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Alternative Website Design Standards

The alternative website design is provided for Drexel centers, institutes, and other entities and programs not considered administrative offices that do not want to, but may, use the administrative design. If centers or institutes choose the administrative design, the site must adhere to the guidelines associated with it.

Organizational units that qualify for the alternative design may still not meet the requirements to justify a freestanding website. For various reasons, many centers, institutes, and programs have web content that is incorporated into other sites. Review Step 1 on the section for Getting Started for more information.

Sites using the alternative website design must follow the general University Design & Branding Standards for digital media, Global Website Design Standards and the additional requirements provided below.

Header Requirements

Sites following alternative design standards must use the lockup header, which replaces the default title bar used for administrative sites with the center or institute's official primary logotype. Using the formal version of the logotype must be approved by University Communications and is only allowed in rare circumstances.


Lockup images must be floated left (in the header area) and follow the guidelines for Logotypes for Digital Media; including rules for file type, color combinations, dimensions, spacing, and decorative effects.

Navigation Requirements

As defined by the global standards, if an About section exists, it should be labeled "About" (not, "About Us") and should always be the last item in the main menu bar.

Background Options

The alternative website design offers multiple background options that are applied throughout the entire site. These include:

  • standard pre-set blue, grey, brown, or green monochromatic background image options, or
  • a solid white background with or without a subtle background image*

*Background images should seamlessly blend into the white background and should not be cropped with hard edges.

The alternative design does not allow for full-bleed photo-based backgrounds. Images must be contained within the header area.

Home Page Options

The alternative design allows for more flexibility when designing and laying out the home page. The standard margins and padding associated with the administrative design do not have to be followed—allowing for the entire content area to be used.

Designers, including external contractors, creating any custom home page designs should contact the Web Services team for consultation and specifications before and throughout the creative process. Drexel's general Design & Branding Standards, specifically the use of colors and logotypes, should provide guidance.

All custom designs for home pages and background images must be approved by University Communications.

Drexel Website Showing Required Alternative Elements
Required Alternative Design Elements