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Policies

To ensure the appropriate use of Northeastern’s brand elements, voice, and tone in communications and a seamless brand experience, please review and adhere to these policies.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

Advertising and Media Plans

Northeastern-sponsored advertising and media plans must be developed in consultation with the Office of Marketing, including review and approval by our office before the plan is finalized. Please submit advertising and media plans to [email protected] at least two weeks prior to finalization.

As an institution of higher learning and a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, we must carefully evaluate where the Northeastern brand appears. Advertising and media platforms—print, online, radio, and TV—must reflect the university’s values in terms of content. Should an advertising or media platform consistently promote content that contradicts or undermines the university’s core values as a diverse, inclusive community and a global knowledge brand, the Marketing team, in consultation with the Office of General Counsel, will determine whether the university will continue the relationship.

Creative Approvals

All creative must conform to the university’s standards for branding, design, and messaging, and must be reviewed and approved by Marketing. Please submit creative concepts, assets, and plans to [email protected] at least two weeks prior to the release date. We will respond within two business days and provide a timeline for delivering feedback. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Website design updates
  • Message positioning and frameworks
  • Brochures and one-pagers
  • Advertising, including banner ads, audio scripts, out of home, print
  • Videos
  • Email campaigns

On-campus signage

The Northeastern University sign shop creates a variety of signage located throughout the campus, from Braille number plates on offices to signs on Krentzman Quad to plaques identifying buildings. For information on the required format for campus signs, pricing, and ordering, please call 617.373.2725.

Printing

To order printed materials, Northeastern faculty and staff are required to seek bids from preferred vendors. For a list of preferred print vendors, please contact the purchasing department at 617.373.2135.

Endorsements

Northeastern University carefully evaluates the use of its name and visual identity. As a nonprofit, tax-exempt institution, the university cannot endorse—or appear to endorse—commercial products or enterprises.

  • Press releases: Vendors and other organizations affiliated with Northeastern may distribute press releases that accurately describe their relationship with the university. Northeastern employees may not provide supporting quotes or testimonial comments in third-party press releases.
  • Logos and marks: In some cases, the university’s visual logos or “marks” can be used to convey a relationship between Northeastern and another organization. These instances should be reviewed and approved by the Marketing team in advance. Please contact [email protected].
  • University Seal: The official Northeastern Seal cannot be used by any organization other than Northeastern University.
Social Media Policies and Guidelines

General Policies

  • Any Northeastern school, department, and office that wants to create a social media account must first seek approval from the university’s Communications Office. Please contact the social media manager at [email protected].
  • Users must report any suspected “fake” social media accounts to the university’s Communications Office and social media manager at [email protected]. Users should refrain from replying to or engaging with any suspected “fake” accounts.
  • All social media passwords must follow the Policy on Enterprise Passwords from Information Technology Services. The university’s Communications Office recommends that passwords include longer phrases rather than university-related names, nicknames, or acronyms. Passwords should be updated at least quarterly, and again when a social media administrator leaves his/her position at Northeastern.
  • Any employee with responsibility for and/or access to a university social media account must be removed as an administrator upon leaving the university. A direct supervisor of the employee must do so in a timely manner, and in accordance with the HRM Off-Boarding Toolkit.
  • Please notify the university’s Communications Office of any new social media contact people.
  • Evaluate Twitter performance using Twitter Analytics. Evaluate and monitor Facebook pages using Facebook Insights. For LinkedIn, sign up to receive email analytics reports from LinkedIn.

Monitoring Comments

  • If someone asks a question and you don’t know the answer, be honest and say you don’t know, but will find out or point them to someone who does. If negativity or other problems arise, take appropriately firm—but polite—action as necessary and according to your office’s social-media policy.
  • While we want to promote free speech, it is acceptable to remove posts that are profane, in violation of privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate.
  • Be wary of engaging with “fake” social media accounts. If you suspect that an account that is branded Northeastern University is not authentic, please contact the Communications Office’s social media manager at [email protected].

Account Names and Identities

  • When naming an account, use the name of your department, school, or organization. Do not use “Northeastern University” alone.
  • No new Northeastern University-affiliated account is permitted to use “NEU” in the name, avatar, or description.
  • Use the following categorization on Facebook and anywhere else that page classification is required: Companies & Organizations > University
  • If you are near Northeastern’s Boston campus, use Northeastern University as your location. If you are at one of our other global locations, use that location.
  • Link to your own department or school’s northeastern.edu website.
  • Note: Some usernames—such as a Facebook URL—cannot be changed, so choose carefully.
  • If you opt to use a personal identity and are selecting a photo as the avatar or icon, choose carefully. Remember that you are representing the university.

Use of NU

  • Although NU is not typically permitted for university use, it is acceptable for social media use (icons, names, and copy), where space is limited.
  • However, an NU icon must use Northeastern’s primary colors to differentiate from other “NU” schools such as Northwestern.

Avatars, Cover Photos, and Background Images

  • How your page looks is an extension of its content, so be conscious of what personality you are projecting through colors and graphics.
  • Do not use the university logo or college logos—they will not present properly in these small applications.
  • The use of Northeastern’s Seal is reserved for the official Northeastern University accounts run by the Communications team, the Office of Alumni Relations, and the top-level social media accounts for all of our global campuses.
  • Do not use the Athletics or Alumni Relations logos; they are reserved for those offices only and variations are not permitted. Instead, select iconic photos, such as images of your building or location. Use the university’s Digital Repository Service as photo resources.
Media Relations

The Office of Communications in External Affairs is responsible for initiating and responding to media contacts and requests, and for managing those interactions. Accordingly, all staff members are required to coordinate with the Office of Communications before responding to a press inquiry.

