Skip to main content

Housing and Residence Life Identity Guide

Ask any student why they live on campus, and they’ll tell you that living on campus gets you the best Boise State experience.

“It gets you involved on campus like nothing else can.”

“It’s safe and convenient, so you can focus on what’s important.”

This guide provides the context, guidance and tools you need to help communicate what Boise State Housing and Residence Life is all about to students, their parents and anyone who interacts with the department. Consistent communication – through voice, style and graphic elements – helps ensure students and parents can trust Housing and Residence Life will provide the best Boise State experience.

We appreciate your continued help reinforcing this through all of your communications.

1) Boise State Brand

The Boise State brand represents everything that’s great about Boise State. As part of Boise State University, Housing and Residence Life should reinforce the Boise State brand in all of it’s messaging. It’s very comprehensive, so you should always be able to apply the concepts to your own message.

“The written copy in all of our Boise State advertising, marketing and promotions should reflect at least one Core Message, include a Point of Pride or share an element of the messaging found in a brand narrative. While the voice used in our communications will vary depending on the audience and medium, certain aspects of our messaging should be consistent and a true reflection of Boise State.”

Boise State’s Brand Attributes

  • Adventurous
  • Character
  • Community
  • Creative
  • Distinctive
  • Innovative
  • Inquisitive
  • Relentless
  • Respectful
  • Strong
  • Tenacious
  • Transformative

Boise State’s Core Messages:

  • We never stop. We are relentless, tenacious and transformative. (LIFE. Right Where You Live.)
  • We seek today’s answers and tomorrow’s questions. We are creative, inquisitive and adventurous. (EDUCATION. Right Where You Live.)
  • Our community is a place to innovate, create and thrive. We are strong, distinctive and respectful. (HOME. Right Where You Live.)
  • Our focus is students. We are distinctive, nimble and responsive. (BELONG. Right Where You Live.)
  • Our trajectory is unrivaled, our outlook is unlimited. (EVERYTHING. Right Where You Live.)
  • We envision new connections between the university and the region we serve every day. (COMMUNITY. Right Where You Live.)

2) Housing and Residence Life Identity

The Housing and Residence Life identity was created to work in alignment with the Boise State brand. It is built of everything students and their families hear, see, read and experience while interacting with Housing and Residence Life. This means emails, posters, flyers, phone conversations and each communication point should use the Housing and Residence Life identity.

It doesn’t have to be big and splashy, or try to cover every aspect of the brand. Applying the Housing and Residence Life identity can be a simple as using the same words, the same voice, the prescribed pattern, or templates that allow you to plug in the information into a set format.

REMEMBER: A departmental campaign should always support the Boise State brand. It should NEVER replace it.

The Housing and Residence Life identity is:

  • Authoritative but explanatory – We speak from experience and want to help students learn from that experience.
  • Guided – We are down-to-earth, poised, and friendly.
  • Coaching – We care about students’ success and have their back, even when they make mistakes. We want to inspire students to challenge themselves and their ideas.
  • Inclusive – We are social, resourceful and helpful, and we like to create a sense of belonging. We don’t use jargon.

When speaking to our audience, use language that is:

  • Caring
  • Succinct  (avoid over-explaining)
  • Empowering
  • Educational/Instructive (many messages are prescriptive, not optional)
  • Welcoming
  • Supportive
  • Friendly

Housing and Residence Life Core Message:

“You get the best Boise State experience by living on campus”.

“Right where you live” communicates the core message: Everything you need to build the ultimate college experience is close at hand and convenient, right where you live.

One-word summaries of locations and services provide a lead-in to the theme which becomes more familiar and memorable with each iteration.

Approved word themes: (your message should relate to one of these 7 words)

  • LIFE. Right where you live.
  • BELONG. Right where you live.
  • HOME. Right where you live.
  • COMMUNITY. Right where you live.
  • EDUCATION. Right where you live.
  • EVERYTHING. Right where you live.
  • MORE. Right where you live. (LLP)

Example copy

At home you can hang out by yourself or with friends, watch some television and relax. When you turn out the lights at night you feel safe. That’s what it’s like living on campus at Boise State University, where you have everything right where you live.

For more examples of the Housing and Residence Life voice/language style, see


All visual elements of Housing and Residence Life communications must reflect Boise State University’s graphic identity. This means logo usage, color and font all align with the university’s visual brand standards.

