Visual Identity and Messaging

The university's Communication Standards and Policies cover any message or product representing Buffalo State University that is directed at an internal or external audience. These policies present a common set of guidelines for various types of communication to both internal and external audiences: brochures and advertisements, reports and letters, websites and new media help ensure that Buffalo State presents itself in an accurate, clear, and consistent manner. 

Standards and Policies

Communication standards and policies help all university offices, departments, programs, and vendors apply appropriate identifying elements and language to a wide variety of materials. All departments at Buffalo State University must follow the institution’s communication standards to maintain a strong, consistent visual identity and messaging.

Visual Identity Program

Organizations throughout the world use visual identity programs for instant recognition. Effective visual identity is not conspicuous but covers everything affiliated with an organization. The Visual Identity Program pertains to all Buffalo State official communications, including web and new media, print publications, stationery, media and public relations, advertising and marketing, internal communication, and merchandising. All printed materials, websites, and marketing initiatives must be cohesive and closely integrated with the university’s brand to present a clear, consistent image for the institution.

A wide variety of audiences—from faculty, staff, and students to members of the media and the general public—view communication materials from Buffalo State every day. Without consistent messaging or a clear visual link to Buffalo State, public audiences might be unsure which units and programs are connected to the university. A visual identity program is a group effort; everyone must participate to make it work.

Buffalo State logos, typography, and color palettes combine to create a distinct visual identity for the institution and explains how to use Buffalo State’s logo, typography, and colors for a consistent look that strengthens the image of the university. Buffalo State’s editorial style guide helps the university standardize and unify its written communications.

Referring to Buffalo State

The official name of the institution is SUNY Buffalo State University.

“Buffalo State University” should be used in running text on first reference in most situations, including internal documents and communication (official memos and forms, Daily Bulletin messages, web pages, email intended for current students, faculty, and staff, etc.) and external communication with audiences already familiar with the institution (1300 Elmwood, alumni newsletters, invitations, fundraising materials, etc.). On subsequent reference, “Buffalo State,” “the university,” or “the institution” may be used.

Writing produced for an external audience that may not be familiar with Buffalo State’s affiliation with the State University of New York system should use “SUNY Buffalo State University” on first reference in running text. Examples include official press releases, recruitment and admissions materials, journal articles and other publications, employment advertisements, and grant proposals. If it is necessary to spell out “SUNY” in these situations, “Buffalo State University, State University of New York” is also acceptable on first reference. On subsequent reference, “Buffalo State,” “the university,” or “the institution” may be used.

The abbreviation “BSU” and the truncated form “Buff State” are generally discouraged in formal writing but may be acceptable when space is limited or when a more casual tone is appropriate, such as social media, marketing content, external news headlines, or broadcast news coverage.

Please do not refer to the institution as any of the following or any similar variation:

• Buffalo State College
• the college

Legal Name

The official legal name of the institution, used by New York State and the State Education Department, is SUNY Buffalo State University. The legal name often appears on documents and forms produced for or with the State of New York, for example, student application materials, state budget forms, and diplomas. 

Contact Us

For complete details on working to fulfill your program’s communication goals and objectives or for brand strategy guidelines, please contact the Marketing and Communications Office, Cleveland Hall 307, at or (716) 878-4201.