Video Guidelines

This addendum to the Western Washington University Style Guide is a reference for all video work done by and for Western Washington University, for projects that represent Western and are being disseminated either to a large internal campus audience or externally. Western reserves the right to seek removal of any logo or image, which is a visual representation of the University, from any video piece that is deemed inappropriate or to not promote the values of the University as a whole. Please note that while student work or videotaped faculty lectures targeting a narrow audience do not need to follow the branding guidelines, they are required to follow the accessibility guidelines.

Branding Guidelines

Color Use

Western’s colors are an essential part of its brand identity. The institution’s primary colors should be used whenever possible in all videos produced by and for the university. The secondary palette may be used to support the primary colors as needed, but should not be used instead of a primary color. See the color guide for more information.

Logo Use

Western’s logo must be present for at least five seconds at the start and finish of all campus videos. It must precede any institutional sub-brand in the beginning, and come after any sub-branding at the end. The logo must sit alone on a field of either white, Western blue, or black. This clear, uncluttered format allows the logo to not get lost in background patterns or other competing imagery.

As with print and the web, the logo may not be altered in any way with drop shadows, glows, or other effects. See the logo guide for more information.

 

Title Treatments and Text

Video productions must use one of the approved University fonts, as found on the typography guide.

What Makes a Good Video? Some Basics

Story

Above all, the most important element is a good story or central topic. Dazzling graphics and tight production values mean nothing if your central story is not interesting or engaging. Remember that video is a visual medium; whenever possible, show, don’t tell.

Tone

Videos should have a light, conversational feel. Avoid jargon, words or phrases that sound too institutional, or language that doesn’t resonate with your target audience. Candor builds trust – overly scripted interviews feel like infomercials.

Preparation

Videos get a huge boost to production value when you prepare for and think through each project ahead of time. Storyboard each shot if you can. Faculty and staff should be dressed appropriately in business casual attire (avoid patterned clothing when at all possible) unless in the field; students should be dressed in clean, casual attire – a “Western” shirt or something with a Western logo, if possible. Ask your subjects, above all, to not wear clothing that advertises other colleges or universities. Lastly, do site visits to places you plan to shoot beforehand to see if the lighting there will work, if there are outlets available, etc.

Video Accessibility

Western aims to provide accessible digital content to all of its students, staff, faculty, and visitors (see Western’s accessibility statement for more info). Accessible video and media provides a better user experience for all viewers.

To ensure Western’s media meets this mission, please review the following guidelines to ensure your media is accessible for all viewers.

Captions

If you are creating video that represents or is on behalf of Western, you are required to provide captions for the video content you produce.

Captions are not optional in Western video content, nor are they only the responsibility of the Office of Communications and Marketing, Video Services, Web Communication Technologies, etc. Every creator is responsible for the accessibility of the media they create.

Specifically, all Departments and programs/University employees will:

  • Purchase only captioned versions of audiovisual media whenever possible.
  • Ensure that all other media that will be used on the web or in instruction is captioned or have alternative text and or formats.
  • Purchase only transcribed audio versions of audiovisual media whenever possible.
  • Update any non-transcribed audio and any non-captioned video that is in current use.
  • Use only transcribed audio and closed-captioned media that are made available in a timely manner to the class and will only assign such media as course material, whether optional or required.

Guidelines and Requirements

Captions and audio descriptions are required by the University in order to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA and all subsequent versions. The links listed are WCAG criteria related to video, audio, and other media:

Audio Descriptions

If you are creating video that represents or is on behalf of Western, you are responsible for making sure that visual content is also relayed in the video through spoken word. Examples of visual content that need to be relayed through spoken word include, but are not limited to:

  • Text or graphical info shown in video that is not spoken by a narrator or anyone in the video;
  • Non-verbal cues such as facial expressions or other gestures; and
  • Speaker names if speaker changes throughout media (example: speaker panel where multiple people might speak throughout video)

If there are visual features in the video that are not perceivable through spoken word as well as sight, you are required to provide or procure audio descriptions for the video content you produce.

Audio descriptions are not optional in Western video content, nor are they only the responsibility of the Office of Communications and Marketing, Video Services, Web Communication Technologies, etc. Every creator is responsible for the accessibility of the media they create.

Specifically, all Departments and programs/University employees will:

  • Ensure that all other media that will be used on the web or in instruction is audio described or have alternative text and or formats.
  • Purchase only audio described versions of audiovisual media whenever possible.
  • Update any non-described video that is in current use.
  • Use only audio-described media that are made available in a timely manner to the class and will only assign such media as course material, whether optional or required.

Questions about Video Accessibility?

Please contact Carly Gerard in Web Communication Technologies at 360-650-3944 or gerardc@wwu.edu.

Ideas Needed? Don’t Know Where to Start?

The Office of Communications and Marketing is here to help you get a solid start to your video project – consultations when you are still in the pre-production stage are encouraged! We can help you get a grasp on what you’ll need to think about before you even grab your camera, where you can get equipment, and the logistics and time involved in even the most basic video.  If you have questions about any of the above, or need to discuss the use of the WWU brand in your video project, contact John Thompson at Western’s Office of Communications and Marketing at 360-650-3350 or john.thompson@wwu.edu.