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Brand Identity and Style Guide
Seattle Pacific University


Since everything Seattle Pacific University does contributes to the perceptions of SPU in the mind of the public, branding is a collective enterprise.

The Office of University Communications is charged with helping to build, strengthen, and steward SPU’s brand through print and electronic publishing, advertising, media relations, and face-to-face communication. This involves the delivery of clear, consistent, and strategic messages to targeted external and internal audiences; ensuring the coherence and integrity of the institution’s visual image; and acting as “gatekeeper” for all strategic SPU communications.

Foundational principles

Vision work

To accomplish its faith-based vision for preparing students to serve and lead in a world that needs their talents, SPU will ensure that all of its messages convey that mission in words and in visuals.

Continuity and consistency

Branding SPU successfully requires continuity and consistency of message and visual identity across the University’s communication. Each message will be clearly identifiable as originating from SPU and will convey the brand.


SPU’s branding effort will be flexible enough in message and design to target specific audiences and market specific programs effectively.


Since audiences equate the quality of SPU’s communication with the quality of its vision, messages will be excellent in every way.

Interdepartmental collaboration

All SPU communications will be coordinated and leveraged to achieve the maximum impact. This means that no SPU unit can opt out of the University’s brand.

What is a brand?

The Seattle Pacific University brand is a promise of value and difference. Our brand is more than a description of what we’re like or what we aspire to. It establishes a position: that we’re different from other universities.

Based on extensive research conducted with University stakeholders, the position of SPU embodies the following characteristics:

SPU’s brand builds on three distinctives: Seattle, Faith, and Academics


The brand essence is the heart and soul of our brand. It is a shorthand expression of the constant, fundamental quality Seattle Pacific University offers to every audience, worldwide.

Faith for the future.


From our global, future-facing location, Seattle Pacific equips resilient leaders. Compelled by Christian faith, the University prepares students to serve a world that needs their talents.

Our brand positioning statement isn’t intended for direct communication to external audiences. Instead, it serves as an organizing principle for how we think about ourselves, as well as how we build relationships with our audiences. This position should be evident at every point of contact with our brand.

The brand position articulates our promise of value and originality. It is supported visually through our name and logo, and it shapes people’s expectations of the experience they will have with our institution.


Brand values are the pillars of our position and reflect the essential character and quality of a Seattle Pacific University experience. These brand values serve as organizing principles to guide strategic decisions in everything we do.


Organizations have personalities just as people do. The way we uniquely express our character — through the tone and manner or look and feel of a Seattle Pacific University experience — is evidence of our brand values.

In choosing words, images, themes or formats for SPU, the experiential cues of SPU should always be evident.

Visual identity

What we do to help students succeed may change, but our visual identity should be consistent and easy to identify. From our logo to our typography, imagery, and more, the elements of our identity help us stand out from the competition and stand up for the experience Seattle Pacific University offers.


Our logotype is one of the most important elements of SPU’s brand. It’s often the first — and sometimes the only — brand element that users will encounter. The SPU mark is an easily recognized, iconic form.

The logo can never be modified, regardless of whether it appears on the screen of a small mobile device or on a massive trade show display. And the brand logotype should never be used without, or with any modification to, the SPU Flame.

To remain prominent and distinctive, the logotype and icon need space to breathe. No other graphic elements, copy, photography, or background patterns that may divert attention should intrude into the clear space behind the logo.

full spu logo
Logo torch size

Full version

The full Seattle Pacific University mark should be used when establishing primary institutional identity or when the context of the university isn’t clear. This includes off-campus advertising.

Abridged version

The abridged “Seattle Pacific” mark may be used when the context of the university is clear. These uses include on-campus banners and campus athletic wear. When in doubt, use the full version of the logo.

SPU Flame logomark

Our flame — a monogram for SPU — may be selectively, carefully used on its own to reflect the identity of the institution. The SPU Flame should never be modified in form or in its ratio and relationship to the logotype when they appear together.

Clear space

The clear space for the combination mark should be the full height and width of the SPU Flame in our logotype.

Clear space don’ts

Maintaining clear space includes only using the logo marks on top of a solid color.

Minimum size

In order to ensure legibility and visual prominence in print and digital applications, the full and abridged logos should never appear smaller than 1 inch wide and the SPU Flame should never appear smaller than .25 inches wide.

Logo version 1

Full version

Logo version 1

Abridged version

Logo version 1

SPU Flame only

Logo don’ts


Color is a powerful means of visual expression. It is a crucial way to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace. By using our colors correctly, we create a visual tone that signals our brand personality.

It is particularly important to pay attention to use of color in Seattle Pacific University branded materials. The maroon color is unique to SPU, but many other university brands use colors in the red band of the spectrum.

The brand palette

Our primary brand color is a rich Legacy Maroon. We use it as a logo color and to establish an overall color identity for our brand.

