CHSS Brand Identity

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences hopes to build a cohesive brand identity that extends across all units and centers housed within the college. This is meant to serve as a guiding document as units and centers feel empowered to create marketing materials to ensure proper branding in accordance with Mason branding guidelines, and to help CHSS have a unified look and feel.

Ideally when CHSS pieces are seen together, while not twins of one another, it will be clear they are in the same family. Content will continue to be unique to each program, but the design will always tie it back to the college and Mason overall.

General Design Guidelines

All marketing materials produced within Mason must abide by the University branding guidelines. Review these guidelines closely before creating any new marketing materials.

CHSS also has guidelines that we ask be followed when creating any marketing materials:

  • Limit stock photography.
  • Focus on the student academic experience within CHSS.
  • Photos used should be of CHSS students and faculty.
  • The Office of Communications and Marketing at Mason has issued a directive that all color palettes for print or digital materials used externally be 51% Mason Green and Gold. CHSS’s primary color is Mason Teal Blue or Dark Turquoise (which can be found in the secondary Mason brand palettes in the brand guidelines.) Please use this color when possible. Other colors for your individual units, degree programs, and centers should be chosen from these same secondary and tertiary palettes.
  • Use the CHSS logo on every piece.
  • Add a small creation or revision date in the corner of each piece.
  • Central Creative has requested that they review all materials designed by external vendors. You can submit a review request through their job request form, with the job title “Design Review”. Be sure to include a due date!

Ideally, the CHSS Marketing and Communications team would also like to have an opportunity to review all college materials before they go to print.


Creative Services has photographers on staff that are available for event photography, scheduled photoshoots, and more. You can request a job online. Photographs taken from previous events, staged photoshoots, and more that are available for commercial use can be found on George Mason’s SmugMug galleries.

If your department wants to photograph events on your own, here are some general guidelines:

Cameras and other photography equipment can be rented from ITS’s STAR Lab by faculty and staff.

The act of taking a picture in a public space in the Commonwealth is permitted. However, the model release policy of how, where and why, agents of university do with that image, ie, editorial vs. advertising, is in the process of being developed.

If there is opportunity, such as a planned photography session, it is best practices to have the subject(s) sign a photo release. Please contact for that photo release. For more impractical situations, since there are innumerable variables and situations, Creative Services provides a few suggestions for obtaining informed consent:

  • Include a notice on event pages or descriptions that photos may be taken and used for future promotional materials.
  • Photographers should be identifiable with Mason ids, badges, and/or press credentials.
  • If photographing in a classroom or other controlled setting (ie, a lab or small event), faculty/advisors should notify students in advance before any set date to be photographed. Photographers should introduce themselves to students, faculty, and staff, and get verbal consent.
  • Send a final image gallery to a point of contact advisor/faulty to disseminate photos to students with an option for students to opt out by contacting the advisor/faculty prior to public posting.
  • Caption photos attributing the source of the image so anyone who might have questions will know who to contact for questions and concerns.
  • In post production, tag images with accurate metadata, update model release tracking in the metadata, copyright information, and the safe and secure organization of the image collection should be considered (Creative Services employs a full-time Digital Image Collections manager to implement best practices)
  • If a subject requests removal of their likeness, remove all digital copies.
  • This will be updated with the formal university photography policy once it is released.

Please note that for paid advertising, photograph subject should have a model release on file that specifically allows their likeness to be used in paid advertising. We do not recommend using photos that do not have signed model releases on file. 

Further Resources

Creative Services: Creative Services is an excellent resource for design support. Fill out a job request form to work with them on a design project. Creative Services also has a variety of branded print and digital templates for both Adobe Creative Suite and Canva that you can use to quickly create the materials you need. 

External Vendors: CHSS Marketing and Communications team has a list of Mason-approved external vendors that can be used for graphic design work. Reach out to CHSS Marketing Specialist Sarah Holland ( for the list. Creative Services also has a list of freelance vendors available on their website

Canva: An online creative platform for quick, self-made design work. Reach out to CHSS Marketing and Communications for further support.

Adobe Creative Suite: Faculty and Staff are able to download Adobe Creative Suite, which includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Lightroom, and more. Contact ITS for further instruction on how to gain access to these products.

CHSS Marketing and Communications: CHSS Marketing and Communications is available for support, guidance, and recommendations regarding any visual design work. Reach out to CHSS Marketing Specialist Sarah Holland ( to schedule a meeting to discuss your unit’s design needs.

CHSS Digital Assets: We've compiled many of our digital assets—such as logos, templates, and other resources—into a Sharepoint site. We will continue to add resources as they become available.