Resources & FAQs

Navigating the resources and FAQs in CWU Branding, you discover a wide array of tools designed to help you feel connected and informed. Whether you're a prospective student, current faculty member, or alumni, the information you need is readily accessible, from guidelines on visual identity to downloadable logos and templates. With clear answers to common questions, the CWU Branding resources empower you to become an active part of the university's narrative. The underlying theme in every aspect of these resources is the belief that "You belong here." It's more than just a slogan; it's an invitation to engage, collaborate, and make your mark within the CWU community. Through every click, download, and interaction, the CWU Branding reinforces that you are not just a number or a face in the crowd; you are a vital part of what makes CWU unique, and indeed, "You belong here."

Send an email to or contact University Relations.

Q: How do I start a University Relations project request?
A: It is never too early to contact University Relations to discuss an upcoming project. But before staff can begin work, you will need to submit a request through our project management system, Workamajig. A simple three-step form will prompt you for important information such as quantities, deadlines, and budget numbers.

Q: What is CWU’s graphics and editorial approval process? When do I need to use it?
A: CWU’s review and approval process helps ensure the university’s brand is maintained in marketing and promotional materials. All CWU marketing and promotional materials—including print and digital—need to go through the review and approval process by University Relations and/or its designees. Send a pdf or jpg file to Within five working days you will receive an approval, or a request for changes. Allow sufficient time for this process, including time to make changes, and resubmit for final approval if necessary. No rush or after-the-fact approvals will be given.

Q: Our department needs its own logo. Can we create that ourselves?
A: No. University units are not allowed to create or adopt their own logo. Masses of individual logos and marks confuse and compete with the CWU brand. Logos or marks created by individual units* are not approved for publication or merchandise use.
* Units refers to any CWU office, program, unit, department, building, college, school, center, institute, event, or initiative.

Q: What is the CWU brand?
A: The CWU brand includes, but is not limited to, the Central Washington University name, CWU word mark, the CWU Wildcat, and the CWU logo. But Central’s brand is much more than a logo, colors, or a typeface. It’s a welcoming, diverse community that embraces everyone. It’s professors who know your name. It’s close-knit and nurturing. It’s been molded since our beginnings in 1891 from the strengths of Wildcats before us. And Central’s brand is being enriched today by your personalities and talents.

Q: CWU’s marks don’t quite work for my department. Can I make some minor adjustments?
A: No. Official CWU marks should not be distorted, rotated, or altered in any way. CWU’s marks are customized renderings and proprietary to CWU. Do not attempt to recreate them by redrawing, typesetting, or scanning. Only use approved reproduction artwork available through University Relations.

Q: I found some great images on the Internet to use in my brochure. Is that OK?
A: Maybe. Verify your intended use meets the licensing requirements for that particular image. Do not use copyrighted photographs, video, or audio unless the copyright holder has granted written permission for the intended use. If you don’t know who owns an image or where it came from, or if you have not been granted express permission to use an image, do not use it.

Q: How can I tell if the resolution and quality of my photos are high enough?
A: Resolution is the ability to see clearly, and distinguish between, the various parts of an image. The more dots per unit of area in an image, the higher the resolution. Low-resolution images are difficult to enlarge without details becoming lost or blurred. The minimum acceptable resolution for online use is 72 dpi. For print it is 300 dpi at 100 percent. If you are unsure of your image’s quality, send it to University Relations for review.

Q: Should we throw away our existing stationery and publications and start over, given the brand refresh?
A: No. Campus units should use their existing supplies until they run out.

Q: I don’t know what I need exactly, but can I get a cost estimate anyway?
A: Maybe. We can often give you a rough estimate based on similar pieces we have done in the past. But for an accurate estimate, we need as much detail as possible, such as quantity, size, distribution and mailing plan, budget, and due date. These details can affect the final cost of a project. Please keep in mind most estimates are good for 30-60 days.

Q: How much will postage be?
A: Postal regulations change frequently and must be considered from the beginning of the design process. Postage can vary quite a bit depending on the size and type of mailing, and where it is mailed from. CWU Mail Services is an excellent resource for questions regarding current postal regulations.

Q: What are my options for ordering branded items — aka swag — such as pens?
A: Branded merchandise is meant to promote brand identity and support recruitment. Contact University Relations to place an order from its swag store, and for help building a custom product.

