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UniversityMarketing and Communications

Header System

Multiple options and design configurations are available for the headers of SCU web sites.

Header Elements

This is a guide to the correct use of header elements across the family of SCU sites. The “Header” is defined as all design elements that are consistent across the top of a site’s webpages. For the Santa Clara site, the primary header elements are the following:

Institutional menu. This is the gray bar across the very top of the page. It’s present on every single page of the SCU site, and contains links to important sites of enterprise-wide interest. Most of the links are fixed and permanent, but there are some contextual variations available based on a site’s needs. 

Site header. This is the presentation of the site title. Sometimes it will include a sub- or super-heading indicating a parent entity, such as the following:



Navigation. The main navigation for most sites is presented as a horizontal menu underneath the site header, with only limited exceptions.

Sub-header. Academic department sites feature a “sub-header” below the main navigation of their parent school, with the name of the department on a bar of color (or image background).

Site Types

A modern university contains countless sites for offices, programs, departments, initiatives, centers, projects, and so forth. To describe the options available to various SCU sites, we’ll use the following terms:

  • Institutional site. These are all the pages directly linked from the SCU main site navigation and their subpages. In essence, these constitute a “core site” that tells the story of SCU to the public. No pages of the core site “belong” to any unit within SCU, although various individuals and offices throughout the University may contribute to their content. |
  • Schools and colleges. These are the six primary academic units of SCU: CAS, Business, Law, Engineering, ECP, and JST.
  • Centers of distinction. These are the three primary Centers: the Ignatian Center, Markkula, and the Miller Center.
  • “Primary” sites. These are most of the sites that make up the world of SCU. They include administrative offices, special programs, initiatives, and other sites. Most Web stakeholders at SCU likely fall into this category.
  • “Secondary” sites. These are sites within the SCU umbrella with a significant non-SCU audience, or a core audience that differs to some degree from the audience of the institutional site.
  • Academic departments. Academic departments reside within individual schools and colleges. They are primary destinations for prospective SCU students, and thus are subject to a few additional guidelines.