Color matching

Great care should be taken to get our colors exactly right — do not use colors that are merely similar. Use the PANTONE® Matching System (PMS) color when printing with spot colors. Use RGB or Hex values for digital applications. Use CMYK or PMS values when creating content for print. They may not look right onscreen, but they will print correctly. Always use the CMYK and RGB values specified in this guideline and not the equivalent values provided by PANTONE®.

Color proportions

Legacy Maroon should be the dominant color used in branded applications. Secondary colors should be used to support and complement. As often as possible, seek to narrow the color palette to establish Seattle Pacific University identity through consistency, not variety.

color palette

*Codes are for a flood of Legacy Maroon only. For logo specific color codes, please see the Color Variants section.

Color variants

The choice of complementary or contrasting reds is informed by the use of background colors.


Type is the visible expression of our brand voice. Our typographic style reflects our brand personality.

SangBleu Empire

Display type

Our dominant typeface is SangBleu Empire. This hybrid typeface doesn’t follow the conventional patterns of serif, sans, and slab. Instead, each character offers a distinctive voice. SangBleu incorporates the best from the past and transforms it into an effective, contemporary tool. Use it for headlines.

h1, SangBleu Empire Bold

h1, SangBleu Empire

h2, SangBleu Empire Bold

h2, SangBleu Empire

Trade Gothic

Body type

Trade Gothic is a workhorse. A sans serif with a slight airiness, it is highly legible, and works well with more assertive fonts. It is ideal for a wide variety of uses, from body copy to captions.

Note that bold text in body copy should be Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold No. 2. Standard bold is a more condensed font used only for limited applications.

Trade Gothic LT Pro is available as a webfont and should be used online when possible.

h3, Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold No. 2

h3, Trade Gothic LT Pro Roman

h3, Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold No. 2 Italic

h3, Trade Gothic LT Pro Roman Italic

h4, Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold No. 2

h4, Trade Gothic LT Pro Roman

h4, Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold No. 2 Italic

h4, Trade Gothic LT Pro Roman Italic

p, Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold No. 2

p, Trade Gothic LT Pro Roman

p, Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold No. 2 Italic

p, Trade Gothic LT Pro Roman Italic


Arial is our secondary typeface. Use it when Trade Gothic isn’t available, particularly in electronic media that will be viewed and edited on a screen.

Why Arial? It’s a standardized font, common to both Windows and Mac, and is pre-installed on virtually every current computer. Any message that is viewed, printed, edited, or appended by the recipient should use Arial.

Trade Gothic is primarily for marketing materials, printed presentations, and proposals — all cases where we can directly control the output or viewing experience.

Arial Bold

Arial Regular

Arial Italic

Trade Gothic Condensed

Other type uses

Trade Gothic LT Pro Condensed No. 18 is used for limited applications including institutional signage (see Institutional section for details).

Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold is used for limited applications including college and school logos (see Architecture section for details).

Trade Gothic LT Pro Condensed No. 18

Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold


Sentence case should be used in headlines to communicate a sociable, candid, modern tone.

Type sizes

Type sizes can vary depending on the medium. Generally, body copy in printed pieces should be 9 to 11 point type. The goal is to create a coherent and consistent hierarchy between headlines and body copy.

Sample hierarchy


Imagery should reinforce the unique characteristics of our community, location, and promise.

A successful Seattle Pacific University image is:

Photography don’ts

Our photography must go beyond what students would expect to find on an ordinary college campus.

Make sure the imagery you use sends the right message in the right tone. Avoid images that are:

Form language

We have adopted a limited set of graphic forms to bring signature character to the Seattle Pacific University identity. Using repeated colors and shapes, we create pattern recognition, aiding brand familiarity.

Patterns may be used frequently, but must be handled carefully. While they are important elements of our brand, it is not necessary to use them in every application.

These elements should never be used in combination for a single graphical application.


Use a color-contrasting line to add drama and refinement to full pages, banners, posters, etc. Don’t use the frame on areas less than the full format/media available. As a graphical element, the SPU Flame may be used to anchor the frame. Never use the frame in small area or with information-dense design.


The border highlight uses a gradient treatment, fading from Falcon Red in the top left corner to Legacy Maroon in the bottom right corner.

Falcon Red to Legacy Maroon gradient

With logo

When including the SPU Flame logo, always align the edges of the border with the lines, as seen below.

On photography

When using the frame on photography, try to weave the frame into the context of the scene to highlight the concept of Seattle as classroom.

Corner highlight

The corner highlight, used with two or three stripes, can be used with or without the frame as a distinguishing shape, mask, or border.

With highlight border

When the full logo is in a layout, consider using the corner highlight as an alternate to using the logo in the corner of a border.


The addition/subtraction angle can be used in any corner. It should be used on solid backgrounds, cut out of photographs, or die cut for inserts in a brochure.


