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Social Media


When creating or adding to Stanford social media accounts, the university has security protocols to follow:

  • Enable multi-factor authentication on all social media accounts and third-party publishing or analytics tools you employ.
  • We strongly recommend that you change your passwords frequently, and manage them through a service such as LastPass or Dashlane.
    • Require the same of any personal accounts that are connected as administrators or editors on institutional accounts.
  • Refrain from connecting third-party apps to Stanford accounts, as these are often soft spots for security breaches; if you must, please apply similarly robust password management.

Profile branding

For use on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Social media profile icons

Keep important information in the center circle

Social media profile icons use a mix of circle and square formats. When you are creating your profile icon, it is critical to keep the key content to a minimum and put it in the center circle because that is what most visitors will see. Many users will only use social media on a mobile device, so keep your icon as simple as possible because it will almost always display very small.

The icon’s job is to provide context

Given the extreme economy of space, the icon’s job is to provide a quick cue that this communication is connected to Stanford. The name of your unit can come through the name of your account which will be adjacent to your icon. Using too many words, displaying levels of hierarchy, your department signature, or using the Stanford wordmark or university signature will all display too small to be readable.

Choose from these options:

Option 1: Block S

The preferred profile icon is a single-color block S with tree. You can use any of the one color block S versions on top of identity colors that provide enough color contrast, preferably either white or Cardinal Red.

Example: Stanford Athletics

Option 2: Block S + image

Alternatively you can use a simple image that is representative of your unique unit and a small single-color block S with tree in the center or bottom left side of the circle. On Twitter, putting the block S on the bottom-right can get covered for verified accounts.

Example: Stanford Arts

Option 3: Block S + short name

If you must use words in the profile image for your social channels, please limit it to no more than 12 characters. All text should be Source Sans because serif fonts will render too small to distinguish the details of the letters.

Example: Stanford Engineering

Social media do’s and don’ts


  • Choose one of the three icon styles
  • Keep it simple!
  • Keep important info in the center circle area
  • Use the name of the account (not the icon) to communicate the name of your unit if it’s long or if there are levels of heirarchy to convey.
  • Use 12 or fewer characters if you choose option 3


  • Don’t create a social account until you read through the Best Practices
  • Don’t create a social account that uses Stanford’s name unless the group is an officially recognized Stanford unit
  • Don’t use the University seal because it’s too formal and implies official University communication
  • Don’t use the Stanford signature because it will be smaller than the minimum reproduction size
  • Don’t use your department signature because it’s too much information in a small space
  • Don’t use a lot of words because they will be too small to read
  • Don’t change the font if you do choose option 3
  • Don’t use the plain block S because it’s not distinct enough
  • Don’t use the two-color Block S (cardinal/green) because we reserve that for the official Stanford social media accounts
  • Don’t use a logo that is not one of these three options

Cover photos/header images/channel art

The use of this space should be intentional

Please choose images that are relevant to your unit, appropriate for your audience, and of sufficient resolution. Do not use a department signature.

360 x 360
100 x 100
400 x 400
300 x 300
800 x 800
820 x 462
1500 x 500
1536 x 768
Channel Art
2560 x 1440

Video accessibility on social media

Stanford University is committed to providing an online environment that is accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. Closed captions are required on all videos. If you choose to not supply a .srt closed caption file, YouTube will auto-generate captions for you and they may not be accurate. If YouTube is unable to auto-generate captions for the submitted video, then it is your responsibility to supply an .srt file and the video will remain private/unlisted until this has been completed.

Learn about online accessibility for video captioning on the Stanford Online Accessibility Program (SOAP) website.

Please visit the Stanford Online Accessibility Program and Stanford Online Accessibility Policy for more information.

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