Last year, Enterprise Marketing and Communications rolled out the UNCOMMON brand platform. This platform changed VCU’s overall visual identity in order to create a more robust and flexible system for use across the entire enterprise. 

With this rollout, VCU websites require updates to align with the new brand standards.

VCU’s Compass Web Framework team has been diligently implementing updates and has established a schedule that ensures brand compliance.

What is changing?

To align with the UNCOMMON brand platform, we will be updating the following:

  • Compass Web Framework: A new release, Compass v1.8.0, will include color updates.
  • VCU brand bar: The VCU brand bar will feature a revised design and updated color options.

What is the timeline for changes?

Timeline: July through mid-August, 2024

The updates will follow a phased approach from July to mid-August 2024, allowing us to effectively manage the changes and their impact on VCU websites using Compass and Terminalfour. This timeline provides a transition phase for web managers to address any issues that may arise.

  • June 26: EMC will launch a new VCU Brand standards website to brand.vcu.edu.
  • Week of June 25th – VCU brand bar update
  • July to August
    • Release Compass v1.8
    • Integration of Compass v1.8 release changes in Terminalfour
    • Update of Compass-specific content types in Terminalfour
    • Update of the Plugin library (including content types such as Brand Bar, Cards, Tabs, etc.)

How will the change impact my website?

This change will impact your site in the following ways:

  • Required update to VCU’s approved brand colors.
  • Revised VCU brand bar design.

For those using the Compass Web Framework in Terminalfour:

  • The color palette will be updated in the global stylesheet (CSS).
  • The default accent color will be reset to a new default color.
  • The brand bar will be updated.

Will I have to manually update my website?

Whether you need to manually update your website depends on the extent of your customizations.

What is a customization? A customization is additional code or visual graphics that has been added beyond what Compass provides as a default.

Website without customizations: If you are using the default Compass Web Framework assets without any customizations to colors and visual styles, manual updates are unlikely to be necessary.

Websites WITH customizations: If your website includes custom CSS or other customized elements, you will need to review and update these to align with the new brand standards. This may involve manually updating any custom code that introduces non-compliant colors.

When does my website need to be compliant?

Websites must be fully compliant with the new brand standards by August 1, 2024.

Where can I get assistance for help with my website?

Get help with an existing website: Not sure how to update your website? Technology Services offers bi-weekly open consultations for helping with websites that use the university’s CMS (Terminalfour) and the Compass Web Framework. Join a Web Services consultation.

Branding consultation: Reach out to identity@vcu.edu with any brand-related questions.

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