Maintaining BU’s brand identity standards on social networks

10-2088-ICESCULPT-241In last month’s BU Social Media Communicators meeting, Nathaniel Boyle of Interactive Design presented on the challenges of maintaining BU’s brand identity standards (outlined at on social networks. I asked if he would discuss some of these guidelines here. Nat, take it away!

Brand standards can be tricky and at times seem heavy-handed. The instinct is often to do your best within the guidelines established. Despite the best of intentions, this approach almost always winds up violating the guidelines.

In order to avoid degradation, distortion, or improper spacing of the BU logo or seal, and to maintain a suite of social presences that are presentably cross-branded across the University without any confusion as to what’s official and what’s not, we have established the following social media brand guidelines for University-wide usage. Following these guidelines will ensure you’re representing the University on third-party social media platforms appropriately.

Here’s the approach you should take:

  • Consider your avatars, profile and background images to be extensions of your web presence.
  • If you do not have a visual aesthetic to your web presence, consider social your opportunity to give yourself a consistent, recognizable look and feel.
  • These are your social media accounts, so please consider the social “personality” you want your aesthetic to convey. And don’t be afraid to have fun!

To make this easier, we’ve compiled a series of themes that you can download. Each theme includes a Twitter avatar, Twitter background, and Facebook profile picture. I would recommend at least downloading one to get a sense of visual identity consistency, and also image sizes, etc.

And never forget the most important rule: DON’T use a BU logo as your graphical representation, unless it appears in a photo.


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