When hiring vendors to design publications, be sure to let them know that as part of the final deliverables, we need:

  • All design files, such as the InDesign file and all fonts, photos, etc. used in the document.
  • An accessible PDF that meets the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA standards AND is brand compliant.

Brand compliance tips

Below are some steps to meeting those brand compliance standards.

First, the designer should use official University logos in the document.


The designer should also use official University fonts and colors in the document. These fonts and colors should lead the show, but they can be accented by others.


  • Myriad Pro (headings and body copy)
  • Minion Pro (body copy)

See the University’s typography website


  • Nevada Blue
    • Pantone: 282C
    • HEX: #041E42
    • RGB: 4, 30, 66
    • CMYK: 100, 72, 0, 73
  • Nevada Gray
    • Pantone: 409
    • HEX: #74767B
    • RGB: 116, 118, 123
    • CMYK: 53, 43, 40, 6

See the University’s visual identity website

Accessibility tips

Below are some steps to meeting those accessibility standards

  1. Use Colour Contrast Analyser to ensure good color contrast
    1. Among and between all of the colors in any visuals
    2. Between visuals and the background color
    3. Between the font and background colors
      1. Consider the font size
      2. Consider the paper color, texture and weight
    4. When color conveys meaning, include a secondary indicator (texture, etc.)
    5. Limit colored text to titles, headlines, brief passages
  2. Add alternate text to or artifact each image
  3. Set the reading order in the articles panel
  4. Set the structure of the document using export tags
  5. Avoid rework by double checking that everything that needs doing in InDesign is done
    1. Subject expert edits: Document authors, collaborators, funders
    2. Content team edits: Claudene Wharton
    3. Initial accessibility checks/branding edits: cabnrcomms@unr.edu
    4. Spell check, etc.
  6. Export to PDF
    1. Check "Create Tagged PDF" (Print and Interactive)
    2. Check "Use Structure for Tab Order" (Interactive)
  7. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat
  8. Use the Action Wizard (Select Tools>Action Wizard>Make Accessible>Start)
  9. Run an Accessibility Check (Select Tools>Accessibility>Full Check>Start Checking)
  10. Click on each error to learn more about it and ways to fix it.
  11. Run all manual checks
    1. Reading order: Use NVDAJAWS or Adobe Read Out Loud (Select View>Read Out Loud>Activate Read Out Loud>Read this Page Only)


Andrews, A. 2022, Branding and accessibility tips for working with external vendors, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno

Learn more about the author(s)


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