Branding & Style Guidelines
The SUNY Plattsburgh brand is more than a logo — its the promise of an experience and a powerful tool to identify and amplify our dynamic campus.
When the entire campus community follows the same editorial and graphic standards, a consistent brand, message and identity is created. Branded resources are available below and we encourage their use whenever possible.
Please do not alter SUNY Plattsburgh logos in any way. For assistance creating a logo for your organization or department, and for help with any project requiring the use of SUNY Plattsburgh’s brand or logo, contact Heather Haskins.
- Official Logos
Consistent adherence to logo standards is vital in establishing SUNY Plattsburgh’s identity. Only college-affiliated departments, programs or organizations may use the college logo. Use is strictly controlled and must not be used on any third-party materials or collateral without explicit permission.
Basic Logo Rules:
- Do not reconstruct the logo or any of its elements.
- Do not alter the proportions of the logo. Each element has been precisely arranged and is to be kept to the same size and proportion.
- There should be a minimum of 1/8” of white space around the logo.
- Never use the logo in text. In text, use the words “SUNY Plattsburgh.”
- The logo should print in either PMS 186 C, black or white.
Primary College Logo
This is the primary logo and should be used whenever possible.
One-color usage, PMS 186 C
Black-only usage, Black
Reverse Usage, White
The SUNY Plattsburgh branch campus located in Queensbury, N.Y., has its own versions of the updated logo, which follow the same guidelines as the main campus versions.
One-color usage, PMS 186 C
Black-only usage, Black
Reverse usage, White
Schools, Departments & Administrative Offices Logos
SUNY Plattsburgh has approved logos for use by academic schools, departments and administrative offices. They can be used on printed marketing materials and on the web to provide clear emphasis on the sub-brands while demonstrating their affiliation to the college. Do not create additional department or administrative logos without first seeking approval from the Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing.
For help creating an official school, department and administrative office logo, please contact Graphic Designer Hannah Downs at [email protected].
The college seal should not be used as a general logo. It is an official mark of the institution. It should be used rarely and primarily in instances of official, presidential or formal communications, like diplomas, transcripts, official records, legally binding documents, materials issued at the executive level and materials issued by the Office of the President.
- Color Palette
Our primary palette should be used in every communication. This palette represents the essence of SUNY Plattsburgh and is quite bold. It should be used intentionally and with purpose, keeping in mind that a little can go a long way.
Color Name Color Codes Hawkins Tower
- PMS Color: Pantone Process Black C
- CMYK: c0, m0, y0, k100
- RGB: 39, 37, 31
- HEX Code: 00000
- PMS Color: 186 C
- CMYK: c2, m100, y85, k6
- RGB: 200, 16, 46
- HEX Code: CF102D
- PMS Color: White
- CMYK: c0, m0, y0, k0
- RGB: 255, 255, 255
- HEX Code: FFFFFF
These colors should never dominate visually in any circumstance and should be used sparingly.
Color Name Color Codes Gray Wolf
- PMS Color: Cool Gray 1 C
- CMYK: c0, m1, y1, k7
- RGB: 93, 93, 92
- HEX Code: EEECEB
- PMS Color: Warm Gray 8 C
- CMYK: c17, m24, y25, k49
- RGB: 140, 130, 121
- HEX Code: 8C8279
- PMS Color: 107 C
- CMYK: c0, m0, y92, k0
- RGB: 251, 225, 34
- HEX Code: FBE122
Our accent colors should be used only to accent the primary and secondary palette and should never be the dominant coloring.
Color Name Color Codes Adirondack Sunset
- PMS Color: 145 C
- CMYK: c4, m53, y100, k8
- RGB: 207, 127, 0
- HEX Code: CF7F00
- PMS Color: 549 C
- CMYK: c56, m8, y9, k21
- RGB: 107, 164, 184
- HEX Code: 6BA4B8
- PMS Color: 551 C
- CMYK: c35, m3, y8, k7
- RGB: 163, 199, 210
- HEX Code: A3C7D2
- PMS Color: 194 C
- CMYK: c8, m100, y55, k37
- RGB: 155, 39, 67
- HEX Code: 9B2743
Limited use of fonts helps in presenting a simple, bold look. These are the only acceptable fonts for use on college collateral materials. For questions about font choices and availability, please contact Hannah Downs, graphic designer.
