Marketing

We take pride in shaping the identity of the Division of Student Affairs. We collaborate with departments across the division to craft captivating visuals, compelling narratives, and an engaging social media presence that are in compliance with university standards. Here are some of the services we provide: 

  1. Brand Compliance Oversight: We ensure that all marketing collateral, social media strategies, and communication initiatives within the division adhere to university standards.

  2. Collaborative Approach: Collaboration is at the heart of what we do. We work closely with departments across the division, understanding their unique needs and aspirations. By fostering strong partnerships, we execute marketing campaigns that resonate with our student body.

  3. Design Expertise: From concept to execution, we handle design projects that enhance the visual appeal of our division's materials, ensuring they leave a lasting impression.

  4. Material Review: We review, refine, and optimize content to ensure it meets the highest standards of quality, consistency, and effectiveness.

  5. Digital Signage: We manage digital signs within Student Affairs buildings, providing up-to-date information to the campus community.

  6. The Snapshot: Stay in the loop with our weekly newsletter, "The Snapshot." Packed with news, events, and updates from across the division, it's your go-to source for all things Student Affairs. Division staff members are added automatically when you join our team, other university staff members interested in receiving The Snapshot can email us to be added to the mailing list.

  7. Instagram Takeovers: We facilitate Instagram takeovers for departments and student organizations, amplifying their voices and connecting them with the wider student community. 

cheerleaders with red and blue poms and holding up pony ears hand sign

Brand Resources

As the custodians of the SMU brand, we know how to speak about each of our departments to the SMU community and beyond - and have an impact. Below are brand resources, such as logos, font guidance, and more. This information is here to help you feel confident that your materials are aligned with SMU brand standards.

Guidelines

Student Affairs Marketing offers valuable resources and expertise to assist you in every step of your journey. Please adhere closely to the established guidelines and our University brand.

Goals

 

Showcase Student Voices

Showcase diverse student experiences through features and stories.

Highlight DSA programs that contribute to a holistic student journey.

Highlight professional development and leadership opportunities for students.

Keep Audience Informed

Regularly share information regarding initiatives, deadlines, opportunities and resources.

Spotlight partnerships and collaborations that enhance the student experience.

Share success stories and outcomes resulting from DSA initiatives.

Highlight Staff Contributions

Feature staff spotlights and achievements.

Illustrate the integral role of DSA staff in supporting students.

Engage with other SMU departments to showcase a unified university community.

Educate on Student Affairs' Importance

Create content that communicates how DSA contributes to SMU's educational mission.

Share content that emphasizes physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Share data-driven insights on student success, engagement, and satisfaction.

 

Best Practices

 

Channel Prioritization

Focus on Instagram and LinkedIn as primary channels.

Tailor content to resonate with current students and staff.

Evergreen Content and Storytelling

Develop evergreen content that highlights timeless aspects of the student experience.

Utilize stories and lives for content with a shorter shelf life.

Minimize Event Promotion

Direct students to SMU360, Handshake, and other platforms for event details.

Prioritize content that goes beyond event promotion to showcase the broader student experience.

Photo Emphasis

Prioritize photos over graphics for an authentic and visually engaging experience.

Use visuals to tell compelling stories about the SMU community.

Student Perspective

Share content from the student point of view, emphasizing personal stories.

Encourage user-generated content to foster a sense of community.

SMU Voice and Tone

Maintain a consistent SMU voice and tone that aligns with the University's brand.

Use a conversational and inclusive tone to engage the audience.

 

Other Resources

Download the full version of the DSA Social Media Strategy. 

Review the SMU Social Media Playbook and Crisis Management guidelines on the SMU Brand Center.

Review university photography and video guidelines.

Student Affairs uses the SMU brand alternate fonts, Georgia and Arial, because both of these are standard on most computers and applications like Word, Powerpoint, and Adobe Creative Suite. 

Georgia is a serif font, and Arial is sans serif. The main difference is the little tick marks or feet (serifs) on the end of letters. These serifs give fonts a more formal, institutional appearance which makes them great for headlines. A few examples of serif fonts include: Lora, Playfair Display, Abril Fatface, Baskerville, and Bodoni MT. Serifs also make text easier to read by differentiating letters from each other, so these fonts can be useful for print collateral. 

Sans serif fonts like Arial appear more modern and can be used more informally, making them suitable for body text, subheadings, and captions. Examples of sans serif fonts include: Libre Franklin, Montserrat, Helvetica Neue, Gotham, Proxima Nova, and Franklin Gothic. Sans serif fonts are especially useful in digital materials and display text because they show up well on screens.