Q: What if I don’t like the standards? Must I still use them?
A: Yes. All CWU faculty, staff, schools, centers, institutes, departments, and programs are required to use the brand identity standards. You are an important brand ambassador, and without your cooperation, we will struggle to market CWU with a consistent voice and visual identity.

Q: What if I would rather do it myself?
A: Let us help. University Relations is primarily a creative agency formed to work with you to develop and produce your projects. Our professional staff is made up of skilled writers, editors, marketers, designers, video producers, photographers, and web specialists. Leave the heavy lifting to us, so you can stay focused on your important assignments.

Q: If we follow the guidelines, won’t everything look the same? How can we stand out from the crowd?
A: University Relations can help create marketing collateral with plenty of options for communicating your unique characteristics through text, photographs, and other content. Remember, the overall goal of CWU’s institution-wide branding effort is to align hundreds of individual identities with its core brand.

Q: Where can I get the CWU brand guidelines and marks?
A: You're in the right place. Use the left-hand menu and search bar to find specific brand information, as well as logo files, and other useful resources. You can also request a spiralbound copy of the CWU Brand identity standards from Wildcat Printing. Questions regarding the appropriate use of the CWU brand, logos, and marks should be directed to, or call University Relations at 509-963-1221.

Q: How long will it take to complete my project?
A: Longer than you think. Beautiful design does not happen overnight. Advance planning is crucial for your product to be ready when needed. Writing, proofing, editing, design, photography, department review and approval, prepress production, printing, and shipping all must be considered in the project timeline. The average minimum time for an advertisement is two weeks; for a brochure is four weeks; and for a booklet is 13 weeks.

Q: Is there a way to speed up the process?
A: Providing key information at the start is essential to an efficient production schedule. Know your target audience, quantity, distribution plan, budget, and deadline. Identify your approver, and understand approved means the text will not undergo significant changes. It is also important to stay involved. Your participation—reviewing proofs and responding to questions—is required in order to keep your project on track.

Q: Why is University Relations the brand manager?
A: University Relations has been charged by the Office of the President with maintaining CWU’s brand and its related online, editorial, and visual assets. CWU’s review and approval process helps ensure the university’s brand is maintained and consistent in marketing and promotional materials that represent the university.

Q: Where do I order business cards?
A: Order official CWU stationery, including letterhead, envelopes, and business cards, directly through Wildcat Printing.

Q: I downloaded the CWU logo, but can’t get it to work in my Word document?
A: CWU logo files are prepared as high-resolution .eps (vector) and .png (raster) files. The files may be placed or inserted into a variety of applications, such as InDesign, PowerPoint, Word, and Publisher. They can be opened in Illustrator or Photoshop. While various file types may not open on your computer, it does not mean the file is corrupt or something is wrong with your computer. EPS files are recommended for print use, and PNG files for online use. See the Primary Brandmarks, or Extended Family of Marks sections to download logos in the correct format.

Q: Who are University Relations designees?
A: In its effort to maintain brand standards, University Relations has designated some graphics approval authority to the Publicity Center, University Advancement, Athletics, Wildcat Printing, and the Wildcat Shop. For designees to retain graphics approval responsibility, they are required to undergo an annual review with University Relations. The review is a sampling of what’s being produced and approved in order to get an idea of how designees are treating the brand and the range of clients they serve.

Q: I heard there was a hold on new logos. Why can’t my area have its own logo?
A: CWU periodically conducts an audit of all marks and graphics used across campus. During the 2017 audit, approximately 250 different logos and marks were found to be in some form of use. This logo overload defeats our efforts to create a strong, consistent image that reflects CWU’s mission, message, brand, voice, and identity. The audit findings led to a campus-wide hold on logo work, and informed a thorough review of CWU’s brand and logo guidelines.

Q: I have a previously approved logo that my department regularly uses. Will it be grandfathered in under the new brand identity standards?
A: Maybe. As these standards are applied, some marks may remain unchanged, others will be retired or revised to better support the university’s overall brand. The goal is to strengthen the CWU brand by reducing the number of visuals representing the university. University Relations will identify marks to be kept, retired, or revised. The appropriate vice president will then review University Relations' recommendations. A final approved list of university marks will be prepared. Any future requests for new marks will be evaluated based on CWU’s current brand identity standards.

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