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Visual Guidelines

See the CWRU brand.

Brand identity is the visual representation of the Case Western Reserve University brand—the tangible elements that make our brand recognizable and reinforce our core values and heritage.

Successful brand identity is shaped through consistency. Using our identity correctly and consistently helps students, faculty, staff, alumni, funders and others understand what Case Western Reserve represents. It reinforces our strength as one of the nation's premier research universities.

Explore the following guidelines for representing our brand:


Color is important when creating a brand identity. It is one of the most visible ways of evoking a precise brand association.


A focused color palette was chosen to help build brand awareness for Case Western Reserve University. This palette comprises four colors: Blue, gray, white and black. Blue and gray were officially adopted as the university colors in the 1967 federation. Today, the university’s color palette builds on the original colors but with a more distinct appearance: Unique blends of blue and gray have been created specially for the university.


Blue represents knowledge, power, integrity and purpose. It is brilliant, dynamic and innovative. It engages and influences.


Gray is a blend of the intellectual and practical. It connotes wisdom, formality and sophistication.


The university blue should be the dominant color in all marketing communications, with gray, black and white serving as secondary colors. Tertiary colors are not permitted. Prominent use of the blue, especially on the covers of our printed pieces, best reinforces our brand.


Color Guide

Our color guide, available for download as a PDF, is designed to ensure consistent color across various print and digital media for all Case Western Reserve University projects. It should be sent to your vendor with every job. Color swatches are available if you need a color reference for silk screening or other projects that don’t involve offset printing. Please contact University Marketing and Communications at or 216.368.4440 with requests.




Ink Mix: 
18.98% rubine 
64.30% process blue 
16.80% black
CMYK (c): C100, M47, Y12, K62
CMYK (u): C100, M47, Y12, K62
LAB(c): L23, A-5, B-23
LAB(u): L32, A-1, B-14
PMS: 7463
HTML: 0a304e
RGB: R10, G48, B78


CWRU Gray 


Ink Mix: 
72.98% transparent white 
0.57% yellow 
2.19% rubine 
6.37% process blue 1
7.89% black
CMYK(c): C35, M22, Y23, K62
CMYK(u): C35, M22, Y23, K62
LAB(c): L45, A0, B0
LAB(u): L44, A0, B-2
PMS: 425
HTML: 626262
RGB: R106, G106, B106




CMYK(c): C0, M0, Y0, K100
CMYK(u): C0, M0, Y0, K100
HTML: 000000
RGB: R0, G0, B0


Like color, consistent use of typography is extremely important for brand recognition. Properly chosen typography serves to enhance the overall look of communications and works in conjunction with the logo, images, color and language to reinforce a clear identity.


Titillium was carefully selected as the university typeface for all marketing communications. Titillium is an open-source typeface designed by a design consortium in Italy. Its unique, clean, modern look strengthens our brand personality as a university that is collaborative and forward thinking. This sans serif font has a variety of weights and works well for both body copy and headlines. Download it now, then install it to your computer.


When designing a print piece, no other font is needed. For the web, use Titillium whenever possible. A sans serif font such as Helvetica or Arial can be used in body copy if necessary. However, Titillium is now a Google Font and can easily be used on the web.


The university logo is the strongest link to our brand. That is why it is important to use only approved logos in all communications. Whenever an unapproved logo is used or an approved logo is changed or altered in any way, it dilutes our brand. Because of its strong association with the university, the approved logo should appear on the cover of all marketing communications. The default placement for the logo should be at the bottom of the communications piece, signifying it as the anchor or signature component of your message.


For more information on appropriate use, visit our logo page.


To download an official logo, visit our digital asset-management system.


The open frame is a key component of our brand identity. It was created to tie together all the brand elements with a strong, unique graphic that represents the university’s brand. The open frame is meant to evoke a visual representation of the sunburst graphic in the university logo, with its open top-right corner, which signifies unlimited potential and “outside the box” thinking.


This graphic should appear on the cover of all printed marketing communications. The open frame can be used in a variety of weights and opacities, and can appear in any of the colors from the university’s palette. It should work within the grid of the layout of the piece. The open right corner should always be cut at a 45-degree angle and should be the size of one-third of the frame’s width. The variety of applications of the frame element allows for flexible, yet consistent designs.



Strong photography is one of the best ways to tell a good story. Bland photography, on the other hand, can dilute a potentially powerful message.
Whenever possible, use photography that is visually interesting and that dynamically captures the essence of the message you want to promote. Photographs that reflect a documentary or journalistic approach best convey the visual image of Case Western Reserve University—capturing a more natural, relaxed and welcoming character. Photos should be engaging, intense, exciting, intelligent and purposeful.


A variety of images are available for download through our digital asset-management system, online at


University Marketing and Communications does not have a staff photographer, but we do work with a variety of freelance photographers. For assistance, please email


The front or cover of any marketing communications piece should incorporate all of the elements presented in this visual guidelines section:

  • the university color palette; 
  • the university font, Titillium; 
  • correct use of the formal university or school or vanguard institute/center logo with appropriate background control, clear space and anchored positioning; and 
  • the open frame.

Always follow the visual guidelines presented here when designing a piece for the university.


Formal invitations are the one exception to the visual guidelines: They can be printed on any paper stock within the university's color palette—with an added silver color (Pantone 877)—so you can choose from specialty papers with different textures or finishes. They also do not have to incorporate the logo or open frame on the front. They should use our color palette—with the option of an added silver color (Pantone 877)—and can incorporate the script font Libelle to convey a more formal mood.


Formal invitations do not include postcards or web-based invitations.


Case Western Reserve has selected specific papers that best represent the brand: McCoy by Sappi, a coated sheet, and Cougar Super Smooth by Domtar, an uncoated sheet.


McCoy is a bright-white sheet—a versatile paper to which many techniques and varnishes can be applied. It provides highlights and sparkle for powerful imagery, and the choice of finishes provide reflection and shine, understated elegance or softness coupled with low-glare readability. McCoy also suits our brand and our commitment to sustainability because it is 10 percent post-consumer waste, elemental chlorine free and Forest Stewardship Council certified. FSC certification means that all steps in the process of making the paper—from tree to printer—are in compliance with the FSC’s guidelines for economic, social and environmental concerns.


Cougar Super Smooth is a premium uncoated printing paper long-revered for value and performance. It touts a stellar 98 brightness and a balanced white shade with 10 percent post-consumer content. The paper is FSC certified.


One exception to the use of these papers is formal invitations. While McCoy and Cougar Super Smooth certainly can be used for invitations, any other type of paper within the university's color palette—including an added silver option (Pantone 877)—also is acceptable.