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Graphic Standards

Use of Images

When creating social media accounts, you will need profile images and cover photos to make your profile more attractive. To make sure these graphics work well for you, they must be the right size and resolution. Please refer to the information below, categorized by social media platform, to help you create properly sized graphics for your social media accounts.

Identifying Images

When choosing images to use for your profiles, please make sure they identify your specific department or organization in the best possible way. It is recommended to use a photo commonly associated with your organization as your profile picture. Check with unit supervisors; you might already have a traditional brand or logo image. Please refrain from using the NSU Athletics Logo. Our famous Spartan heads are used for athletics only. Also, do not use the NSU University Seal, which is reserved for specific official documents.

Familiarize yourself with the NSU Brand and Visual Indentity Quick Guide. Refrain from using only the NSU main logo as your account profile/avatar image, as these tend to be overly used and lack individuality. Also, they are reserved for the University’s main channels. Any communication containing the NSU logo must be approved by the AVP of Communications and Marketing.

If you have lockup sample logos created by Communications and Marketing,  those are acceptable logos for you to use in social media, even preferable. If you do not have those logos for your unit, feel free to contact Communications and Marketing through or call 757-823-8373 to find out if those can be created for your unit. Lockup samples are generally reserved for departments, schools, colleges, and other official University organizations. Student organizations, on the other hand, tend to have their own branding, often established over years of tradition. For example, Spartan Echo has had its own logo for decades.

If your unit needs an official unit identifier or if you would like help in creating an avatar/profile image for your social media accounts, please contact the social media manager via email at ​

When intentionally using school colors, always use the specified code for our green and gold designated in the NSU Brand and Visual Indentity Quick Guide

Manipulating/Editing Images

If you administrate several social media accounts, try to use the same profile image to brand your individual department or organization. If you manipulate an image’s size to fit a social media platform’s standards, please do not enlarge the image or change it's height-to-width ratio under any circumstances. If anything, use an image that's too large and change only the height or width, keeping the same ratio. This will sharpen the image as it shrinks to the preferred height or width. Enlarged images become blurry and pixelated. Images with the height and width ratio changed from the original ratio of dimensions, become distorted.

Suggested Image Editing Software

You may use any online graphics program such as Adobe Express, Canva, or Pixlr to help you create images for your profiles and your posts. Many of these programs will allow you to choose the kind of image you would like to create and it will automatically size it for you.

Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights

If you didn't make it originally, you don't own it and cannot use it. Please keep that in mind. Felony copyright theft is no joke. Familiarize yourself with our Copyright 101 page; we're here to help you. In a nutshell, check the licensing terms for any image you use and, if you're not sure, don't use it. In the meantime, do not fear: there are many, many free images and graphics on the web. Also, the University owns a library of images available for University purposes. On the other hand, your organization should be taking photos regularly and using those on your social media accounts, thus building up your own specific library of images. That ensures your images are uniquely yours and timely, relevant, engaging, and current, all qualities you should be looking for in selecting images to use.