  1. Logo usage:
    The University Signature Mark is the primary identifying mark for Boise State University. It is to be used in all areas of communication with both internal and external audiences. The mark must appear on all publications and other visual mediums produced by Boise State University and its departments.Boise State University logo usage standards
    *The Bronco logo is the identifying mark for Boise State University’s athletic programs. No use of the Bronco logo other than by the Department of Athletics is allowed without prior permission from the Director of Trademark Licensing and Enforcement.
    Brand Standards – Logo Usage Guidelines
  2. Colors / Color Schemes:
    The Boise State official colors should be used on all materials produced in color and be a dominant part of any design to reinforce the Boise State brand. Blue = Pantone: 286C, CMYK: 100, 66, 0, 2. Orange = Pantone: 172C, CMYK: 0, 75, 95, 0. Brand Standards – Colors
  3. Fonts:
    Font choice is a critical factor in unifying graphics with the Boise State identity. Boise State’s official sans serif font, Gotham, should be used for all Housing and Residence Life communication pieces. Brand Standards – Fonts
  4. Graphic Elements:
    These graphic elements specific to the Housing and Residence Life identity align with Boise State’s brand standards. They can be used as individual elements or combined depending on your desired visual effects.
    Identity Mark
    Identity mark implemented in pattern +
    Texture +

3) Putting it all together:

Your department’s communication liaison should be your first contact when creating or requesting any communication piece. If you have any questions or would like help understanding how your communication efforts support the Housing and Residence Life identity, your liaison and the Student Affairs Marketing team are here for you.

Need to create a communication piece? Start here: Student Affairs Communications Team Project Request


Consumer insight: who are you designing for?

How do you engage and excite people? You have to know a little bit about who they are and what they care about.

Generally speaking Boise State students seek connections to things larger than themselves. They want to feel involved and like they’re effecting change, even in some small way.

If they feel like they personally identify with a brand – what the brand does, what the brand likes, and the quality of the brand (especially the quality of the brand) – they will more easily align themselves with it because they want to embody those same ideas. You see this exhibited when people wear Boise State gear, a Nike hat, or the use their Apple iPhone. Luckily, Boise State has a quality brand so leverage that in your design.

Your objective: do you know what it is?

Take design cues directly from your messaging. Once the message is determined, you can identify your objective and set your information hierarchy. Some examples of an objective could be getting volunteers for a program, completing an online survey, or increasing attendance at an upcoming event. Creating a hierarchy of information will apply to every design you make.

Example: your objective is to drive students from an email to a survey. Using information hierarchy will guide a reader’s eyes through the design in the way you want. While the headline should be engaging, and the sub-head or supporting text should provide clarity, ultimately the focal point of the design should be your call to action. Like, “click here,” “register now,” or “call (XXX) XXX-XXXX.”

Design questions to consider:

Ask yourself these questions before you start designing – it might be the difference between completing your project or starting over.

  • Printing – if you are printing on the office printer remember to add a white border around your design to account for the printer’s inability to print to the edge of the page. If you are outsourcing your printing, confirm the printer has time to complete your project and their preferred file format.
  • Color profiles – depending on your output you’ll need to adjust your color profiles accordingly: RGB for anything digital. CMYK for anything that will be printed.
  • Copy check – It’s easy to make typos when you’re in design mode! Once you have your design created, let others critique and proofread your work.
  • That awesome Bronco Head logo – you can’t use it. Only the Athletics department is allowed to use the Bronco head logo.

Collect your resources:

Put your visual puzzle pieces on your page and get ready
to organize them.

  • Do you need to use the Boise State logo on your design? If yes, (and almost always it will be yes) where is your file saved? Do you have a high-quality version? Should it be full color, one-color? Place it on your design page.
  • Are you using a photo? Be sure the resolution is high quality and you have rights to the photo before placing it on your design page.
  • Your HRL voice approved copy – place it on your design page.
  • Boise State brand standards. The brand is about more than just using blue and orange colors. Your design should support messaging from our brand attributes as well. Make sure the brand is (figuratively and literally) on your page. (

Let’s design:

Here are some design rules to live by:

  • Be simple. Be clear. Be authentic.
  • Students respond to less text and more visual. They like to capture information quickly and move on. Ultimately, we want them to absorb our message and act. The way you prioritize the information on your design is important. Use a bold font, a contrasting color, or increase your headline size to show what your call to action is.
  • Being clever and creative are great ways to engage your audience. Creative doesn’t necessarily mean complex. Simple creativity is very impactful. Simple creativity suggests a very clear understanding of your topic or message. Please note: if you can’t be both simple and creative, just be simple.