University Web Standards


Websites published by academic and administrative units must adhere to Pitt’s brand standards for websites. These standards ensure our sites properly represent the University’s brand to audiences and provide a consistent and familiar user experience. 

University sites should follow W3C Web standards, which include consistent use of semantic HTML, accessibility compliance with ADA section 503c, and adherence to best practices regarding usability, including responsive design, for handheld devices.

University Web Themes

While custom websites may be produced, all sites must meet Pitt’s basic Web standards. University units are encouraged to utilize one of the approved University web themes, which serve as a great foundation. The Unversity themes provide a wide range of layout options and page widgets. The UCM Web team will consult with you on how to customize your site and incorporate additional features. Please contact us to request more information or to discuss your project.

Starter HTML Template

If you are building a custom site for a University unit, please download the starter HTML/CSS template. This set of files will provide you with the correct fonts, colors, graphics, and basic HTML code for your site. Using this as a starting point will ensure consistency and compliance with basic University brand standards.

Download HTML/CSS template


Brand Standards for Websites

University Header

The official Pitt logo must appear at the top of each page in the header element. The header may not be edited, resized, or include additional elements. It must include the correct margins and spacing. No other marks may appear above, adjacent to, or on the same horizontal plane as the University seal and signature.  You may download the starter HTML/CSS template or contact us to request files containing HTML and CSS for site headers and footers.  Attributes of the header include:

  • Official Web version of University seal and signature justified left. The display width for the seal and signature is 135px by 42px. 


Site Title/Logos

The title of the site must appear in the font Cooper Hewitt. Unique unit logos are not permitted in the header space without permission from University Communications. Contact us if you feel you need a unique mark for your site. The site title may include two lines of text in order to accommodate a stacked title or the name of a parent unit. The unit name must be rendered HTML-based Cooper Hewitt font at 22px in height on one line or 14px over 22px if two lines. 

Example header with one-line title and navigation:

Example header element with two-line title and navigation:

Example header element with blue on white background configuration:


Fonts & Sizes

Primary font for body and headers is Open Sans with accent copy in Rubik Bold and Merriweather. The width of the content container should be responsive with a maximum width of 1,320 pixels.


Examples of appropriate use of color are demonstrated in the official graphic themes. University academic and administrative sites should not arbitrarily incorporate unique color palettes.

Background Colors:

  • Pitt Royal Blue: #003594
  • University Gold: #ffb81c
  • White
  • Grey: #e8e9ee 
  • Dark Grey: #2b2b2b

Accent Colors:

  • Pitt Royal Blue: #003594
  • University Gold: #ffb81c
  • White
  • Orange: #ff6600

Text Color:

  • Dark Grey: #2b2b2b

Link Color, Visited Link Color:

  • Blue: #3366ff (light background)
  • University Gold: #ffb81c (dark background)
  • Text-decoration: none


Every page should include a footer element. The footer may be kept simple or include links to forms, popular resources, social media, and other destinations. The footer background color should be consistent with the header (blur or white).  When the use of a unique logo is required, the logo may appear in the footer. This page offers a good example of the standard footer style.

At a minimum the footer should contain:

  • Official Unit name
  • Street address
  • E-mail address
  • Phone Number
  • Link to Web feedback form
  • Revision date