A strong brand is crucial for the American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) as it establishes a cohesive and recognizable identity. The AUWCL Brand Guide serves as a valuable tool, providing clear and consistent guidelines for all digital and print content produced by the law school community. By adhering to these guidelines, we can present a unified and professional appearance, ensuring that our messaging is easily identifiable and resonates with our target audience. Consistency in visual presentation, voice, and tone strengthens our brand identity, which, in turn, enhances the reputation and recognition of AUWCL. Through a well-defined brand, we can build trust, foster engagement, and differentiate ourselves in a competitive academic landscape, ultimately attracting talented students, faculty, and partners who align with our values and goals.
Our correct name is "American University Washington College of Law," written with no comma between American University and Washington College of Law. In written and oral communications, such as marketing initiatives, speeches, publications, and website, the preferred way to refer to the school is:
"American University Washington College of Law"
The acronym "AUWCL" should accompany the school name's first reference in news and magazine articles, i.e. American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL).
The use of "WCL"
Though internally, the shorthand WCL is used often, WCL is not a known name or acronym to external audiences, such as prospective students, the media, the general public, or even the broader legal community. Therefore, using "American University Washington College of Law" whenever possible is preferable, followed by the full AUWCL acronym in public communications.
Internal Audience: The "WCL" abbreviation may be used in faculty and staff communications including internal events, memos, letters, and emails.
External Audience: External-facing materials such as ads, flyers, banners, and brochures must use the full "American University Washington College of Law" name on the first reference and "AUWCL" on subsequent references.
Shortening the Name – Character Limitations
In places where character limitations make the use of the full school name difficult, such as television chyrons identifying a faculty expert (American University Law Professor) or online advertising headlines (Study Intellectual Property Law at American University), it is preferable to shorten the name to American University for the purposes of name recognition.
The AUWCL logo represents the overall identity of the law school. The logo may only be used in blue, black or white - in stacked or landscape formats:
Only official versions of the logo should be used. It should not be recreated or altered in any way such as cropping, adding drop shadows, outlining, changing proportions, changing borders, etc. Do not change the logo color or change the color of the Capitol icon. Below are examples of incorrect usage of the AUWCL logo - (Click the magnifying glass to enlarge).
The American University logo* is a highly recognized international brand. Therefore, though not required, it is highly encouraged that the AU logo appears along with the AUWCL logo in brochures, flyers, presentations, etc. For example, the AU may be in an opposite corner of a flyer as seen in these examples:
Individual programs within AUWCL may have their own logos to represent their unique identity. In these cases, the American University Washington College of Law logo should either be on the left or above the secondary logo, depending on size restraints. Click here to download AUWCL program logos.
If you need to have a version of the logo created with your program or organization name, please contact Erik Garcia at email@example.com.
The logo may not be inserted into another internal or external organization’s logo or combined with another organization’s name to create a secondary logo. There are times when the law school logo will be paired with another organization's logo or a program name. In those cases, the American University Washington College of Law logo should either be on the left or above the secondary logo, depending on size restraints. When side by side, allow a space between the two logos equal to the height of "Washington College of Law" (see x below) and center the organization's logo within the vertical height of the wording in the AUWCL logo. When stacked, center the organization’s logo under the AUWCL logo and allow a space in between that is equal to the height of the words "Washington College of Law" (see below):
The Law School Seal
The official Washington College of Law seal should be reserved for official school use, specifically through the Office of the Dean, Office of the Registrar, and Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Use of the seal should be avoided in external publications, websites, social media, etc., as these should instead contain the AUWCL logo.
III. TAG LINE
The AUWCL tagline "Champion What Matters," speaks to the passion and principles that guide the American University Washington College of Law community. People here stand up for ideas and ideals and truly want to make a difference. Interests from person to person vary. Yet, every student and faculty member is encouraged to get behind something that matters. Something that is important. We speak up. We act. We can be champions of the rights of musicians in intellectual property law. We can champion healthcare legislation. We can champion human rights in other countries. We can champion a certain environmental policy. We can even champion a new club, event, or curriculum within the law school.
When should the tagline be included in written communications? As often as it can be. Champion What Matters appears on materials that encompass the larger brand – Admissions view books, advertisements, and social media accounts using the hashtag #ChampionWhatMatters. It is used on website landing pages, online advertising, videos, and social posts about top-ranked programs. The American University Washington College of Law community strives to Champion What Matters.
Typography guidelines define the primary typefaces to be used in AUWCL materials. Recommended typefaces for headings, subheadings, and body text ensure a consistent visual identity. These can also be found in the Creative Style Guide | American University, Washington, DC, including font downloads (internal use only).
Vi. WRITING STYLE
American University prefers the use of the Chicago Style for online articles. The AU Editorial Style Guide A-Z, available on the American University website (Creative Style Guide | American University, Washington, DC), provides answers to commonly asked questions about capitalization, punctuation, terminology, and other elements of written style.
THE BASICS – What You Need To Know:
AUWCL Name: First use, "American University Washington College of Law." After that, you may use "AUWCL" (externally) and/or "WCL" internally.
Numbers: Spell out one to nine. Use numerals for 10 and higher.
Abbreviations: Avoid using periods in abbreviations or degrees. For example, use the US, the UN, the UK, the EU, Washington, DC; and JD, LLM, JSD, and PhD.
Time: Use periods in a.m. and p.m. and use an em-dash to designate a period (for example, 1:00–2:00 p.m., though ":00" is not required).