We have a variety of graphic tools that create a unique look and make our communications recognizable. These elements shouldn’t be combined, but can be emphasized or played down individually to add visual interest and enhance our storytelling.
Structural elements are used to maintain consistency within complex page hierarchies. They should be used to contain labeling and wayfinding information and logos within documents.
Apertures are graphic shapes that add visual interest to an image. Use them to emphasize a specific part of an image or to add color to an image that may not be completely engaging on its own.
The tessellation pattern adds texture and depth when overlaid onto photography. The tessellation pattern should always be white, set to between 50 and 80 percent opacity in Adobe Creative Suite®.
Prisms can be used in a variety of ways—as a solid-colored ribbon, an outlined pattern or an image magnifier—to add visual interest to a piece.
Like Fiat Lux, our motto, our graphic elements are all rooted in the ideas of light. Like white light, Berkeley is composed of a diverse set of elements. These elements appear whole when seen together, but can be broken apart and explored individually like light through a prism.
When used consistently, these elements create continuity among families of materials. For example, a department could adopt one of these elements to be its primary visual direction, or could use a mix of two elements for all of its communications. Alternatively, it could use all four but focus on one element for a campaign, event or initiative.
With the exception of structural elements, never use more than one graphic element within a piece of design.