Policies of Colorado State University

University Policy

University Seal
Policy Title: Signs, Posters, Banners and Flyers Category: Administration
Owner: Vice President for University Marketing and Communications Policy ID#: 5-6030-006
Creative Services
Web: http://creativeservices.colostate.edu/
Email: ccs_receptionist@Mail.Colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-4907

Also Contact:
Facilities Management Landscape Architecture Group
Web: https://www.fm.colostate.edu/
Phone: 970-567-3919
Original Effective Date: 12/8/1994
Last Revision: 9/24/2019


The purpose of this policy is to preserve the visual integrity of campus by providing a framework for planning and displaying temporary posters, signs and banners to ensure their usefulness and effectiveness, while minimizing visual clutter, litter, potential damage to property, disruption of campus operations, and unnecessary costs.


This policy applies to all persons on university property and all university business units, and is effective for all university campus areas, including Main campus, South campus, Foothills campus, ARDEC, and outlying campuses and facilities.


Housing and Dining Services and the Lory Student Center facilities managers are exempt from this policy with respect to temporary signs, posters, banners and flyers in their respective areas, and with respect to permanent signs after consultation with Facilities Management.

Construction site signs do not fall under this policy. However, construction site signs must be pre-approved by Facilities Management prior to design, fabrication and installation (970-567-3919).


Banner: A display of images or text imprinted on a flexible fabric or plastic material that is intended to be temporarily affixed to a pole, post, building or other structure using cables, ropes, or hardware, and may be suitable to be stored away and reused on other occasions. Banners that are affixed to a table or booth display during an event are not covered by this policy.

Flyer: A printed advertisement, announcement, circular, handout, or brochure that is primarily intended to be handed directly to a person or left in a stack for people to pick up. A typical flyer is an advertisement for an event, product or service. If a flyer is affixed to something, it becomes a poster.

Poster: A display of images or text on a light physical medium, typically paper, poster board, or adhesive-backed stickers, intended for placement on a pole, post, bulletin board, door, window, or similar location, and affixed with pins, tape, staples, or light adhesive. Posters are meant for temporary postings of a few days or weeks. A typical poster is to announce an event, or to display support for a program or cause.

Sandwich board sign: A temporary sign composed of two boards (holding a message or graphic) set up in a triangle shape, hinged along the top.

Sign: A display of images or text on a durable physical medium that is painted on or affixed to a building or structure or installed into the ground, not easily removed without tools, and intended to remain for an indefinite period of time. Typical signs are names of buildings or areas, department office names, and permanent wayfinding. Outdoor and indoor digital signs are also included in this definition. Permanent signs may be created as part of a building construction or remodel project and are designed to last indefinitely.

Temporary sign: A sign that is intended to remain for a defined period of time, easily removed, and may be weather-resistant but not designed to last indefinitely. A typical temporary sign is a wayfinding sign used to direct newcomers to a building at the beginning of a semester.

Yard sign: A temporary sign that is printed on cardboard, plastic, metal or paper, affixed to metal or plastic stakes and inserted by hand into the ground. Yard signs may or may not be reusable. Typical yard signs are for wayfinding and are used for a few days and then removed. These signs are a maximum of 24” wide x 18” high.


In order to prevent visual clutter and damage to buildings and facilities, CSU will enforce limits on location, means of attachment and removal, duration of display, and other requirements to ensure that temporary signs, posters, banners, flyers, and other materials are not left in unauthorized locations or left behind for extended periods or after an event is over.

This policy governs what may be distributed or posted, where items may be distributed or posted, and who is responsible for the items. Materials that fail to comply with this policy may be removed, and the expense associated with removal will be charged to the responsible business unit, student organization or individuals.


