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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Questions about Graphic Standards at Minnesota State Mankato

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/standards/questions.html

Q: Why do we even have graphic standards?

A: Market research has repeatedly shown that, for a brand to be easily recognized and remembered, it must offer visual recognition triggers that are consistent, coherent and repetitive, such as name, color and graphic elements. Thus, the need for integrated standards.

Q: Wouldn’t not having graphic standards reduce the cost of printed materials?

A: Graphic standards actually save the University money. For example, an office producing a color publication does not have to devote staff or designer time to dream up a primary or secondary color system, because they’re already in place.

Q: Are the graphic standards at our University restrictive?

A: They’re exceedingly minimal, especially compared to strong corporate brands such as Disney and Wells Fargo. They’re only “restrictive” compared to no standards whatsoever.

Q: Can exceptions to standards be made to allow “student creativity.”

A: These standards are so minimal that they allow wide creative latitude. In contrast, latitude within Disney and other strong brands is much narrower. And if student designers hope to work some day for a marketing agency or corporation, now is when they should get used to applying creativity within graphic standards.

Q: Is on-campus marketing exempt from graphic standards since it’s “internal”?

A: No. There is only one brand, not internal and external versions. Besides, anything produced for a campus audience will seep outward through friends, family and campus visitors.

Q: Is marketing supported by student fees exempt from graphic standards?

A: No. Student fees would not exist without the University, and these standards are University-wide.

Q: Who is responsible for enforcing these standards?

A: Ultimately, the Office of Integrated Marketing and Printing and Photocopy Services. But any University office or program, including those working with students unfamiliar with our standards and even the concept of graphic standards, should be advocates for preserving a coherent University brand in a hyper-competitive marketplace.