This is a list of some of the terms used in this manual. The terms are defined in this specific context.



A system of four standardized ink colors that, together, produce full-color printing— specifically, cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and black (K).


Coated (C) Colors

How ink will appear on coated paper. Colors typically appear brighter and sharper.



The embodiment of a specific typeface at a particular size.


#HEX Color

A system used to define colors for Web pages.


Logotype / Logo

A graphic consisting of the Cal Poly wordmark alone or in combination with the academic shield.



A graphic combination of the Cal Poly wordmark, the academic shield, and the name(s) of a department, college or unit.


Pantone Colors / PMS (Pantone Matching System)

A standardized system of ink colors used by professional printers. Specifying a PMS color number allows any printer to produce a desired color on a printed piece (for example, PMS 343 = “Cal Poly green”).



A system used to specify colors on electronic screens; colors made up of a combination of red (R), green (G), and blue (B) light. Different devices produce similar, rather than exact, matches.


Sans-Serif Typeface

A typeface consisting of letters and numbers without the embellishment of serifs (for example, Avenir).


Serif Typeface

A typeface consisting of letters and numbers where fine strokes (serifs) finish off the main strokes (for example, Palatino).



The logo, symbol or name used to distinguish Cal Poly from any other entity— specifically, the logo, wordmark, seal and academic shield, as well as the name “Cal Poly” or “California Polytechnic State University.” These names are owned by the CSU and use is prohibited outside Cal Poly without permission.



The adjustment of space between groups of letters and entire blocks of text.



A designed set of letters, numbers and symbols with a unified style (for example, Palatino and Avenir).


Uncoated (U) Colors

How ink will appear on uncoated paper. Colors appear muted due to higher ink absorption.


Visual Identity

All of the visual elements that, together, express Cal Poly’s brand, including the wordmark, logotype, typefaces and colors.



The unique, text-based graphic identifying Cal Poly.