Branding Toolkit

The George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University offers world class research and teaching excellence for undergraduate and graduate students in a small, diverse campus in the heart of Houston with a close-knit environment, providing intimate class sizes, frequent access to faculty and near-unlimited opportunities for hands-on engineering engagement and growth outside the classroom.

  • Key target markets: high-achieving prospective undergraduate students / prospective graduate students at top-ranked engineering institutions / recent engineering graduates or young professionals who are interested in a professional master’s in engineering
  • Unique value that we provide: Close-knit educational environment, access to faculty, unique for a top-20 ranked institution
  • How can we back this up: Ten graduate and eight undergraduate engineering areas ranked in the top 30 U.S. News & World Report, comparatively high percentage of female and underrepresented faculty and students, eight faculty in the national academies.

The Rice Engineering Brand

Who We Are

  • Global, impactful research in fields like AI and machine learning, energy and the environment, new materials, cities of the future and engineering and medicine.
  • Our small size enables student access to world-class faculty and resources inside and outside the classroom.
  • Our diversity is our strength - our engineering program is among the nation’s leaders in percentage of female and underrepresented faculty and undergraduate students.
  • Highly-ranked programs - ten graduate and eight undergraduate programs ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top 30 engineering schools.
  • Our Location in Houston helps provide faculty and students with endless opportunities for collaboration outside campus.

Our Goals and Objectives

  • Increase the visibility of Rice Engineering among peer institutions and prospective students around the nation
  • Drive Rice Engineering alumni engagement
  • Increase collaboration and partnerships with industry and other institutions

Our Primary Audiences

  • Leadership and faculty at peer institutions
  • Rice Engineering alumni
  • Prospective donors/current donors
  • Potential corporate partners
  • Government agencies
  • Prospective students
  • Prospective faculty

Tips, Guidelines & Best Practices

News & Feature Article Writing

Style and Best Practices:

  • Articles should have a journalistic tone, using facts to tell the story
  • Exclamation points and the use of words spelled entirely in the upper case is discouraged.
  • The title “Dr.” is used only with persons who have earned an M.D. Those with Ph.D.’s are not doctors.
  • Faculty members are identified in this manner:
    • Marek Kimmel, professor of statistics (note the lower case)
  • If the faculty member holds an endowed chair, this is the proper identification:
    • Katherine B. Ensor, Noah G. Harding Professor of Statistics (note the upper case)
    • ( is the source for official names and titles for faculty and staff in the School of Engineering)
  • “Engineering Professional Master’s Program” is spelled out on first reference; thereafter, “EPMP.” When referring to a student enrolled in the program the accepted form is “Carlos Andrade is working on a professional master’s degree in industrial engineering (MIE) at Rice.”
  • For a master’s degree that is not part of the professional master’s program, and is combined with other degrees earned from Rice, the accepted form is “Vinay Pai, who earned his B.A. in computer science in 1988, and his B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering in 1988 and 1991, respectively.”
  • Years of graduation: When referring to alumni, there are two acceptable ways to identify their year of graduation. In a story where the graduate is the focus, we would say “Carol Ellinger Haddock, who graduated in 1991 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering.” In a story where the individual is not central, or is part of a list, we would say “Carol Ellinger Haddock ’91 MECH.”
  • A male graduate is an alumnus. A female graduate is an alumna. The plural form is alumni.
  • The correct spelling is “adviser,” not “advisor.”
  • These are the accepted abbreviations for the nine departments in the George R. Brown School of Engineering:
    • Bioengineering: BIOE
    • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: ChBE
    • Civil and Environmental Engineering: CEE
    • Computational and Applied Mathematics: CAAM
    • Computer Science: CS
    • Electrical and Computer Engineering: ECE
    • Materials Science and NanoEngineering: MSNE
    • Mechanical Engineering: MECH
    • Statistics: STAT
  • The abbreviations should be used in parentheses after the first reference to the department and in all subsequent references within a given story.
  • When a faculty member has joint appointments in other departments, this is the accepted way to acknowledge them:
    • Rafael Verduzco, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and of materials science and nanoengineering (note the comma after the first title and the use of “of” preceding the second title)
Writing for the Web

Writing for your website is different than just about any writing you’ll ever do. Follow these Writing for the Web Guidelines and Tips to help you communicate with your online audiences.

Keep it concise - Our average visitor only stays on a page for around 2 minutes and the average reading time is around 200 words per minute. So the goal is to provide information simply with pathways for those who seek to read more. A paragraph should have no more than 3 sentences and no more than 65 words.

Use active voice - Instead of, “A new curriculum was approved by faculty in December 2021,” use “Faculty approved a new curriculum in December 2021.”

Know your audience - Study your web analytics and learn how your users are browsing your website. Which pages are getting the most traffic? How much time are they spending on pages? If possible, look at heat maps or recorded user sessions to determine if your pages have too much content or require too much scrolling.

Avoid jargon - Acronyms and technical terms that an average reader might not understand can confuse your audience; explain terms when necessary.

