Getting Started: Brand Guides

Our brand is how we tell our story. Our story is not just the words we use, or the community we’ve created, or the place we hold dear. It is all those things and more, working together to create a distinctive look, feel and voice that people will immediately recognize as Chapman University.

The principles outlined here help us tell our story consistently, whether we are talking to prospective students, current students and faculty, alumni or donors.

This online resource will help you stay true to the Chapman University story. To tell it confidently and honestly.

Brand Strategy

This section captures the key messages of our story, which we convey in all aspects of our brand. The strategy helps define who we are and why we exist, the audiences we serve, and our unique role in higher education. The strategy is more than what we do: it is the impact that we can have on our students, our state and our country.

  • Messaging Map– Our messaging map organizes key messages into a hierarchy to ensure that our communications are clear, consistent and compelling.

Voice & Messaging

Our message is what we say. Our voice is how we say it. Together, a compelling message and a consistent voice are what make the Chapman University story resonate. This is also how we stand apart from our peers. In this section, you will find guidance to help you achieve this across all of our communications.

  • Brand Narrative – Our brand narrative elevates our strengths, inspires our messaging and voice, and identifies what our audiences can expect from us.
  • Brand Personality – The personality articulates the tone and voice of our messages, and how we want our audiences to feel about the brand.
  • Voice Checklist – Through the words we choose and how we choose them, we can maintain a consistent tone in crafting a story that feels personal and real.
  • Headline Construction – Headlines are supposed to do the heavy lifting, so don’t be afraid to make a bold statement. Just be sure that the result sounds like Chapman.
  • Writing Style Guide – Consistency is key to writing effectively and on brand. Utilize this guide to make sure you are following established writing styles.

Visual Identity

Because our visual identity represents the University at the highest level, it is vitally important to our brand. It acts as a signature, an identifier and a stamp of quality. It is, and should always be, the most consistent component in our communications. To maintain this consistency, a few simple guidelines should be followed.

  • Chapman University Logos and Marks – The master brand is the core visual representation of the brand and should be handled with respect and be in line with the brand consistency.
  • Photography – Photography is a compelling tool for portraying the diverse and dynamic nature of our community.
  • Color Palette Beyond our master brand, color is the most recognizable aspect of our brand identity. Using color appropriately is one of the easiest ways to make sure our materials reflect a cohesive brand.
  • Design Elements – supplementary to the logo, fonts and typeface, the graphic elements are key to brand identity. 
  • Primary Typefaces – When it is used thoughtfully, typography becomes a powerful brand tool that can add visual meaning to what we communicate.
  • Pete the Panther Mascot – The new mascot logo is meant to supplement the Athletic mark, not replace it, by offering a more flexible design that can be used for diverse purposes across campus.

Brand Architecture

Our brand architecture directs and standardizes how we apply the Chapman identity to entities across the University: schools and colleges, administrative offices and units, academic departments and programs, and research centers and institutes. It assists in maintaining the integrity of the master brand.