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Cal Poly CLA The Link

The latest online edition of CLA's Impact Magazine

Graphic Design

Follow these basic graphic design principles for more effective designs.

Posters and Flyers Process

Departments are responsible for the design and distribution of all posters/flyers unless told otherwise.

Follow the graphic design best practices below when creating your poster/flyer. If assistance is needed, contact Rachel Schultz, and she can put you in touch with freelance designers to hire. University Marketing has flyer templates to aid in the process as well. Please contact Rachel for access to these templates.

EXCEPTION: CLA Communication will design “CLA Speaks” flyers and posters in order to keep the look and feel among all CLA Speaks events consistent.

Standard sizes are as follows:

  • 8.5” x 11” flyer
  • 11” x 17” small poster
  • 18” x 24” medium poster
  • 24” x 36” large poster
  • 24.25” x 36” A-frame signage

Please send near-final artwork to Rachel Schultz to approve. When distributed off-campus, flyers and posters may also need to be approved at the University level. If your flyer will only be posted on-campus, and for less than two months, it does not need to be approved.

For events, it is recommended to distribute posters/flyers two to three weeks prior to the event. Plan on three days to have your flyer approved by the CLA communications team. If you’re distributing to a wider audience, please leave seven days for approval at the university level as well.


    • Cal Poly logo with plenty of buffer room
    • Correct implementation of Cal Poly visual and written style guide
    • The five w’s: who, what, when (date and time), where (building and room), why
    • Limit description text to 150 words
    • Sponsorship information
      • Sponsorship information for the lottery fund should be listed as follows: College of Liberal Arts' Lottery Speakers Fund

    Graphic Design Best Practices

    Layout Matters
    The viewer’s eye will naturally scan from top to bottom and left to right. Keep this in mind when creating your layout. 

    Typography Tips
    Palatino and Avenir are the official Cal Poly brand typefaces. Avenir is typically used for titles, headers and contact information (Arial is an acceptable alternative if Avenir is not available). The Cal Poly college and department typeface family is Palatino. It is typically used as body text and in more formal applications. If you choose to use fonts other than the official Cal Poly typefaces, do not use more than two styles.

    Impactful Color
    To solicit a certain emotion, understand what various colors signify (such as red for action and blue for peaceful). Stick to palate with 2-3 colors and utilize contrast for a stronger impact. Cal Poly color palettes should be used whenever possible.

    Leave White Space
    Don’t crowd a design with text and images throughout every inch, which will overwhelm the viewer. Leave white space to improve readability and visual appeal. Frame key elements by using white space.

    Cal Poly Logo
    Maximum readability is critical to maintaining the Cal Poly brand. Use simple, neutral backgrounds and leave equal and adequate spacing around the top, bottom and sides of the logo.

    For a full list of Cal Poly-specific graphic design standards, visit the University Marketing website

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