e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

ESF Branding and Style Guide

Dear ESF community,

As ESF recruits students, campaigns for support and continues to build its reputation in an ever more competitive environment, it is essential that we work together to present a single compelling story. To accomplish this, we must maintain a single brand identity.

ESF's brand defines who we are and what we do. It presents our voice to the world and supports our mission and vision. It makes clear to our many constituents exactly what ESF is, and what we do that makes this great College unique.

On these web pages, you will find guidelines that outline our brand. You'll see the elements that support our brand promise — the words, logos, colors and fonts that help define our identity and present an accurate picture of who we are.

All ESF regional campuses, academic departments and divisions, administrative offices, research centers and units are expected to implement these branding guidelines in all future communications projects. When existing materials are depleted, they should be replaced with new materials designed according to these guidelines.

Thank you for your cooperation in using these guidelines to present a cohesive message to our many audiences. Our brand is one of our most important assets. The single most important asset, however, is our people — so I entrust you with the responsibility of helping to present ESF to the rest of the world in the best way possible.


Stephanie Specchio
Assistant Vice President, Communications and Marketing

The Importance of Brand Guidelines

Everything we do and everything we produce contributes to someone's perception of ESF. Websites, publications, electronic communications, giveaways, recruitment material, signs, etc., together tell the public who and what ESF is. When we are consistent in our use of branding elements, we present a united front and tell our story most effectively.

Why is branding important? Brandingmag.com lists six reasons. Branding:

  1. gets recognition
  2. increases value
  3. generates new customers
  4. improves employee pride and satisfaction
  5. creates trust within the marketplace
  6. supports advertising

A successful branding program helps ESF develop strong name recognition by defining a look and feel for all College materials that audiences instantly identify with the College. This does not mean that all materials must look exactly alike. It does mean that they must all clearly belong to the same family, with graphic identity elements, typefaces and colors used consistently. They must all refer to the College by the same name.

This style guide contains all the standards that ESF faculty, staff and students need to correctly use the ESF branding elements. This guide will work only if the campus community adheres to it. Our students, faculty and staff are the best ambassadors of what ESF represents, and these guidelines build on those strengths. Using it helps all of us.

The interim president has endorsed this policy and has empowered the Office of Communications and Marketing to review requests for any exceptions or special permissions related to these regulations.

About These Standards

ESF's branding is a representation of the College. It promotes a strong, consistent message about the College. Clear, consistent use of our branding elements reinforces recognition among ESF's peer institutions, partners, supporters and prospective students, and provides cohesiveness across our many communications efforts.

These standards have been created to help ESF's College community — faculty, staff, and students — achieve a cohesive look and use the branding elements correctly.

Please keep these standards in mind and comply with them. If you hire an outside vendor to do work for you, please share these standards with the vendor and insist upon appropriate compliance.

These standards apply to all brochures, publications, periodicals, websites, campus signage, stationery and business cards, and any other type of marketing materials produced by the College or partner agencies for external audiences.

If, for any reason, you feel you need to diverge from these standards, please contact the Office of Communications and Marketing before doing so.

The Top 8 Things You Need to Know

The Leaf-and-Acorn Logo

This logo signifies ESF's traditional strengths in environmental science and forestry, and the historic Robin Hood Oak, the landmark tree that graces the Syracuse campus. The logo incorporates the leaf- and-acorn image and the full name of the college — State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. It is not to be altered in any way.

The Academic Seal

The academic seal signifies ESF's history and academic excellence. It is used on official documents (diplomas, transcripts, stationery, business cards, banners in a formal setting, etc.). The academic seal is not to be treated lightly — it is the symbol of ESF excellence and must be used with care and respect.

The Mighty Oaks Logo

The Mighty Oaks are ESF's athletic teams. The logo — an acorn-shaped shield featuring the leaf-and- acorn image and the words "Mighty Oaks" — is used on material related to ESF athletics

The College Name

On marketing and publicity material, the preference is to refer to the institution as the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. On second reference, the correct usage is simply ESF. ESF is also acceptable in any setting, such as on-campus events, where there is reasonable certainty that the audience knows what ESF is.

Think Green

The predominant green in ESF's images is the color that has been traditionally associated with ESF. It is one of the strongest elements of ESF's identity. It is a strong visual cue to our audience that they are looking at something from ESF.


No academic or administrative unit on campus can create its own visual representation. Student groups should get prior approval from the Office of Communications and Marketing before creating any representations. The College Bookstore, operated by the ESF Alumni Association, is permitted to use graphics other than approved images on its merchandise.


