and/or shocking stuff off your materials. Being risque just isn’t advisable. Remember, these publications could end up anywhere and will reflect upon your area and the University. Don’t make it a bad impression.


CONTRAST YOUR BACKGROUNDS AND YOUR TEXT
Don't use a light background behind lightly-colored text. Conversely, don't use dark backgrounds with dark text. This will make your text easier to read. It also helps to…


USE THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY FONT
Avenir is the official font of the University, and should be used to convey a feel of the University. However, if you want something different, see the next item.


LIMIT THE NUMBER OF FONTS USED
Your flyers and posters shouldn’t look like ransom letters. Pick one or two fonts and run with them. Put your headlines in one font, your body copy in another, or use one font and signify the different elements by increasing the size and weight (i.e. bold, normal) of the text. This will make your message easy to read and you will look like a part of Hofstra.


FOR POSTERS, USE LARGE, PLAIN THICK FONTS AGAINST CLEAR AREAS OF THE BACKGROUND
Again, this makes it easier to read. Look at your poster from 10 feet away...is it easy to read? If not, it won't work for anyone else.

Also suggested: use a small drop-shadow to make text stand out and if necessary, put a block of color behind the text to make it stand out clearly from the background.


KEEP IT SIMPLE
Limit the info included to just the most important elements. This includes the name of the event/program, the time and date, the location, and contact info (particularly an online method.) These should be the largest/easiest parts to read. If using a Hofstra.edu web address, you should use an alias (a short address) so people can remember it. If you don’t have one for the page you want to send people to, contact webwork[at]hofstra.edu to inquire about it.