Skip to main content

Brand Guide


To comply with Section 504, a civil rights law, the University is committed to ensuring individuals with disabilities can acquire information and perform tasks online.

To ensure our print and digital executions are accessible — and clearly and effectively convey information to our audience — certain considerations should be made in the creative process.

Digital and Print Design

For readability, there needs to be substantial contrast between the background and text. The best results  (i.e., highest contrast) are typically black, Glow Navy or Glow Blue text on a white background (or vice versa).

Red should not be used on a blue background (or vice versa) because the contrast is not high enough.

To check color contrast, you can turn your computer to grayscale; if the contrast is not high enough, the type will blend into the background. You can also use the color contrast checker offered by WebAIM.


When including text on a gradient, it is important to ensure the copy is readable. Aim to place text on the most "plain" (i.e., monochrome) section of the gradient.

The best results typically use white text, with Champion Lightweight or Champion Heavyweight for headlines, and Chronicle Regular or Bold for subheads.

If needed, a white gradient can be used to create a "blank" space for type. When using this technique, text should appear in black or Glow Navy.

Optimal type size varies depending on medium, audience, amount of copy, etc. In general, larger type is better.

To improve readability:

  • Avoid hyphenation of words (e.g., do not wrap text).
  • Use sentence case for body copy.
  • Pay attention to kerning and leading.
  • Avoid column widths that are too narrow or too wide. 
  • Use left-aligned type for long text.
  • Break up large amounts of text into chunks by using headlines, subheads and bulleted lists.

Small type should never appear on complex (multicolored) parts of gradients.

Because of its delicate serifs, Chronicle should not be used in small sizes on a gradient. Enlarge the type size and weight —  or use Proxima Nova as an alternate type.

Web, Social Media and Digital Communications

Content owners must ensure any materials — including PDFs, Word documents or PowerPoint presentations — posted online or distributed electronically are accessible. There are many online resources to guide you in creating documents that are accessible for online use, including:

That said, best practice is to avoid linking to separate documents (.pdf, .doc, .ppt, etc.) as much as possible. Research has shown that displaying content in document format — instead of natively on the website — degrades the user experience. It can also pose accessibility issues and negatively impact SEO. (Learn more by reading the Nielsen Norman Group's "Avoid PDF for On-Screen Reading".) Instead of linking to a file, build your content using web components in the CMS.

Whether used in print or on social media, hashtags should use camel case to enhance readability. For example, use #DaytonFlyers vs. #daytonflyers.

Individual content owners are responsible for ensuring any content added to the website or social media is accessible. For example, adding alternative (ALT) text for images is a key element of web accessibility. In general, alternative text should be contextual, succinct and accurate. Tips about alternative text can be found on the WebAIM website.

Any video that's associated with the University of Dayton must be hosted and distributed through an official channel - and adhere to certain guidelines for content and design.

All UD videos must include captions. Video captions make audio content accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and they also allow all individuals to easily consume the content in environments when their sound must be turned off.

When completing the video upload request form, you should also submit the caption file. If you do not have a caption file available, we can generate one via a captioning service that charges $1.25 per finished minute.

The UD website interface (design and navigation) was built to comply with WCAG 2.1 AA standards. All pages built within the University's Content Management System are accessible from a technical standpoint. The web management and advisory team (webMAT) also regularly reviews the site to identify and fix accessibility issues.

View the Web Accessibility Policy for detailed requirements, expectations and procedures related to web accessibility.


University Marketing and Communications

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1303