University of Southern California

USC Identity Guidelines

Website Guidelines

USC Logo

Departments, centers, institutes and programs must include the primary USC logo in the top right corner of each page with a link back to the USC homepage.

Website Titles

A website’s title (which may be the name of a department, program, or project) should be the most prominent identity information on the website. University and school identity graphics are meant to communicate the website’s academic affiliations clearly and efficiently, not to obscure or clutter the website’s identity. Official university typefaces (Caslon Pro and National) are available as web fonts, and may be useful to reinforce the university’s graphic identity. If you would like to use Caslon Pro or National, please read the instructions to use USC typefaces as web fonts. As an alternative, approved typefaces can be placed in images (.png or .svg files) on your webpage.

Academic and Administrative Unit Logotypes and Identity Guidelines

The USC graphic identity restricts the use of icons for academic units or departments. USC identity elements, such as the shield or seal, should not be attached to academic unit logotypes or department name treatments on web or print materials. The USC shield or seal can be used as a supporting element elsewhere on the page.

Some academic units provide their own graphic identity guidelines, including standards for footer/header configurations. Those guidelines are listed here and additional examples will be posted as they are developed.

How to Download Our Assets

• Click on the link to download the asset.
• You will be prompted to sign in to continue to Google Drive.
• Enter your USC email account (
• You will then be prompted to login with your USC NetID (username) and password on USC Shibboleth.

Only USC faculty and staff (including student staff) with a USC-provided email account may download assets. The use of these assets is restricted to official university business in accordance with brand guidelines. Contact for any questions.

USC logo graphic

The web logo uses the primary logotype (shield + wordmark). Its dimensions are 176 x 38 pixels, and the required minimum clear space surrounding it on all sides is 11 pixels, for a total size of 198 x 60 pixels. When other logos or links are placed near the graphic in the website’s header, be careful to provide separation between the USC logo and these other elements – for example, by adding clear space or by defining different areas using backgrounds.

Download graphics

Approved colors

The background color behind the USC logo should be USC cardinal, black, or white. Note that the color specifications are different for printed materials, and only the screen versions should be used. Here are approved color combinations:

The background color behind the graphic may also be a subtle gradient of an approved color. In this case, the hue should remain constant and brightness should transition smoothly and no more than 20% from one end of the gradient to the other. For example, a gradient using a cardinal background could transition from #CC0000 to #990000 or from #990000 to #660000, but not from #CC0000 to #660000 (which is 50%).

For the sake of legibility, the USC logo should never be placed on photographic or patterned backgrounds.


The USC logo is meant to integrate well with website designs, rather than diminishing their appearance or seeming tacked-on. The logo uses minimal space to provide visitors with immediate awareness of a website’s university affiliation, while building name recognition and a unified image for USC and its schools and other units.

Browse the examples below to see various ways to implement these guidelines.

Code samples

<style type="text/css">
h1#usclogo {
	float: right;
	width: 198px;
	height: 60px;
	margin: 0;
h1#usclogo a {
	display: block;
	width: 176px;
	height: 38px;
	background-color:#900 // cardinal
	background:url(usc-shield-name-white.png) 0 11px no-repeat;
	text-indent: -9999px;
<h1 id="usclogo"><a href="">University of Southern California</a></h1>

Requesting a USC URL

USC academic and administrative units may obtain an official USC URL (also known as a website address or domain name), regardless of where their website is hosted, provided the site design and content meet USC’s eligibility guidelines and editorial and graphic identity standards. The name of the URL is subject to approval by ITS and University Communications. URL names that are clearly reflect the name of the unit, without potential for confusion or conflict with other programs (current and future) are the most likely to be approved.

USC gateway websites (,,, are examples) are comprehensive and represent all aspects of the descriptive name must adhere to the following:

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