The wallpaper is repeating line art that borrows from the geometry of the SPU Flame. It is a subtle, far-secondary graphic element that can be used tone-on-tone, adding texture to a field of color. It should appear as a background, not a feature of the design. Explore scales for the wallpaper so that it is neither too small (creating a busy visual clutter), nor so oversized that the line weights distract from the information being communicated.

example design with dark pattern background

Design with dark pattern background

Numerical callouts

Peristyle Stencil is used for numerical callouts only in limited applications. It is a combination of two fonts. If used in two colors, they should be limited to our brand color palette.

peristyle stencil fonts


What’s in a name? In our system the words “Seattle Pacific” are the dominant source of identity and meaning for all facets of the institution. Everything we offer cascades from that brand identity, with descriptors that are simple, clear, hierarchical, and helpful.

Colleges and schools

Affiliating division names through a consistent color and logotype establishes clear identity and specialization for each. At the same time, affiliating with the Seattle Pacific University parent brand, and to each other, offers collective marketing benefits. No unit of Seattle Pacific, whether a school, research center, or auxiliary unit, can develop an individual logo from those presented here.

spu parent brand mark

SPU parent brandmark

Font: Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold
Letterspacing: 175
Color: Warm Black
Alignment: “U” is centered under “TT” in Seattle and “Y” is centered under “C” in Pacific

spu college and school brand mark

SPU college and school brandmark

Font: Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold
Letterspacing: 60
Color: Warm Black
Alignment: Left aligned to parent brand “U” in “University”

Seattle Pacific University consists of five schools and a college, and each has an official logo. The primary logo displays both the University mark and the school or college component in all capital Trade Gothic LT Pro Bold, using a horizontal treatment.

All of the rules regarding the main University logo also apply to these logos. For example, the school logos should never be manipulated or distorted.

The creation of additional identities related to Seattle Pacific is subject to prior review and approval by University Communications.

Clear space and minimum size

All rules surrounding clear space apply to the college and school brand marks as well.

Because these brand marks vary in width and height, use the minimum size rules for the SPU Flame at .25 inches.

logo demonstrating proper clear space and minimum size

Institutional usage

Non-curricular, commercial, public-facing

Trade Gothic LT Pro Condensed No. 18 should be used to identify Seattle Pacific University’s non-curricular, commercial, and public-facing entities such as Conference Services. To properly associate the brand, Trade Gothic LT Pro Condensed No. 18 type should never be lined up next to the logo. However, the full SPU logo should also be present and visible.

Trade Gothic LT Pro Condensed No. 18

trade gothic lt pro condensed no. 18 on a van


When messaging, it is important that we expand understanding of Seattle Pacfic University from its most common associations — Christian, degree programs, small, community, private, etc. — to assert SPU as a relevant, dynamic force in shaping lives and the future.

Key themes

The Seattle Pacific University brand requires the constant reinforcement of key themes. Combined, these themes represent the promise of value and uniqueness that people can expect from SPU.

These include:

  1. Academic rigor
    SPU is uncompromising in its commitment to academic challenge and rigor, as exemplified by the “Best National University” ranking by U.S. News & World Report.
  2. The Seattle advantage
    Seattle is our campus. SPU exposes students to challenges and opportunities, helping them anticipate and shape the future in a thriving, world-class city.
  3. Christian faith
    At SPU we invite students to explore or go deeper in Christian faith. We want students to understand and serve the world through this lens.

Academic rigor

The Seattle advantage

Christian faith


A messaging matrix is a resource for prioritizing and articulating key messages in support of Seattle Pacific University’s brand position and values.

It is not a “copy and paste” resource suitable for every communication need. It is an efficient tool for communicators, to help organize thinking and ensure that the value and distinctives of Seattle Pacific are evident all the time, no matter the audience or context of communication.


Banners are topline messages that apply broadly to all audiences. They support key themes for Seattle Pacific University.


‘Pillars’ are mid-tier messages that apply more specifically to the individual audience segments that Seattle Pacific would like to persuade.

Prospective students

Prospective graduate students

Current students (undergraduate & graduate)

Parents & guardians

Alumni and donors

Faculty & staff

Corporate partners


Line-art style library

Design file ↗

Icon usage

Social media icons

Common icons


Be a brand champion.

To distinguish ourselves in a crowded market, we must first deliver an exceptional user experience.

Our engagement strategy begins with an institution-wide commitment to foster the best possible learning environment, delivered consistently at every touchpoint with students, families, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners around the globe.

Meanwhile, the competitive nature of higher education marketing requires that we also take advantage of every opportunity to create and highlight our institution’s real distinctives.

That is why we are committed to growing, managing, and protecting the highest quality design standards as a strategic resource.

If you have any questions about these standards or their application, contact University Communications: