HCC Brand Standards

The HCC brand is a reflection of who we are. Our brand is the story of our past, present and future. For the tens of thousands of students we serve each year, our brand is a promise -- a commitment to the high quality education that has defined HCC.

Keep in mind that our brand is one of our most valuable assets. We have created these brand standards to ensure consistency across the thousands of points of interaction between HCC and its various constituencies. Each of these engagements represents an opportunity to tell our unique story in a way that is compelling and consistent.

As we embark on our new vision, it is important to remember that each of us has an important role to play in the HCC overall brand strategy.

The work we do and the way we interact with others has a profound impact on the way people perceive the HCC brand. Never forget how important you are in shaping the perceptions of HCC. You are an ambassador for HCC. You not only represent the brand; you represent us all.

Although our institution is known today as Houston Community College, the official name is Houston Community College System.  These are the words that appear on our graduates’ diplomas, and is the name by which we are accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 

The seal of the college was created in 1971 and offers a clean, modern style combined with an ancient and tradition symbol of education, the lamp of learning. From the Greek-stylized oil lamp emanates beams of light, symbolizing the discovery and dissemination of knowledge and wisdom as freely as sunlight covers the earth. The name of the college is displayed in an arc on the inner rim of the design. The seal of the college is reserved for use exclusively by the Chancellor and Board of Trustees.



Branding Guidelines



The HCC wordmark is the preferred graphic identifier for the college. It incorporates elements of the HCC logo, and also reinforces the institutional name in a clear, resolute typeface. The HCC logo is used only with approval from HCC Communications. The HCC wordmark is designed for everyday implementation and use on internal documents, as well as external marketing collateral and materials, without approval. Please use this guide to implement the HCC wordmark correctly and maintain the visual integrity and strength of our brand.

Houston Community College wordmark is available in a number of color options, but some versions should not be used on certain background colors from the HCC color palette. The following examples depict the correct usage of each wordmark and background color.


Minimum clear space and minimum size

An important part of maintaining a consistent presentation of the logo is keeping the area around it clear from other text, graphics or illustrations. Crowding the logo detracts from its legibility and impact. The clear space is measured by the width of the “H” in our logo. To give our logo the necessary prominence, always keep other elements outside the margin indicated. Also, the minimum size our logo may appear is 3 inches wide. 



Unacceptable Wordmark Variations 

As an official symbol of the college, the wordmark cannot be manipulated, modified or appended in any way. It may not be placed next to, or combined with, any other text, image or the HCC logo or college seal. It may not be used or placed with any other organization's logo without written authorization from HCC Communications through a brand standard review request.




Keeping the traditional gold, black and white while adding in some shades of gray helps to give the brand a warmer feel with more options for layouts. This color palette gives the brand more depth which carries through in the type, icons, illustrations, and graphic elements. PMS:1235 C is still our main color and should be present in our designs. The secondary colors support our traditional gold, so they shouldn't be overpowering.



C: 0 M: 32 Y: 95 K: 0
‌R: 255 G: 184 B: 25
HEX#: FFB819
PMS: 1235 C


C: 0 M: 0 Y: 0 K: 0
R: 255 G: 255 B: 255
PMS: White


C: 0 M: 0 Y: 0 K: 100
R: 0 G: 0 B: 0
HEX#: 000000
PMS: Black


C: 65 M: 57 Y: 52 K: 29
R: 85 G: 86 B: 90
HEX#: 55565A
PMS: Cool Gray 11 C


C: 48 M: 40 Y: 38 K: 3
R: 138 G: 138 B: 141
HEX#: 8A8A8D
PMS: Cool Gray 8 C


Secondary (Limited Use)


C: 100 M: 46 Y: 2 K: 0
R: 0 G: 117 B: 201
HEX#: 0075C9
PMS: 3005 C



C: 100 M: 20 Y: 10 K: 0
R: 0 G: 147 B: 201
HEX#: 0093C9
PMS: 639 C



C: 95 M: 8 Y: 100 K: 1
R: 0 G: 157 B: 78
HEX#: 009D4E
PMS: 7482 C


C: 61 M: 0 Y: 96 K: 0
R:108 G:192 B:74
HEX#: 6CC04A
PMS: 360 C



C: 9 M: 98 Y: 93 K: 1
R: 217 G: 39 B: 46
HEX#: D9272E
PMS: 1795 C



C: 2 M: 66 Y: 100 K: 0
R: 239 G: 118 B: 34
HEX#: EF7622
PMS: 158 C



C: 83 M: 100 Y: 24 K: 21
R: 74 G: 13 B: 102
HEX#: 4A0D66
PMS: 2617 C




Together, these three typefaces—Gotham Black, with its bold, direct look and feel, Avenir with its clean, practical, and yet refined style, and Trajan with its more traditional academic distinction—create an aspirational, approachable, and bold grouping that works well together as a family.

Headline Typeface:


Gotham Black is the headline typeface in HCC’s brand. It can be used for headlines one to three words long. For headlines four plus words long, Trajan Pro Bold, Avenir Heavy and Avenir Heavy Oblique are the prefered typefaces.

Body Copy Typeface:


Avenir is the preferred typeface for bodycopy in HCC’s brand. It has vertical strokes that are thick, an “o” that is not a perfect circle, and shortened ascenders. These nuances aid in legibility and give Avenir a harmonious and sensible appearance for body copy.

Body Copy Quotations:


Palatino Italic is used for quotations in HCC’s brand. Whenever quotes are used in bodycopy, Palatino Italic is the preferred typeface. 

Limited Use Script:

Snell Roundhand is used for invitations, certificates, and formal events.

Official Logo

The HCC logo is used only with approval from HCC Communications.‌‌‌

The preferred presentation of the standard logo is in PMS black and PMS 1235 - gold. If these colors are not available, then the logo may be printed in grayscale. The logo should not appear in any other colors.

Request use of the official HCC logo here




The HCC brand of photography strives for an in-the-moment feeling. Images should be captured from unexpected angles or vantage points to create an unforced style. Photography should be candid and authentic, express a point-of-view and meaning, and connect the viewer to the college.



Portraits especially should show the confidence and focus of the subject without feeling staged. Aim for dynamic and creative shots.

Campus images

Photography of our campuses, classrooms, and laboratories should position HCC as a leader in higher education.  Demonstrate through the image our institutional academic excellence, outstanding facilities, and commitment to students reaching their highest potential.

Action/Group shots

Using more straightforward shots is what makes the brand’s photography feel approachable. Students are to be the focal point of the shot. Capturing students in their craft is essential for the HCC brand.


The lighting and lens flares demonstrate the brand’s prestige. Using sunlight in shots utilizes our brand’s Sunshine color in a natural and subtle manner and reminds everyone that a brighter tomorrow always is available.



HCC marketing pieces utilize shots of the city (Houston) to portray HCC as Houston’s community college. Shots should be dynamic and use unexpected angles or vantage points.

Photography Don’ts Section

What to avoid when capturing photography:

Forced diversity

Unbelievably staged




It’s impossible to capture every nuance of language for all possible examples of use.  But the overall tone of our brand should be optimistic, nurturing, and encouraging.  Remember what we are offering students:  the opportunity to improve their lives, their families' lives, and alter the course of their careers. A brighter tomorrow.  A future filled with hope.  These are the characteristics our brand should imbue.

The language we use is critical to the consistency and relevance of our brand.  We should be approachable but not casual.  Academic but not clinical.  We have the fortune to serve one of the most diverse regions in our nation; our audience reflects that diversity and we must present our brand as important and relevant to each student.  This is the language we must use. Regardless of demographics, socioeconomics, language, or previous education, we should present ourselves as the institution who asks, "How may we serve you?” The HCC brand answers that question with encouragement and optimism.

HCC Communications uses the Associated Press Stylebook guidelines for spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style.



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