Online Communications Policy
Development & Design Guidelines
LSU Web Visual Identity
A consistent identity is a vital part of our relationship with the public. Simple things like fonts, imagery, and colors, when used consistently, make for a stronger brand and add to the public’s ability to identify LSU.
One of the main gateways for people to the University is the LSU website. This places a great emphasis on ensuring that the site and its sub sites have a cohesive look to them, as the Internet is rapidly becoming the primary avenue of communication with our respective audiences.
The LSU Web Visual Identity will allow each unit the flexibility to build a Web site targeting specific audiences while maintaining the strength of the LSU brand.
If your office requires assistance building or updating a website, contact the LSU Office of Communications & University Relations to discuss your needs and to identiy the appropriate solution.
Official graphics, logos, and trademarks
University trademarks can be used on official pages without formal permission in accordance with all established standards and guidelines. (See the Official LSU Visual Identity Program.) Affiliated and unofficial pages must obtain permission to use trademarks from the LSU Trademark Licensing office. Download LSU insignia and typography for use on official publications and web sites.
In order to make the LSU Web site ADA-compliant and to serve users with older machines and modem connections, please see LSU Accessibility Requirements.
Identify Content Provider
Each page must identify the web developer and content provider. In some cases, these may be the same person. Organizational units and individuals are accountable for the information they choose to distribute via the Web. Material on the Web must include pointers to individuals and offices that are an enduring part of the administrative hierarchy. Each page shall also list the most recent modification date.
Adhere to HTML Standards
Developers should adhere to current HTML standards, for maximum access by multiple web browsers. Developers are encouraged to accommodate text only/or handicapped enabled browsers. Developers should also be cognizant of data transfer rates, and should refrain from excessive use of data "heavy" pages.
Navigation and necessary links
All official pages must have a link to the LSU.edu homepage. An easy and effective way to do this is with the standard LSU footer.
Each unit's homepage should link to it's administrative parent's homepage (i.e., accounting services homepage should link to Finance and Administrative services homepage.)
All pages must have a link to the web site unit's homepage so that users entering any page will be able to navigate to other portions of that unit's web site
All pages are required to have a link to the site webmaster (i.e., the webmaster's e-mail address).
If an image map is used for navigational purposes, "Alt" tags should be used in the image map and an alternate text-only navigation bar should appear on the page (the text only navigation bar is usually placed at the bottom of the page so that it does not interfere with the overall design and content of the page).
See "Linkage" for additional guidelines.
Design pages so that they fit within the boundaries of most user screens. Designing for a screen resolution of 1024x768 is an acceptable standard.
A minimal amount of vertical scrolling is acceptable. Horizontal scrolling should be completely avoided.
When designing a site in frames, provide a non-frame version.
A non-frames version can be provided easily by placing a link to the page containing all links for the site within the frameset index page. The "no frames" link will only be visible to users who are browsing in a non frames view.
When providing links to external sites in frames, make sure that all links are coded so that the external sites load outside the frameset.
See "Accessibility Requirements" for additional information regarding frames.
Help Search Engines find web pages
The following tags should be used to help users access your site:
No more than 60 characters long, each page in a web site should have a unique page title. Using unique titles for each page on a web site will aid users looking at results from the search engine.
The use of meta tags enables search engines to accurately identify and catalog web pages.
Be sure to use high-contrasting background-text colors when designing pages. If you decide not to use a white background with black text, test your pages on a variety of monitors and computer platforms to be sure that a sufficient amount of contrast does exist, otherwise your pages may not be legible to all users. See "Accessibility Requirements" for additional information regarding frames.
The hex-decimal numbers for LSU colors can be found in the LSU Visual Identity Program.
Headers and footers
Be consistent in headers and footers within in the web site, this is what provides users with a sense of where they are located within the web site
The following items must appear on all LSU webpages:
- LSU Header
Headers should include the LSU logo, the department name, myLSU login, Search box
- LSU Footer
Footer should include a link to the LSU homepage, unit contact information, and a copyright statement. The contact information should consist of
- unit name
- physical address
- telephone number
- fax number
- e-mail contact (if the webmaster/technical contact differs from the general e-mail contact, include a separate "e-mail webmaster" address).
Use graphics wisely, remember all graphics contribute to page download time.
- Set "Alt" tags on all graphics. Appropriate alt tag settings include:
- a long description of the photo content when it is essential to understanding the content on the page.
- when an image is used a link, the alt tag should be the name of the link. For example, if the a graphic of the LSU Logo is used to link to the LSU Homepage, alt="LSU Homepage"
- a set of empty quotes (this is useful for use in graphics that are used in the site design yet not of importance; the use of empty quotes causes screen readers for the visually impaired to skip over the image).
- Do not increase, reduce, stretch or shrink the size of graphics in the HTML code. You should always use an image editing program to prepare graphics before you insert them into your web pages
- Make sure you abide by copyright laws when selecting images for your web site
- Consult the LSU Visual Identity Program whenever you are using an LSU logo or trademark to be sure you are complying with LSU policies.
For additional guidelines, see Accessibility Requirements.
Page last updated:
November 3, 2011