Keep page titles specific - Instead of calling your page “Resources,” call it “Faculty and Staff Academic Resources.” Remember that your audience might be unfamiliar with you and your organization.

Accessibility - Flashy pages and clever writing are useless if your reader is facing barriers associated with disabilities. Pages should be designed so that they comply with Americans with Disability Act provisions. This ADA web tool kit provides useful information. Feel free to contact the Communications Team for assistance.

Think about mobile - Nearly half of our users are browsing on a mobile device

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Most of the world uses Google to find what they are looking for on the internet. Think about the words people might use to find your webpage; if those words aren’t used on your page (especially in headers), then it’s less likely that they will pop up on the first page of a Google search.


  • Use hyperlinks instead of an entire web address on a page
  • Describe links with text. Instead of Click here, use Learn more about our graduate degree programs.
  • Provide calls-to-action such as “Apply Now” or “Learn more about our graduate programs" — try to put these calls to action at the end of sentences and paragraphs:
  • Use second-person to speak to the reader: “Thank you for your interest in the Department of Computer Science”
  • Use headers and bullet points to break up content


  • Underline text for emphasis; to the reader it will appear as a hyperlink
  • Use all caps; it can appear aggressive
  • Bury your key information inside a long paragraph
  • Use terms for general departments or services that are different from your peers or competition; if that’s what users call it, then that’s what you should call it
  • Use "click here" or a written-out URL "" as a hyperlink — have the link text describe the destination page
Social Media

Social media can sometimes seem like its own language with unique audiences for each platform. Follow our Social Media Best Practices and Tips to get started.

Logos & Visual Identity

Rice Engineering follows the visual identity and brand elements usage established by Rice University Public Affairs.

School & Departmental Logo Lockups

A "lockup" is the flexible combination of the Rice shield with the university, school, department or program name in text.

The George R. Brown School of Engineering and department lockups were created to include the vast array of different sizes and variations needed. The system was designed to include both formal and informal versions, as well as any semiformal variations.

Learn more and download school and department logo lockups.

Rice University Logo Lockups

Visit the Rice Brand website to download Rice University logo lockups — including the shield and wordmark.

Color Palette

The primary colors of Rice are blue and gray, selected in 1912 by Rice’s first president, Edgar Odell Lovett. In addition to these core colors, an extended range of university colors, seen on the Rice campus, are available to use. Download the Rice University Standard Color Palette.

Typography — Fonts and Style

The official typefaces of the Rice University brand are Copernicus and Mallory. Their range of weight allows them to be versatile in creating typographic layouts.

Copernicus and Mallory should be used whenever possible in communicating the Rice brand. All university communicators should have access to the official fonts. Font files can be purchased from online font providers:

Approved alternatives to these fonts are Cormorant and Lato, which you can download for free.

Email Signatures

Through your email signature, you can present a more unified, professional appearance for official School communications.

  • Do keep it simple, including only essential information in three to eight lines
  • Do use common fonts such as Helvetica, Calibri, or Arial, sized 12–14 points. Other fonts may not display correctly
  • Do include simple URLs (without “https://www”)
  • Do include social media links in plain text without icons
  • Don’t include logos or graphics; they increase file size and appear as attachments
  • Don’t include vCARDS; they increase file size and appear as attachments
  • Don’t include tag lines or quotes; they may be perceived as school-wide statements


George Brown
Executive Administrator
George R. Brown School of Engineering | Rice University
MS 500 | 6100 Main Street | Houston, TX 77005
Office (713) 348-0000

Design Templates

Digital Signage & "Duncatron"

To reach students, faculty and visitors at Duncan Hall, you may request a slide that will appear on the large monitor in Martell Hall and the smaller monitor in the Engineering Dean’s Suite at 1001 Duncan. You can also click here to download a template to create a slide yourself (from Doni’s Box folder).


Canva is a convenient tool that can be used to create printed and digital marketing pieces. We recommend creating your own Canva account, enabling you to keep track of your designs and creations.


This PowerPoint template is consistent with the Rice Engineering brand and can help increase awareness of the school during your presentations.

Zoom Backgrounds

Use these Rice Engineering-branded backgrounds for your Zoom and virtual meetings.

Building & Editing Websites

Are you a faculty member or research team looking to build a new website? Or a staff member needing to make changes to your departments' website? Follow these step-by-step instructions and guidelines to set you on your way to building and editing websites.

Photo Gallery

Photography of our research, events and people helps tell the story of the School of Engineering on our websites, social media, print collateral and more.

To download photos to use or share, visit our photo gallery.


All videos to be used on Rice Engineering websites or shared via marketing communications should be uploaded to the Rice Engineering YouTube channel. To have your video added to the Rice Engineering account:

  1. Upload original video files to a folder to Box
  2. Include a Title and Description for each video, via email or text file in folder
  3. Share file / folder with Associate Director of Marketing & Communications, who will upload to YouTube and provide link

Upon request: Videos can be listed as Public to appear in the channel or as Private for exclusive sharing. Additionally, folders can be set up for related content — i.e. multiple videos of conference speakers.