Staff members who have media relations as part of their job responsibilities must coordinate these efforts with the Office of Communications.

Faculty members are encouraged to speak with the press on issues relevant to their academic discipline or research. In communicating with the press, faculty members are also encouraged to coordinate with the Office of Communications for guidance or assistance on the most effective strategies regarding press requests for comments, and the promotion of new research and published work.

Faculty members—including those with administrative responsibilities—who receive requests for comment on behalf of the university in connection with their administrative responsibilities or about university policy not pertaining to their individual academic discipline or research as faculty members must coordinate with the Office of Communications.

For stories about university policy or other institutional issues not relevant to their individual academic discipline or research, faculty members are encouraged to coordinate responses to such requests with the Office of Communications.

Licensing and Approved Vendors

Northeastern University requires vendors to obtain licenses for products featuring its name, logos, and other marks. This maintains the university’s brand and guarantees that products bearing Northeastern’s name are manufactured by socially and ethically responsible vendors that comply with fair labor standards, as defined by the Fair Labor Association and the Workers’ Rights Consortium. Northeastern University is a member of both of these institutions.

Northeastern asserts ownership and all rights, titles, and interest in and to its indicia, including all trademarks, mascots, slogans, and any other identifying marks associated with or referring to the university.

Northeastern schools, colleges, departments, centers, institutes, registered student organizations, and other university organizations that use Northeastern marks are exempt from paying royalties if the merchandise is for internal use and not for resale. However, these groups must still use licensed vendors.

Northeastern prevents misrepresentation of its mission, goals, and reputation through careful monitoring of products carrying our marks. Every use of Northeastern-registered marks and logos—by external and internal groups—must be approved. Northeastern handles monitoring and licensing of its trademarks in partnership with the IMG College Licensing. To seek licensing approval or for more information, please contact [email protected].

To ensure quality, consistency, and the appropriateness of a product’s design, purchases for marketing products featuring Northeastern branding must be made from licensed vendors, even when products are for internal use only. IMG maintains a searchable approved vendor list.

Naming Programs, Centers, and Institutes

All new names for programs, centers, and institutes must be approved by Marketing prior to use. We recommend that you to seek a creative consultation when beginning a naming process. To schedule one, please email [email protected]theastern.edu.

Photography

See the section on photography in Visual Design.

Video

Videos must reflect Northeastern’s brand and be consistent with the style of other Northeastern products and publications. Below are design and content guidelines for Northeastern videos.

Opening Title Slide

Include no opening title slide; simply start the video.

Ending Title Slide

Use the Northeastern Seal, preferably against a white background.

  • If appropriate for the material, use the college, department, or campus lockup against a white background.
  • Don’t use the university Seal anywhere other than the ending-title slide. Also, if the word “Northeastern” appears in the video, it must include “University.”

Lower Third of a Slide

General Guidelines

  • Use the lower third of a slide only to identify the subject.
  • Identify the subject on their first speaking appearance. The name and title can appear on the left or right side, depending on the subject’s location.
  • Identify each subject only once.
  • If a subhead—such as a title or department name—is too long to fit on one line, reduce the point size and run it over two lines.
  • Never let text extend beyond the right or left margin.


Naming Conventions

  • Use the subject’s full first and last name.
  • Add the subject’s middle name or initial upon the subject’s request.
  • Use the subject’s full, formal title. If the full title is long, use your judgment to shorten or abbreviate it.
  • If a staff person has more than one title, choose the title that’s most pertinent to the story.
  • For subjects who are alumni, add the degree code and year of graduation next to his/her name. If the subject is an alum of a renamed college or school, use the degree code for the most current name of the college or school. Find degree codes here.

Text Font and Color

  • Color: All text is white with small drop shadow
  • Subject name: Helvetica Neue Bold Condensed

Avid/Premiere Pro: size 38

After Effects: size 75

Subject title: Helvetica Neue

Avid/Premiere Pro: size 26

After Effects: size 47

  • Northeastern red: Hex=CC0000; RGB=R204, G0, B0; CMYK=C 0%, M 100%, Y 90%, K 5%

Duration of Lower Third

  • Start lower third 0.5 to 1 second after cut.
  • We recommend that lower thirds not be extended across multiple shots. However, clip length may dictate an extension. Please ensure the lower third remains on screen long enough to read the name and title.
  • Minimum/maximum total duration: 4 seconds/6 seconds.
  • Cross-dissolve in and out, 10 frames, centered on cut.
  • Do not cross-dissolve out lower third if the shot duration is 4 seconds or shorter. Allow lower third to end on the cut.

Cross-Dissolve Diagrams

  • Ideal layout cross-dissolving in and cross-dissolving out over one video clip:
  • When a title is up for less than 6 seconds and touches a video edit, cut the title at the edit point with no cross-dissolve.

Exporting Slides

To export videos for external viewing, please follow these guidelines for resolution and audio.

  • Low-Res Output (approvals only)

MPEG-4, 360p at 5000 kbits/s, 48kHz audio

  • HD Upload for YouTube

H.264 .mov, 1080p at 16000 kbits/s, 2-pass VBR setting, 48kHz audio

  • Full HD

H.264 .mov, 1080p at 16000 kbits/s, 2-pass VBR setting, 48kHz audio

  • Visitor Center

MPEG-4, 1080p at 16000 kbits/s, 48kHz audio

Websites

To sustain Northeastern’s brand and offer a superior user experience, Northeastern websites must have a consistent visual language and be optimized for different devices. To learn our standards for web design, including elements such as logos, typography, headers/footers, please review Visual Identity.

To request a WordPress account with customizable Northeastern themes installed, please visit the Web Hosting Services website.

By working together, our brand is stronger. The university has a strict Brand Governance policy for review and approval of all media plans and creative assets before they go into market.

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