Avenir LT STD
Avenir LT Std is our primary font for print and web and was selected for its variety of weights and clean, simplistic look. In the event you are unable to use the recommended font, please use Arial in place of Avenir.
ITC Stone Serif
When designing print collateral, Stone Serif is generally used for copy-heavy pieces such as course catalogs or schedules. If unable to use Stone Serif, please use Times New Roman.
In Print and on the Web
Minimum font size is 12 pt in print and 16px on the web, with a minimum contrast ratio of 7:1 against the background color for readability. Do not indicate important information with color alone. (Ex. All urgent items are marked in red.)
- Letterhead, Business Cards & Name Tags
Electronic Letterhead (not for print)
Please do not recreate stationery. Approved electronic templates created by the Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing exist to ensure brand standards are adhered to.
- Order printed letterhead at myorderdesk.com/Plattsburgh
A general business-card template has been created for use by all SUNY Plattsburgh employees. The general template features the State University of New York Plattsburgh logo on the front and, on the back, the Primary Cardinal. Websites that can be used on card are limited to plattsburgh.edu, alumni.plattsburgh.edu or gocardinalsports.com.
- Order business cards at myorderdesk.com/Plattsburgh
A name tag template has been created for SUNY Plattsburgh employees. The template features the State University of New York Plattsburgh logo on the front, the employee name and title if appropriate.
- Order name tags at https://recognitioncenter.com/
- Email Signatures
Using consistent email signatures for email accounts creates brand alignment while relaying relevant contact information. Consistent and clear email signatures present a professional appearance for conducting business through email.
- Refrain from using quotes or epigraphs in email signatures to avoid having others assume a particular statement represents the institution. Below are some examples of signature lines. It is acceptable to include some or all of the contact information below, however, it is important to maintain the order and template.
- Avoid images and vCards: Most email clients process these as attachments or block them by default. So, if you include these in your signature, your email recipients won’t know when you send a real attachment and when it’s just your email signature.
Samples of properly branded email signatures. Through the email generator, you have options to add multiple features including preferred pronouns, multiple job titles and social media icons.
- Presentation Templates
Please use these branded PowerPoint and Google Slides templates for official college business presentations.
- Zoom Backgrounds
The following information is provided to help standardize common terminology used most often by editorial staff in the promotion and marketing of SUNY Plattsburgh. Members of the college community are encouraged to adapt the information when preparing copy for publications, the web, news articles, etc. For items not covered here, please consult the Associated Press Stylebook and/or Webster’s New World Dictionary.
- The Name of the College & Branch Campus
Please follow these guidelines regarding the name of our institution in all official written communications.
- The official name of the college is the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
- If a formal reference is not required, you should use SUNY Plattsburgh.
- “Plattsburgh State University” or “Plattsburgh State University College” is not acceptable, and the acronyms PSU and PSUC are also not acceptable in any form or manner.
- “Plattsburgh State” may be used by athletics when referring to our teams.
- While “Plattsburgh State” should not be used in college communications, its use as a colloquialism will not be discouraged.
- Use SUNY Plattsburgh at Queensbury on first reference.
- On subsequent references, use branch campus.
- For informal references, use branch campus in Queensbury.
- Editorial Guidelines A-B-C
academic degrees — Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, and Associate of Sciences. It is permissible to use the abbreviations of formal degrees on first reference: B.A., Ph.D., M.D., R.N.
When referring to bachelor’s and master’s degrees, use lowercase and the apostrophe. When referring to a doctorate or an associate degree, use lowercase and no apostrophe.
The word degree should not follow the degree abbreviation. For instance, the phrase “a B.S. degree” should not be used.