SMU's brand fonts are Tiempos (serif) and Trade Gothic (sans serif) and require paid licenses to use. To request marketing collateral with the brand fonts, submit a graphic design request.

Support

All Division staff members can request graphic design support from Student Affairs Marketing. Staff members in Residence Life and Student Housing, The Hegi Family Career Development Center, and Dr. Bob Smith Health Center should first request support from their department’s marketing specialist. 

 

Design Applications

For quick and last-minute projects, all university staff members have access to the Adobe Creative Cloud including Adobe Express which includes a wide variety of templates. Most departments also have access to Canva.

 

Logos and Brand

All print and digital materials must include the department’s official logo or the Student Affairs official logo. All images, written copy, graphics, emails, print materials, and communications must adhere to the University's brand standards.

 

Accessibility 

  • Use clear and concise language. Anything longer than two to three sentences should be in the text of a social media post, body of an email, or event details page. 
  • Emails should not consist of only a graphic or image; text is required in the body of the email. 
  • Never use script and handwriting fonts. Because they are often thin, closely spaced, and overly ornate they are often difficult to read.
  • Avoid using shadow, echo, and outline treatments on text. If the text requires alterations to be visible, you made need to change the color or background.
  • Instead of all capital letters, use for sentence case for titles and headings. Capital letters have less size variation which makes them difficult to read.
  • Use visual hierarchy to guide the audience. Titles and prompts should be more prominent than details and descriptions.

Style

Font: Use Georgia and Arial fonts (unless your department has licensed the SMU brand fonts).

Written Content Length: Graphics intended for digital channels should include less than 50 words.

Events: graphics must include at a minimum: the department’s logo, day, date, time, and location.

Day of the week should be included and written out (Monday, Tuesday) and not abbreviated. 

Months can be abbreviated (Jan, Dec) only if spacing requires it. 

Year is not required if the event happening in the current year.

Do not include abbreviations after the date unless referring to an annual event (1st Annual Picnic).

Include a.m. and p.m. in lower case with periods, use noon for 12 p.m. and midnight for 12 a.m.

Internal References: Abbreviations and acronyms should be avoided. New staff, first year students, and campus visitors are not familiar with their usage.  

Audience: Specify if this is appropriate for staff, students, the Division, or others.

Descriptions: If the purpose is not immediately understood from the title, include a description.

Prompt: Include a call to action; pre-register for an event, make an appointment, visit a website.

Voice: Use active voice. (“We are hosting…” vs “We will be hosting…”)

 

Review the University’s editorial style guide for the full list of our writing conventions. 

 

Quick Reference Dimensions

  • Stake Signs 11” x 17”
  • Digital TV Ad 
  • Size: 1920x1080 px
  • File Type: JPG or PNG
  • Resolution: 72 ppi
  • Email Banners 
  • Size: 800x600 px
  • File Type: JPG or PNG
  • SMU360 Event Image
  • Size: 864x432 px
  • File Type: JPG or PNG
  • Resolution: 72 ppi

Review the SMU360 Image Sizing Guide

Review Sprout Socials' Social Media Sizing Guide 

Are you designing marketing materials for the website, digital signs, or other digital space? Chances are you’ll need to optimize your photos for viewing on a website. The following tutorial teaches you step by step how to optimizing your photos for the web, including ensuring your photos are aligning with SMU’s brand photography style.

View Optimizing Photos Tutorial

Resources

Download the Student Affairs and departmental logos by clicking on the button below. Please ensure you are using the correct logo for your project; there are variations specific to print and digital use.

  • The preferred color variations are the blue and red version or all white.
  • The Student Affairs logo, and all SMU logos, may not be altered, edited, or added to in order to create a new version.
  • All print and digital materials must include either the Student Affairs or departmental logo.

Download the logos

Various icons are available in SMU brand colors for use on marketing materials. The folder will be continuously updated with new icons. If you do not find what you are looking for, email saadmin@dfwconsultantsinc.com and we will be able to find one for you.

Marketing Icons

Student Affairs learning domain icons are available in their respective colors, various file types, and in full or small sizes.

Download Learning Domain Icons

Letterhead 

Download Division of Student Affairs digital letterhead here.

Stationery 

Division of Student Affairs Note Cards - We offer a flat A2 size (4.25"x5.5") one-sided note cards in the designs below. Anything in red on the designs will be in red metallic foil. The are accompanying white envelopes if needed. Please email SA Admin at saadmin@dfwconsultantsinc.com to confirm the amount needed and schedule a pick up. Additional stationary items can be purchased from Marfield Stationery

Division of Student Affairs Dallas Hall note card designDivision of Student Affairs note card design

Visit the SMU Brand Center for Additional Resources and Guidelines

SMU.EDU/BRAND