Website design standards

In an effort to establish web branding consistency throughout the University of Illinois System Offices, all outward-facing System Office websites should implement design elements that identify the sites as being part of the University of Illinois System and under the System Offices umbrella. University of Illinois President Tim Killeen has requested consistency in look and feel for all of the sites that are part of System Offices.

This consistency helps increase understanding about what units serve the entire System, and strengthens the overall U of I System identity.

Current website design guidelines (updated January 2017) for elements to be included in websites for the System Offices:

1. The U of I System wordmark in a prominent position, preferably in upper left region of page. 
2. The wordmark is hyperlinked to the home page (
3. Search function located in the top right quadrant of the page. This can be a search box and/or the usual magnifying glass icon.
4. A blue bar at or near the top of the page containing elements 1-3. The bar on the core pages is translucent but a solid bar may be substituted. The color used on  is RGBA (23, 57, 88, 0.85), or in HEX, #173958 at 85% opacity.
5. A san-serif font for running text. Fonts used on the site are preferred, and are all available as open source Google fonts:
primary font: Lato
header/site names: Oswald
accent text (serif): Merriweather
6. A footer that lists: 
i. address for the office providing the web information
ii. contact information (either email address or Contact Us online form)
iii. Board of Trustees copyright (usually with the date year)
iv. a link to the U of I web privacy statement ( 
7. A footer may also include:
i. the U of I System wordmark
ii. repeat of core navigation links or popular page links
iii. relevant social media links for the office/site
iv. a link to the Administrative Services page

System Offices website managers are encouraged to adopt the elements listed above on the pages for their units. These guidelines may be implemented in a way that best fits existing website design while maintaining the spirit of visual consistency that identifies pages as coming from a System Office.

Websites should be designed for optimal display on mobile devices. When delivered to mobile devices, which have a variety of screen sizes, web pages should be consistent with the spirit of U of I System identification and branding.

Per state law and the standards of the universities, sites should also comply with mandated accessibility requirements.

See below for a visual of the site with the elements listed above marked:

header elements and font example

footer elements example


The approved favicon for system websites is a simple blue circle that coordinates with the colors scheme of You may download a copy of the ico file for use on your website.

circle favicon image

Making your site consistent

The website is designed and hosted by AITS, and content is managed by the Office of University Relations utilizing the SitePublish content management system. A System office does not need to use SitePublish but AITS staff can leverage existing templates to customize your office’s site. Both offices are available for assistance in ensuring your website is compliant with the branding guidelines.

About the website
Google Analytics data show that approximately half of the visitors to the home page are internal to the System, meaning that they are looking for the many offices and units that provide services to staff. Links to these services can be found on the System Offices page.

President Tim Killeen requested a redesigned, marketing-oriented website in the summer of 2015. The primary audience for the website is external stakeholders – legislators, Illinois citizens, and alumni.

The site has a modern home page with a large “hero” image, minimal text, and infographics of key data about the System. Off the home page are five topical pages that reflect our mission: academic excellence, research and discovery, public service, economic development, and health care. A sixth page focuses on resources for U of I alumni. These seven pages are singular and do not follow all aspects of the website design guidelines as outlined previously.