Do not capitalize majors, programs, specialization or concentrations except when their name constitutes a brand name: “He started out as a history major, but switched to accounting with a minor in gender and women’s studies.”
academic titles — Dr. may be used when the person holds the earned doctoral degree –– Ph.D., Ed.D., D.V.M., J.D., M.D. It is not used on second reference. Titles are uppercase before a name: Dean John Doe; but lowercase following the name: John Doe, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.
Do not use courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., and Ms.) except to differentiate between relatives: Bill and Jane Smith, Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith. John Smith Jr. and John Smith Sr., John Jr., John Sr. Courtesy titles may be used in quoted material or in speeches.
Professor is not capitalized before or after name. The only exception is professor emeritus, which is capitalized only when used before a name.
acronyms and abbreviations — Acronyms and abbreviated names for departments and programs require approval by the Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing before being used in print or digital marketing materials.
age — Use numbers: John is 3 years old. His father is a 24-year-old student.
alum/alumna/alumnae/alumni/alumnus — Alumna is female; alumnae is plural. Alumnus is male singular; alumni is used for mixed-gender groups. Alum is acceptable as a gender-neutral term, singular; alums is acceptable for gender-neutral plural.
Amitié — Amitié is the correct spelling for the monumental statue in the Angell College Center courtyard.
a.m. and p.m.
ampersand — Spell it out. Don’t use the ampersand (&) as a substitute for “and” except when part of a company name: Johnson & Johnson. However, for the purposes of tables and charts, as well as web headlines and links, an ampersand may be used.
annual — Avoid the common error of referring to happenings as the first annual. An event cannot be described as annual until it has been held a second time in as many years. Instead, use inaugural or first.
art exhibits and art works — Individual art works, paintings and photographs are set off with quotes.
at sign (@) — Use @ in email addresses. Do not use @ in text in place of the word at.
boards and committees — Capitalize the formal names of boards, committees, councils and so forth: Plattsburgh College Foundation Board of Directors, the Faculty Senate Standing Committee on Budget and Resources, the College Council. But lowercase when used alone: The foundation board appointed its representatives to the council and to the committee debating parking fees.
buildings (halls, programs, centers) and campus locations — Capitalize buildings when used with a proper noun: Myers Fine Arts Building, Kehoe Building, Yokum Hall, Claude Clark Learning Center. But lowercase them when used alone: The college keeps its buildings clean. You’ll find plenty to eat in the dining hall. Students have access to computer equipment in the learning center. Never abbreviate. Go from specific location (room) to more general (floor and building) to the campus: Room 113, first Floor, Hawkins Hall, SUNY Plattsburgh.
campus — Capitalize in reference to the student affairs unit known as Campus Housing and Community Living, but lowercase in all other uses.
capital/capitol — Use capital in reference to cities that are seats of government and when used in a financial context. Use capitol when referring to buildings.
city — Capitalize when used as part of a proper noun (New York City); otherwise lowercase (the city of Montreal). An exception is the City of Plattsburgh, which is distinct from the Town of Plattsburgh.
class and class years — Put an apostrophe before a class year (and please take care that it is facing the correct way). Alumni are listed as follows: John Doe ’87 G’91 (no comma between degrees, just one space). When referring to a class as a group, uppercase class: He belonged to the Class of 1967.
When used with many class years, lowercase: The reunion is for the classes of ’70, ’75 and ’80. The decision to use degree or school is up to the writer.
first year, sophomore, junior, senior are always lowercase. Use “first year” as a gender-neutral term for “freshman”
college — Capitalize when part of the formal name for an institution or a major unit thereof: Elmira College, Teachers College, the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh. But otherwise use the lowercase: The college’s forensic team placed first in the state tournament.
colons — Do not use a colon after a verb or a preposition.
Correct: A resume should include educational background, work experience and any knowledge of foreign language.
Incorrect: A resume should include: educational background, work experience and any knowledge of foreign language.
Colons in lists:
A resume should include:
- educational background
- work experience
- knowledge of foreign language
commas — Do not use a comma before the last item in a series of three or more. Every heart beats true for the red, white and blue.
