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Visual Language of VT

Decorative graphic for visual language

What is Good Design?

There is a difference between good design and good Virginia Tech brand design. Good design is individualistic and subjective depending on the task and objective, but good brand design for Virginia Tech is the suggestions and ideas contained and described in this brand center. 

Our visual brand creates a look and feel that is consistent and easy to recognize as Virginia Tech, but with enough flexibility for individual programs, schools, and organizations to maintain distinct identities. When done properly, you will see a unique visual language and core brand alignment. One way to think about striking this balance is with an 80/20 ratio.


Visually, up to 80 percent of a single communication can be tailored to the specific school, program, or organization. This can be achieved in many ways, including the use of secondary colors, custom photography, and graphic elements. 


For any single communication, at least 20 percent of its design should contain consistent master brand elements which includes primary color palette, brand typefaces, and graphic elements.

Design Principles


The following example offers contrast on images and type, contrast between the left and right sides of the spread. It also offers contrast between full colored page to clean type on white space.

Design Principles - Contrast example


This example offers balance through visual symmetry, balance through item distribution and color. Balance can also be achieved with asymmetrical layout of objects and elements on a page.

Visual Design - Balance Example


Our goal with this brand is to stay relevant and continue to impact our audience. Staying relevant means being in touch with how design is evolving in the various media. Staying current in the various digestible forms and staying current so as to reach all our target audiences.  We need to be aware of the current trends, update the design style and the elements we use in our representation of Virginia Tech's brand.

Design Principles - Trends example
Design Principles - Trends example

Object Heirarchy

Hierarchy can be established in multiple ways, for example, with text: the most important thing in the page can be highlighted with big font size, bold color or the font weight. With image: image hierarchy can be established with color of the image and location and size.

Example: for the main heading we used a big type in a contrasting color to establish it place int he hierarchy. The subhead is user in a bolder weight in conjunction with a colorful image to draw your eye up to it. The third level in this hierarchy is the body type is established with a smaller type compared to the other objects on the page.

Design Principles - Object heirarchy example