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Brand execution guidelines

Photography and video standards and guidelines

Photography and video are core elements of the brand as they convey emotion and connection along with key excellence markers. Certain imagery can support affinity building and increase positive responses and engagement from audiences. By intentionally aligning imagery production and post-production with university brand standards, units can aim to maximize the impact of any visual for wide-ranging purposes.

ASU photography and video

Arizona State University is developing photography and video that shows the dynamic lives of our students, alumni and community in a unified way to help people near and far visualize the magic of ASU.

The approach to photo and video development and selection is based on psychological profiles developed by experts and based on the strongest performing imagery in testing with prospective students, alumni and parents. We are building a library and guidelines based on the strongest performing photos and videos, to optimize each interaction we have with the community of people who may join or reengage with ASU. Our goal is not only to include visuals in our communications, but to show the best visuals to motivate prospective students, alumni, community members and donors to embrace ASU.

Our creative assets show vibrancy, diversity and excellence through visuals of students, faculty and alumni from many backgrounds engaging in wide-ranging activities. 

Our creative is most brand-aligned when in full color visual executions. Black and white or heavily stylized color grading, placing gradients on top of photos or video is not recommended.

ASU students jumping on Palm Walk

Our research on the ASU brand shows that we will make the best connection with our target audiences if we highlight our unique experience, focusing on fundamental human values related to "on the way to a better life":

  • Success.
  • Joy in life.
  • Relaxed pleasure.
  • Academics.

Our ASU brand values are reflected in the visuals chosen for our brand libraries.

  • We transcend boundaries.
  • We are courageous, embracing the risk of our ambitions.
  • We are visionary, scaling our commitments to a world that needs big ideas and bold action.
  • We are optimistic, seeing the world for what it is and what it can be.
  • We have the strength in numbers to effect meaningful change.

Excellence markers


Testing of ASU brand creative over time has shown that some of our most powerful communication tools are visuals of graduation. Including these moments of excellence — graduates wearing caps, gowns, stoles, honor cords and medals — marks a pivotal moment for the individual to display sincere emotion that shows the success, self-fulfilment, friend and family joy that earning a degree at ASU rewards. 

Additional excellence markers

When activity includes our key partners and stakeholders, visuals that include ASU brand elements and partner brand elements naturally in the background reinforce the strength of ASU’s partnerships.

Capturing the moment

From hands-on demonstrations at public science events to art performances to football tailgates, there are many ways for Sun Devils and ASU community members to come together as we all learn to thrive. Capturing these activities through well-planned and thoughtful coverage elevates these experiences in our communications materials and reinforces the invitation to join.

Examples of brand execution in photography and video