Oxford comma can be used if needed for clarification, such as in “He bought books and magazines, crayons and markers, and snacks and sodas.”
commencement — Commencement is lower case unless it modifies a particular event. Spring 2020 Commencement; commencement will be held in May 2020; More than 1,000 students with graduate at commencement next Saturday; Spring 2020 Commencement will be held in the SUNY Plattsburgh Field House.
dashes — Em dash: Shows a break or dramatic pause: When I opened the door, there he was — with a knife. Put a space before and after an em dash.
En dash: Indicates a range, such as a span of time or numbers: 1960s–1970s. Do not use if it can be avoided. Write out “to” to indicate a time range. For example, 1 to 2 p.m. Acceptable within academic year date ranges, such as 2022–2023 academic year.
data — Data is a plural noun and should be used as such. The data are compelling.
date (months, years) — Abbreviate the months of Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec., if you include a date: Classes begin Aug. 28, 1991. Do not abbreviate if the month is used alone: Classes begin in August. Also do not abbreviate if the month is used only with a year: She will graduate in December 1992. And do not use a comma between month and year or season and year: January 1991 or summer 1992.
In an invitation or referring to events in the future, list the date, time, place, contact name, phone, email, web.
dean’s list — Always lowercase.
departments (and other institutional functions/divisions) — For departments, centers, offices, etc., capitalize when the formal name is used: Department of Chemistry, Center for the Study of Canada, Lake Champlain Research Institute, School of Business and Economics. Lowercase in second reference: department, center, office, school. And lowercase when used informally: chemistry department, business school, etc.
ellipsis points [...] — To indicate an omission in quoted text. In limited cases, may be used to indicate a pause or trailing thoughts.
emerita, emeritus, emeriti — This title refers to someone who is retired from professional life but permitted to retain the rank of the last office held as an honorary title. Place after the formal title of a person: Professor Emeritus of History John Doe. Lowercase when used after the person’s name: Doe, professor emeritus of history, retired several years ago.
Emerita is female; emeritus is male; emeriti is plural.
email — No hyphen.
ensure, insure — The former means guarantee: Buy your tickets in advance to ensure admission. The latter refers to insurance: The policy insures her life.
entitled, titled — The former means one has the right to have or the right to do something: He is entitled to the settlement. The latter introduces a publication, music composition and so forth: His paper was titled “How to Win a Fair Settlement.”
ethnic groups — A specific ethnicity like African American or Asian American should be capitalized and are acceptable in necessary references.
exclamation points — Place exclamation mark inside quotation marks only when it is part of the quoted statement. “Let go!” she shouted. “The name of the book is ‘Walden’!” he yelled after her.
faculty/staff — These are singular nouns referring to groups: Our faculty is world-class. To make faculty or staff plural, use staff members or members of the faculty, etc.
Faculty Senate — Capitalize the formal name, but do not capitalize “senate” in subsequent references.
Field House — Two words. Plattsburgh State Field House and SUNY Plattsburgh Field House are both correct.
first year, first-year vs. freshman — Use the gender-neutral term first year to refer to first-year students. Use the hyphenated first-year when modifying a noun, “first-year students.”
fundraising — Both fundraising and fundraiser are one word.
gender neutrality — Gender neutral language is required whenever reasonable.
grade-point average or GPA — No periods in GPA.
health care — When used as a noun, it is two words; when it is an adjective, hyphenate.
his/her — Try to avoid using his/her in constructing a sentence. Often, the best choice is to revise the sentence: Students are responsible for their own homework.
Homecoming — Capitalize in references of the official college activity. Also, capitalize “weekend” when used in Homecoming Weekend.
honors — Lowercase and italicize cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude.
hyperlinks — Use link display text that describes what is linked. Do not use “click here,” “this page,” or other vague language when linking to documents or web pages.
hyphens — Use hyphens to join words together when they are needed to avoid ambiguity or to form a single idea from two or more words and modify a noun: A well-known person, a full-time employee. Do not hyphenate when they come after a noun: He is well known. She works full time. In some cases, hyphens are used with prefixes or suffixes. One word, not hyphenated: nonprofit, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, preseason, multinational, postgraduate.
impact — Avoid using impact as a verb unless in a physical context. In other words, resist using impact as a verb meaning “to affect.” Consider using “affect” or “influence” instead.