All student recruitment pieces and promotional material intended for distribution to a broad audience must be created or approved by the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Advertising and Signage

All off-campus advertising and signage (with the exception of classified ads) must be approved in advance by the Office of Communications and Marketing.

About the College Name

The College is to be identified primarily as ESF or the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, with ESF used consistently upon further reference in the same piece. In cases where the intended audience needs further clarification, such as an international audience, the College should be referred to as the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry; ESF can be used in subsequent references. "SUNY-ESF" is not to be used.

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry


Leaf-and-Acorn Logo

This image signifies ESF's traditional strengths in environmental science and forestry and the historic Robin Hood Oak, the landmark tree that graces the campus. It is used in connection with student life, student activities and promotional giveaways.

Other college entities, such as the Newcomb Campus, AEC, AIC, Ranger School, ESF College Foundation, ESF Alumni Association, Robin Hood Oak Society, Thousand Island Biological Station and the ESF College Bookstore may use this image in signs and promotional materials. To request permission to use the logo contact the Office of Communications and Marketing.

The logo cannot be altered, re-typed or modified in anyway. It is critical that it be presented consistently.

Horizontal version


One-color – Black

black horizontal leaf and acorn logo

One-color – Green

black horizontal leaf and acorn logo

Four-color reverse–horizontal

black horizontal leaf and acorn logo

Stacked version


One-color – Black

One-color – Green

Four-color reverse–center or stacked

Download the Leaf-and-Acorn Logo

Leaf-and-Acorn Logo Reverse Versions

Using the reverse logo on a photograph

Make sure the logo is legible against the background of the photo.

2 images showing effectiveness of reverse logo

Download the Reverse Version Logo

Acronym Image

The College's goal is for the leaf and acorn image to be used with the College's full name in the vast majority of circumstances.

It is occasionally acceptable to use the ESF letters with the leaf and acorn, but without the full name of the College. If you are certain your audience knows what ESF is, you may use the leaf-and-acorn image without the full name of the College. Here are examples of acceptable circumstances:

  • Material distributed or presented to an audience made up of members of the College community
  • Slides in a presentation before an external audience, providing the opening slide bears the full name of the College.
  • On-campus signs

e s f logo

Avoid misuse.

Do not dismantle the logo. Never use the leaf and acorn without the ESF letters, and do not use the leaf or acorn as a standalone element.

misused leaf logos

Download the Acronym Image

Logo Basic Guidelines

The leaf-and-acorn logo must be used prominently and in its entirety on all communication and marketing materials and on posters presented at academic conferences.

Use only in the exact format and proportions as stipulated in these guidelines. The image has specific proportions. Do not change its dimensions or orientation in any way by editing, retouching, redrawing, skewing, flipping, tilting, rotating or distorting it.

Do not substitute other fonts or attempt to re-create the leaf-and-acorn logo. Use only the official colors.

Logo misuse examples

logo misuse examples

Sizing the Logo

The leaf-and-acorn logo should be separated from other visual identifiers. It should have clear space around it.

A minimum space of .25 (1/4 inch) in print or 18px on screen is required space around the edges of the logo.

Stacked version

horizontal logo margins

Vertical version

stacked logo margins

Minimum size

To ensure legibility, the ESF logo must never be reproduced smaller than .75 (3/4 inch) in print or 28 px on screen of an inch from the top of the S to the bottom of the leaf.

margins of logo use

Official Colors

The predominate green in the logo has been traditionally associated with ESF. The brown complements the green and reflects the College's ties to the natural environment. The yellow is one of the colors of the ESF academic regalia.

Color is an important element of ESF's graphic identity. When you use ESF's official colors in your communications, you reinforce your connection to the Institution.

The ESF color palette includes primary and accent colors. Primary colors are the green, white, yellow, brown and black in our logo. Accent colors are intended to be used in limited amounts so as not to dominate primary colors.

Primary Colors

Pantone (PMS) 349
CMYK : C100 M10 Y91 K42
RGB: R4 G106 B56
Hex: #04562E

Pantone (PMS) 469
CMYK : C0 M52 Y100 K62
RGB: R105 G63 B35
Hex: #693F23

Pantone (PMS) 123
CMYK : C0 M24 Y94 K0
RGB: R255 G199 B44
Hex: #FFC72C

CMYK : C0 M0 Y0 K0
RGB: R0 G0 B0
Hex: #000000

Accent Colors

Pantone (PMS) 369
CMYK : C55 M0 Y92 K3
RGB: R98 G160 B68
Hex: #62A044

Pantone (PMS) 144
CMYK : C0 M43 Y90 K0
RGB: R237 G139 B0
Hex: #ED8B00

Pantone (PMS) 301
CMYK : C100 M30 Y2 K4
RGB: R40 G98 B142
Hex: #28628E

Leaf-and-Acorn Logo with Department and Office Lockups

Departments and offices are defined within a typographical hierarchy. Lockups extend our visual identity system.

