Style Guide

Wake County Smart Start Style Guide

Design Overview
Wake County Smart Start (WCSS) has updated our brandmark, effective July 1, 2018. In addition to a new logo/brandmark, the appearance of our name has also changed, and “Smart Start” is no longer one word in our agency name “Wake County Smart Start”. The logo retains the block elements of the previous brandmark with new colors and a fresh design. A new North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC) affiliate ID has also been added to the updated WCSS logo, reflecting our relationship as a local Smart Start affiliate. These changes will be incorporated across WCSS agency communications. All programs funded by WCSS are required to incorporate the new brandmark on their website and in their funded program communications and materials.

Below are recommendations and requirements to guide in the usage of the WCSS brandmark. Included are examples of use and downloadable links for logos and fonts. You can download the style guide as a PDF here. For questions and branding requests, please contact Elizabeth Weichel, WCSS Communications Coordinator.



Vertical Logo Options

Horizontal Logo Options


*Logos with transparent backgrounds and logos without NCPC Affiliate ID available from WCSS on request.



Appearance of Logo
Make sure the appearance of the WCSS logo is standard. This maintains the integrity of the brandmark and it keeps the work associated with it looking professional. Below are some examples of logos improperly sized.

Make sure logo is at its original proportions. Do not stretch it wider or constrict it narrower.
WCSS Minimum Logo Size:

  • Height: No less than two inches
  • Width: No less than two inches


A minimum size must be considered to keep all parts of the logo legible. The Affiliate ID portion of the WCSS logo should never be displayed smaller than 6 point type or 1.5” wide. If using the WCSS logo grouped with other logos, keep this in mind. If space allotted is below the recommended size, adjustments may need to be made to balance the shape and visibility. Some accommodations may also be made for web placement.

To assist with legibility, maintain an exclusion zone around the logo that reflects the borders of the box shown here. Please keep any other designs or text out of the space enclosed within the box so as not to obscure the logo.

Other Appearance Guidelines

  • Do not use other colors besides the ones in the logo, grayscale, or single-color options.
  • For funded programs, do not separate the logo from the text or the affiliate ID, they are all part of the required logo design use for grantees.

Color Specifications
WCSS has five colors in the primary color palette. These reflect the colors in NCPC’s palette, which may be integrated thoughtfully as secondary colors as needed. These are the primary and secondary colors used in the WCSS brandmark. Specifications for each color may be found in the links below.

WCSS Primary Color Palette
NCPC Expanded Color Palette

Font Guidance for Use in Documents & Web
WCSS fonts are licensed for use in print and web materials created by WCSS. Font changes are not part of the branding expectations for funded partners. However, use of common sans-serif fonts like Calibri or Arial has been shown to increase the legibility and readability of text on the web and in print.

WCSS Font Guidance
How to install fonts for Windows and Macs (https://www.dafont.com/faq.php)

Additional General & Funded Partner Requirements

  • Please use the included download links to capture the logos. Do not copy and paste from other sources. If you need another type of file, such as one with a transparent background to put on a document or webpage with color, it is available upon request from WCSS Communications Coordinator, Elizabeth Weichel.
  • The WCSS logo (including the NCPC Affiliate ID) must appear on all electronic and print materials associated with or distributed by any program funded by WCSS. This includes the agency’s website and any program materials (marketing materials, letterhead, fundraising materials, forms, brochures, etc.).
  • When listing WCSS on WCSS-funded program materials, partners are required to list WCSS as the funder or partial funder. To identify WCSS as a funder, partners may use the words “Funded by:”  or “Partially funded by:” above the logo in materials. (See example below.)
    • Funded by:
    • In written descriptions, use “funded by” in the text. (See examples below.)
      • “[Official program name], funded by Wake County Smart Start,…”
      • “[Official program name], partially funded by Wake County Smart Start…”
  • For internal WCSS use, the WCSS logo can be separated from the NCPC Affiliate ID, but it must be in the same “view.” For example, on the website, the Affiliate ID must be on the home page, but it doesn’t have to be in the same location as the WCSS logo. On letterhead or business cards, both the WCSS logo and Affiliate ID must be visible on the same page.

Other Recommendations

  • In written materials, use Wake County Smart Start’s full name on first mention. WCSS can be included in parentheses after the reference and used on its own for the any future references in the piece.
    • Example: Wake County Smart Start (WCSS) works to ensure children, birth to five, are prepared for success in school and in life. WCSS funds community programs run by eight funded partner agencies that support this mission.
  • In writing intended for funded program partners or our “greatest need” community, WCSS recommends meeting an 8th grade reading level or below. There are several websites that will check this online (example: http://www.readabilityformulas.com/free-readability-formula-tests.php) In general, this means you should try to be efficient, clear, and simple with your word choice.

The WCSS logo is the property of Wake County Smart Start and shall be used only in the form and manner specified in this document. Funded partners are strictly prohibited from using the WCSS logo in any form other than that which is specifically set forth in this document.