Inc. — No comma between the business name and Inc.: ABC Building Inc.
initials — Do not use a space between initials: E.M. Forster.
internet — Do not capitalize.
it’s, its, it is — “It’s” is a contraction for “it is”: It’s a fine day for golf. The possessive form of the neuter pronoun is “its”: The foursome took its time.
Jr., Sr. — No comma between name and Jr. or Sr.: John Smith Jr.
-ly — Do not use a hyphen between adverbs ending in -ly and the adjectives they modify: highly qualified faculty, fully informed student body, warmly receptive audience.
measurement — Always spell out inches, feet and other measures.
man, mankind — Avoid unless no other term is convenient. If you can, substitute humanity, person or individual.
mid — Don’t use the hyphen unless a capitalized word follows: midsemester but mid-December. However, use the hyphen when it precedes a numerical figure: mid-90s.
money — Use the dollar sign and numbers, but do not use the decimal and zeros: $25, not $25.00. For amounts beyond thousands, use the dollar sign, number and appropriate word: $33.6 million not $33,600,000. For amounts less than $1 use cents: 50 cents, not $.50.
names — In text, first reference should include full name; in later references, use the last name only. Repeat the first name only to avoid confusion with someone else.
numbers — Spell out whole numbers below 10; use figures for 10 and higher: She needs six credits to complete degree requirements. It took her 10 minutes and 45 seconds to complete the quiz.
on-campus housing vs. housing that is on campus — Hyphenate “on-campus” as a modifier of options. The university provides on-campus housing to all students; On-campus parking is limited; We have bicycles available on campus; Housing that is off campus; Off-campus housing. See also hyphens on page 25.
parentheses — The period belongs outside parentheses unless the matter enclosed is an independent sentence: The majority of our faculty has their doctorates (although a few have a master’s degree). Most Plattsburgh students are from New York. (There are some from other states.)
percent — Use numerals and % in text: There was a margin of 7%. It’s acceptable to use % in charts.
pipe [ | ] — The pipe character should not be used in any writing. Use em dashes, periods, commas or other standard punctuation. Acceptable uses are only on the website within breadcrumb navigation and immediately preceding “SUNY Plattsburgh” in browser tabs.
Plattsburgh Alumni Association — Uppercase when using the formal title: Plattsburgh Alumni Association; lowercase when used alone: alumni association.
Plattsburgh College Foundation — Uppercase when using the formal title: Plattsburgh College Foundation; lowercase “foundation” when used alone.
possessives — Singular nouns that end in s, add ’s: the class’s first graduate or the campus’s strategic plan, but proper names ending in s, add only the apostrophe: Burns’ poems.
quotations — Commas and periods go inside quotation marks, but semicolons and colons go outside quotation marks or parentheses. For example, “In the publication “Books Etc.,” there was an interesting thought.”
race — Black should be capitalized. Other races are lowercases.
regions — Generally, lowercase north, south, etc. when they indicate compass direction, but capitalize regions of the country: North Country, South, Northeast, Far West, Upper West Side, etc.
reunion — 2020 Reunion Weekend or 2020 Reunion, but lowercase reunion when used in running text.
schools, departments and programs — Uppercase formal names; lowercase informal names.
School of Arts and Sciences; School of Business and Economics; School of Education, Health and Human Services.
Formal names: Department of English, Office of Alumni Relations, Office of Institutional Advancement, Office of the President. Informal names: biology department, sociology and anthropology departments, institutional advancement office, president’s office, English department.
programs, centers, services and institutes
Formal names: Center for Public Services, Nexus Autism Spectrum Program, Psychoeducational Services, Institute for Ethics in Public Life, College-Community Alliance Program. Informal names: adolescence education, childhood education, clinical mental health counseling.
Tying it all together:
“John Doe, professor of anthropology, teaches the childhood education program in the Department of Biology in the Institute for Ethics in Public Life in the School of Arts and Sciences.”