A lockup is the final form of a logo with all of its elements locked in their relative positions. For the sake of maintaining consistency in all media, the lockup must not be taken apart or altered in any way. A good lockup creates a sense of cohesion between the elements.

Lockups are for department-specific uses: table throws, signs, programs, flyers and similar uses. For posters displayed at a meeting or conference either a lockup or logo can be used. If your audience will mostly know ESF and there's a reason to showcase the department, the lockup is appropriate. If you're in new territory where "ESF" might not be recognized, please use the college logo.

Do not add your department or office acronym to the lockup. Do not resize or substitute other fonts for the department or office title. To obtain the leaf-and acorn image with a department or office lockup, email Wendy P. Osborne at wosborne@esf.edu.

sample departmental logos


Primary font: Source Sans Pro and Source Serif Pro

Consistency in the use of a typeface plays an important role in reinforcing the ESF brand. Source Sans Pro and Source Serif Pro designated for all marketing and communications collateral that will be seen by internal and external audiences. Because of licensing restrictions, it is not expected that these fonts be used for everyday business documents or presentations. Please substitute Helvetica and Georgia for everyday use.

Download Source Sans Pro and Source Serif Pro.

alphabets showing font styles

Secondary fonts: Helvetica and Georgia

When composing a digital document where brand typography is not available, please use Helvetica as the sans serif typeface, and Georgia as the serif typeface in order to maintain typographic consistency across Microsoft programs and digital platforms.

alphabets showing font styles

The Academic Seal

The academic seal is used to prove authenticity on ESF documents. It is exclusively reserved for official documents and stationery. The academic seal is not for general use.

Use only in the exact format and proportions as stipulated in these guidelines. The image has specific proportions. Do not change its dimensions or orientation in any way by editing, retouching, redrawing, skewing, flipping, tilting, rotating or distorting it.

Do not substitute other fonts or attempt to re-create the academic seal. Use only the official colors. The seal is on the College's official stationery and business cards. Other uses include the following

  1. diplomas
  2. transcripts
  3. certificates and ceremonial recognition gifts
  4. honors medallions
  5. certificates for academic recognition or modified

Four-color version 1

e s f seal

Four-color version 2

e s f seal

One-color – Black

e s f seal

Download the Academic Seal

Stationery and Business Cards

Letterhead, envelopes and business cards will be available through SUNY Upstate Duplicating and Printing Services. The ordering system is currently unavailable as it is in the process of being revised and updated. Faculty and staff who need stationery and business cards during this time period can order them through Wendy P. Osborne, wosborne@esf.edu, in the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Instructions and restrictions for business cards

It takes three weeks for business cards, letterhead and envelopes to be printed.

Business cardholders must use their campus job titles. Employees with additional titles, such as director of a center, council or institute may include that information if it fits within the space allowed. Areas of expertise may be included as long as they fit within the space allowed. You will also need to supply your office or department name, campus address, phone number, fax (if applicable), email, office or department web address or ESF faculty page.

You will need a state account number to order business cards, letterhead and envelopes. You cannot personally pay for business cards. Business cards for graduate students must be approved by their academic department. A state or research account must be used for the purchase.

Research Foundation business cards: Business cards can only be ordered from a non-sponsored research foundation award. They must have prior approval from Don Artz at deartz@esf.edu.

e s f seal

e s f seal

Email Signatures

Every communication from ESF should reflect the ESF brand in a consistent manner.

Below are examples of recommended email signatures that include the necessary contact information. It is permissible to add a cell phone number if you choose.

Please do not use images or logos within the email signature. Frequently, they do not display as you wish. They can confuse recipients by appearing as attachments, delay email traffic, be blocked by certain systems or load incorrectly. They also significantly increase the size of an email and might not meet accessibility standards.

Font Options

Please us a sans serif font for your email signature. Please do NOT use a script or fancy font, and please do NOT use any images. Helvetica and Calibri are two good font options. You may choose to use a medium-dark forest green for the college name.

Helvetica Sample

sample email signature


Templates are available in Word and Powerpoint file formats. Please be sure to have one of the approved fonts installed on your computer in order to properly use these templates

Flyer Template Version 1 (Word)

flyer 1 template

Flyer Template Version 2 (PPT)

flyer 2 template

Powerpoint Presentation Template (PPT)

powerpoint template