University Brand Manual

The Communications and Marketing Office is pleased to present the St. Ambrose University Brand Manual, which has been developed to advance the mission of the university through excellence in communication.

This document includes important brand guidelines for logo usage, typography, color palettes, social media, and photography/video style. Adhering to these guidelines will guarantee that all materials produced with the St. Ambrose University name represent our brand consistently, resulting in a unified, professional appearance.

You may download the full Brand Manual document here (pdf). Summarized versions of each Brand Manual section are also listed below. 

Thank you for your part in helping to strengthen and support St. Ambrose University. If you have questions regarding these guidelines, please contact the Communications and Marketing Office at or 563-333-6295.

Download the Brand Manual (pdf)

SAU Brand Manual (Highlights)

Executive Summary

The Communications and Marketing Office and President's Office have recently taken steps to establish a clear and consistent brand for St. Ambrose University. To help support this endeavor, the Communications and Marketing Office has developed and will administer this Brand Manual.

The purpose of this Brand Manual is to provide helpful information and assets, including the usage policies of the visual identity, name, logo and other representations of the university. The information, assets, and policies outlined in this manual went into effect Spring 2020. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • University units such as academic departments and offices should cease the usage and creation of unique logos and visual identities that have not been approved by the C&M Office by Spring 2020 (only select campus organizations/units are excluded from this policy).
  • University units should strictly follow the Brand Specifications outlined in the manual. This includes the proper use of the institutional and athletics logos, typography, and more. 
  • Existing and new social media accounts representing the university in any official capacity (academic departments, offices, athletic teams, university initiatives, clubs, etc.) should register their account(s) with the C&M Office. Accounts that register and utilize the proper visual assets provided to them will be listed in the SAU Official Social Media Directory (coming soon).
Brand Foundation

Empowerment Comes From Within

Our brand is more than our school colors, mascot, and logo. The SAU brand captures the essence of who we are as an institution and effortlessly shares that with our audience. Our brand, through all its assets, seeks to inspire infinite growth that serves and transforms people, communities and our world.

In its simplest form, our brand is our reputation. It's a representation of who we are as a university, what we stand for, our mission, and our goals. When we work together to ensure our brand is consistent, people will think and feel positively about SAU. In return, this helps SAU increase our positive impact on the world around us, reaching new heights.

When working within our brand, it's important to ask the question, what if St. Ambrose University was a person? What character traits would they embody? What kind of language would they use? What kinds of stories would they tell? These are all important aspects of our university brand. In order for our brand strategy to be effective, it is critical for university content creators and storytellers to understand this 'person'.

So...Who Are We?
The SAU brand personality can be broken down into three overarching character pillars:

  • Compassionate Caretakers 
  • Curious Explorers
  • Dedicated Contenders 
Project Requests and Production

In order for the St. Ambrose University Communications and Marketing Office to best serve our campus community, the following details regarding project requests and production must be considered.

Typically, job requests require a 4 to 6 weeks timeline. This includes design, proofing, and print production (if applicable). If you have questions about a project, contact C&M and we will provide you with a projected production timeline. Because communication objectives can be accomplished in many ways (print materials, email, social media, website, etc.), we ask that project requests are as detailed as possible.

Please contact Darcy Duncalf to begin your project request.

Brand Editorial (Writing on Brand)

The St. Ambrose brand personality is at the core of who we are as an institution. It's consistent and unchanging, while our brand tone is the emotional inflection applied to our personality. Your tone should adjust to what's suitable for a particular piece or message. Leveraging brand tone properly helps breathe even more life into our personality and helps us establish a cohesive voice through all of our messaging. View and download the full Brand Manual to learn more about our brand personality and tone.

University Style Guide

The university editorial style guide is a set of standards for writing for university publications, website, social media and more. Following the style rules listed in the guide will improve university communication and establish consistency. View and download the style guide here.

Brand Specifications (Logos and Visual Branding)

Please view the Logo Download page for more information and to access SAU logos.

Communications and Marketing shapes and stewards an overarching brand, incorporating key institutional messages and core design elements. This eliminates brand confusion and ensures that our visual materials project a clear and consistent image of the university.

The official institutional logo consists of a graphic element or emblem representing a stylized tower topped by a cross and lettering in a specific font spelling out the university's name in St. Ambrose blue (Pantone 287).  The graphic element and lettering of the institutional logo are to be used as one unit and not to be used separately. Exceptions to this rule will only be made very selectively for compelling institutional or graphic design reasons, which must be pre-approved by the Communications and Marketing Office. In most instances, such a modified logo would be created and placed by the Communications and Marketing Office. 

sau logo

Social Media (Registration, Best Practices, Policies)

Creating An Account

  • Be sure that a university social media account for this purpose does not already exist. Reference the directory (Coming in September 2020), contact the Social Media Specialist, or conduct a quick search.
  • Assign a minimum of two (preferably three) dedicated social media administrators/ content creators.
  • Register for a new social media account.

General Best Practices

Have clearly defined expectations and goals for your social media account. A social media account without a clearly defined purpose will not produce quality, thoughtful content. Before you decide to create an account, consider the following:

  • Do I have a minimum of two willing and able social media managers?
  • Can my goal be met by having my content posted on the university's main pages instead?
  • Do I have a content plan established with at least one month's worth of content ideas? 

For assistance with content creation and strategy, please contact the Social Media Specialist.

Best Practices Cont. 

  • If your unit has more than one social media channel, your username/handle should be consistent. 
  • Do not change profile photos/ visual branding for your social account that has been provided by the C&M Office. These allow us to create a strong, clean and organized visual identity among our social media accounts. 
  • Consistent use of appropriate hashtags helps us further promote the SAU brand. Hashtags are also a great way to engage your audience and participate in meaningful conversations.
  • General/Everyday Use-Approved Hashtags: #SAUBees, #StAmbroseUniversity, #BeesOfSAU, (Admissions/Student Life), #BringTheSting (All Athletics), #AmbroseAlumni (Alumni), #SAUAlumni (Alumni)
Photo and Video

Compelling imagery and videos are great ways to share the SAU story. You can browse our fair-use gallery of photos.

Can't find what you're looking for? Professional equipment and years of experience are not necessarily required to be able to take great photos. Follow the tips below for how to best capture photos at your next campus event.

  • Set the stage. Wide-angle shots of the space gives a perspective of the location, how many guests are present, etc.
  • Interaction is key. A great way to evoke emotion through your photos is to capture guests interacting with one another. One way of doing this is the standard 'over the shoulder' shot. This type of shot will often allow you to catch a smile or laugh.
  • Take cues from the professional. If a professional photographer is also present, pay attention to how they are taking their own photos. Sometimes you may be able to take the same or similar staged photos as they are while standing nearby. 

The Communications and Marketing Department has created templates within the Manual for the following:

  • Institutional email signatures (required for faculty and staff)
  • Presentations (Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint)
  • Social Media reporting

Please scroll up to the Brand Manual which contains the templates. 

ADA Compliance

ADA Compliance

Governing the accessibility standards for the St. Ambrose University website are the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Chapter 5), Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, and Section 508 Guidelines.

Using Alternate Text for Images

student studying in library
Alt text: student studying in the library

Alternate Text (Alt Text) is the short description of an image. See the example above.

Why Alt Text is important

  • Many people with vision or other disabilities may use screen reading software to consume content on websites and social media. Screen reading software announces alt text in place of an image. If you want to know how this software works, activate it on your computer.
    - Mac
    - PC
    - iOS
    - Android
  • Alt text helps internet search results
  • Alt text is REQUIRED for all images


Communications and Marketing
Kreiter Hall
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

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