Skip navigation links

Graphic Elements

Graphic elements bring impact and consistency to design and photographic style in MSU communications.

These visual elements are available to to help units express their identity as a part of MSU in a way that is immediately recognizable.

Excellence for Impact

Example of use of triangle fade, helmet fade and divider graphic

Triangle Fade Graphic

A translucent green triangle is placed in the lower right corner of designs for brand advertising and other communication to drive continuity.

  • The triangle fade graphic, which reflects forward momentum, grounds the design with a foundational element and provides a way to highlight the MSU wordmark.
  • The triangle and its position in a design can be adapted for use in a variety of communications.
  • The graphic should always appear in the Excellence green brand color.

Triangle Fade

Download Triangle Fade

Helmet Fade Graphic

A translucent Spartan helmet graphic can be centered behind a headline or stand on its own in appropriate applications. Use of the Spartan helmet — MSU’s most distinguishing visual brand asset — as a graphic creates immediate recognition and ownership of Michigan State University.

Helmet Fade

Download Helmet Fade


The divider is used as a visual break above a block of text or to draw the eye to a block of text. It may appear in any brand color that complements the layout in which it appears. When used in web designs, the divider should appear as it does on the MSU homepage and top-level pages.

  • Always 30 px length when accompanying fonts set less than 40 pts, where it’s 50 px length when accompanying fonts greater than 40 pts.

Small Divider example

Large divider example

Directional Caret

The directional caret may be used in linear form or as part of a filled shape. In both cases, it is used to draw the audience's attention to text.

Directional Carat


Directional Carat Examples

Spartan Tag Graphic

This is a simple way to integrate an MSU identifier into a variety of communications, including social media and email graphics.  

  • The graphic provides immediate visual recognition and continuity.
  • The Spartan tag should always appear in the Excellence green brand color
  • It should not be smaller than one can read and not so large it distracts from the main image.

Spartan Identification/Tag

Spartan Identification/Tag Examples

Download Tag

Medallions and Iconography

These graphics provide simple and effective ways to highlight brief text, including pull quotes, facts, pride points and call-to-action text. They may be combined and also may be used on their own to add visual consistency to designs. A variety of styles reflects MSU’s excellence and proud heritage.

Medallions and Iconography


Medallion examples  

Download Medallions & Icons 

Want to learn more?

Next Section: Photographic Style