“Vice President Jane Doe, distinguished professor of English, teaches clinical mental health counseling in the biology department in the School of Business and Economics’ computer center.”
seasons — Do not capitalize: The program will begin next fall. I will be starting classes spring 2024.
semicolons — When items in a series involve internal commas, they should be separated by semicolons: The itinerary is as follows: St. Paul, Minn.; Austin, Texas; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; and Green River, Utah.
spaces between sentences — Put one space between sentences, not two. Put one space after a colon, not two.
split verb forms — Avoid splitting infinitives (to leave, to help, was ordered, to return etc.):
Correct: She also was ordered to return home immediately.
Incorrect: She was also ordered to immediately return home.
states — When a state name stands alone, spell out the name. State names may be abbreviated in tables or graphs. Eight states are not abbreviated, except in postal listings with full addresses, including ZIP codes: Alaska (AK), Hawaii (HI), Idaho (ID), Iowa (IA), Maine (ME), Ohio (OH), Texas (TX) and Utah (UT).
We are amending the AP Stylebook for large cities in New York. In addition to Plattsburgh, these cities DO NOT need N.Y. after their names: Albany, Bronx, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Ithaca, Lake Placid, Manhattan, Queens, Rochester, Schenectady, Staten Island, Syracuse, Yonkers.
Abbreviate the other states as follows and when used in short form listings of party affiliation (i.e. D-Ala., R-Minn.).
Use the postal abbreviations only when writing out mailing addresses and including the ZIP code. Do not capitalize the word state when writing out New York state:
- Ala. (AL)
- Ariz. (AZ)
- Ark. (AR)
- Calif. (CA)
- Colo. (CO)
- Conn. (CT)
- Del. (DE)
- Fla. (FL)
- Ga. (GA)
- Ill. (IL)
- Ind. (IN)
- Kan. (KS)
- Ky. (KY)
- La. (LA)
- Md. (MD)
- Mich. (MI)
- Miss. (MS)
- Mo. (MO)
- Mont (MT)
- Neb. (NE)
- Nev. (NV)
- N.H. (NH)
- N.J. (NJ)
- N.M. (NM)
- N.Y. (NY)
- N.C. (NC
- N.D. (ND)
- Okla. (OK)
- Ore. (OR)
- Pa. (PA)
- R.I. (RI)
- S.C. (SC)
- S.D. (SD)
- Tenn. (TN)
- Vt. (VT)
- Va. (VA)
- Wash (WA)
- W. Va. (WV)
- Wis. (WI)
telephone numbers — Use area code with the full number: 518-564-4504. Do not use parentheses. For internal use, use Ext. 2000.
theater/theatre — Only use theatre when part of a formal name of a building or a group or when referencing the Department of Theatre and its programs: Hartman Theatre or the Pendragon Theatre, theatre department, theatre program, but the theater was crowded.
time — Use the lowercase a.m. or p.m. For 12 a.m. and 12 p.m., respectively, use noon and midnight. When writing time that falls on the hour, do not use :00. Example: 1:33 p.m., 1 p.m.
titles (for publications) — Put quotation marks around the names of all such works (except the Bible, catalogs and reference books), including titles of books, computer games, movies, operas, plays, poems, albums, songs, TV and radio programs, lectures, speeches, articles, short stories, chapter titles and works of art. Do not put quotes around journals, newspapers, magazines and such software titles as WordPerfect or Windows. Do not italicize. (Please note that postings to the web may differ, as the html code used to tag titles may italicize the font.) Capitalize the principal words. Capitalize prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. Capitalize words of fewer than four letters when they are at the beginning or end of a title. Translate foreign titles into English unless the work is famous under its foreign name. For more information, look under the compositions entry in the AP Stylebook.
United States — Spell out as a noun: best college in the United States; abbreviate U.S. as an adjective, and use periods: the U.S. hockey team.
utilize — The word “use” is preferred.
URLs — Leave out “http://www” in web addresses.
web — Do not capitalize.