  1. It is prohibited to post any sign, temporary sign, poster, banner, yard sign, or similar item on university property without official permission, except as expressly provided in this policy.
  2. Permanent signs may not be used anywhere on university property without the express, prior written approval of Facilities Management, in consultation with the Physical Development Committee and the Division of External Relations. Permanent signs that are placed without the required approvals will be removed at the expense of the persons or department responsible for placing the sign. Permanent exterior signs must conform to CSU Exterior Signage Standards.
  3. Permanent interior signs must conform to building codes standard; this includes signage for inclusive facilities. Visit https://www.fm.colostate.edu/drawings which outlines these standards.
  4. No sign, poster, or banner of any kind may be affixed to a tree.
  5. Commercial advertising, sales and solicitations on campus are limited under other policies (see References below).
  6. Building proctors are requested to contact Facilities Management if they see any unauthorized signs, posters or banners.
  7. Temporary signs, yard signs and sandwich board signs:
    1. The only temporary signs allowed on campus to be installed by units other than Facilities Management or Creative Services are sandwich board and yard signs. Sandwich board and yard signs may not be placed anywhere on university property without the express, prior approval of Facilities Management and, where appropriate, Communications and Creative Services.
    2. Sandwich board and yard signs must be designed and placed carefully to ensure that no damage is done to buildings, structures, or in-ground facilities.
    3. Sandwich board and yard signs must be sponsored by an official university business unit (college, department, center, institute, etc.) or a recognized student organization, for the primary benefit of the University and the sponsoring department or organization. Materials that are primarily commercial in nature will not be permitted. Logos and sponsor logos may not exceed 25% of the sign space, the other 75% should be devoted to messaging.
    4. Sandwich board and yard signs must carry the name of the sponsoring group. If these signs are provided by an outside entity, its logo may be no larger than the university logo and any CSU sponsoring entity marks.
    5. Sandwich board and yard signs promoting university events and/or entities must conform to CSU Brand Standards. Registered student organizations are exempt from graphic standards except when using the CSU logo or Ram’s Head mark
    6. Sandwich board and yard signs may only be installed for up to one week, except those placed for External Relations and Facilities Management for longer-term purposes related to campus protection or safety (e.g., “don’t lock your bikes to trees” or around stadium/game day event locations for the duration of the football season).
    7. Non-removable stickers, paint, spray chalk, and hardware such as screws and nails may not be used in any location unless expressly approved and applied by Facilities Management.
  8. Posters:
    1. Posters must be sponsored by an official University business unit (college, department, center, institute, etc.), a registered student organization, or other authorized party for the primary benefit of the University and the sponsoring department or organization. Materials that are primarily commercial in nature will not be permitted.
    2. Posters must carry the name of the sponsoring group. If posters are provided by an outside entity, its logo may be no larger than the University logo and any CSU sponsoring entity marks.
    3. Posters promoting University events and/or entities must conform to CSU Brand Standards. Registered student organizations are exempt from graphic standards except when using the CSU logo or Ram’s Head mark.
    4. The posters must display an expiration date (usually the event date); and be removed within three (3) days after the expiration date. If a posted item is not related to a specific event, the maximum time a poster can be posted is 10 days.
    5. Facilities Management will remove any materials posted in unapproved areas, not removed within the prescribed time period, or posted by other than official university departments or recognized student organizations. Facilities Management may also charge the posting department or person for the cost of removal and any damages caused by the unauthorized posting.
    6. Posters may be posted only in designated areas of campus, as follows. Locations must be approved prior to installation.
      1. All items posted inside public areas of academic and administrative buildings must be posted on bulletin boards or areas pre-approved by the department. Items made visible from the exterior must be approved by Facilities Management.
      2. All items posted inside residential buildings and the Lory Student Center must abide by guidelines for those locations.
      3. The only outdoor areas approved for posters are the poster frames and bulletin boards on the Clark Building's exterior walls and columns. All other postings, including chalk markings on walls, will be removed, and the cost for removal may be billed to the posting agency or individual. Use only masking tape. Other types of tape are difficult to remove.
      4. Use only masking tape. Other types of tape are difficult to remove.
  9. Banners:  Temporary banners are considered a cost-effective, temporary way to promote campus events, programs and campaigns.
    1. Banners may be requested by colleges, auxiliaries, External Relations and Facilities Management. Departments and units must go through their respective college or auxiliary to make the request.
    2. Banners must be pre-approved for campus visual/physical standards and locations prior to fabrication and installation by both the Facilities Management Landscape Architecture Group (491-0155) and Creative Services (491-2359). Approval is required before fabrication and installation.
    3. Banner content and graphics must be approved by Communications and Creative Services and must conform to Colorado State University Brand Standards.
    4. Banners should promote CSU brand identity, traditions, or be celebratory of university-wide events (e.g. Ram Welcome, Homecoming, Commencement, University Anniversary), or to celebrate a significant anniversary of a college.
    5. Banners with the primary purpose to advertise units or external entities on campus will not be considered. Advertising includes qualitative language (favorable qualities, benefits and claims) and comparative language (e.g., “leader,” “largest,” “the only”).
    6. Banners on all campus frontages should be universal to the university rather than to a specific unit (Includes all campuses - Main Campus, South Campus, Foothills Campus and ARDEC).
    7. Creative Services and Facilities Management, at their discretion, will bring banner requests to the Physical Development Committee to receive broader input.
    8. Banners displaying University logo must be produced by licensed vendors.
    9. Banner size is dependent on the messaging and location of banner. Size must be approved by both Facilities Management and Creative Services prior to fabrication and installation.
    10. Specific blocks of light poles throughout campus have been designated as approved locations for light pole banners (one banner per pole). To avoid a patched together look, solitary light pole banners are not allowed. Rather, entire blocks must have the same banner or have a unified visual theme.
    11. Banners are permitted on buildings only after meeting all banner requirements listed above and pre-approval of design, location and installation method by Facilities Management before any banners are fabricated and installed.
    12. Exceptions include buildings that are specifically designed to integrate banners and banner attachments. This architectural design requires the pre-approval of Facilities Management.
    13. Exceptions also include the block of light poles adjacent to the College of Business, as the college oversees these banners on these light poles. For confirmation of these light pole locations, contact Facilities Management Landscape Architecture Group.
    14. To maintain the unique Oval experience Banners are not permitted within or around the Oval, except for banners sponsored by the President’s office on the Administration building and those posted by Admissions near Ammons Hall.
    15. Banners are allowed to be placed for 14 days maximum per semester, per college or auxiliary.
    16. Banners for events may be placed no more than two business days before, removed no more than two business days after event.
    17. Temporary banners produced by External Relations and Facilities Management may exceed this limit, dependent on the message.
    18. Installation and removal of banners must be performed by Facilities Management or a contractor retained by Facilities Management after location approval from the Facilities Management Landscape Architecture Group. Campus colleges/units/organizations are prohibited from hiring a contractor to hang or remove banners or doing it in-house.
    19. Facilities Management will remove all unapproved or damaged banners and mounting equipment. The posting agency, departments, or individuals may be charged removal costs or costs to repair damages caused by unauthorized or improperly installed banners.
    20. Sponsor is responsible for all costs associated with design, production, installation, removal, maintenance and storage of banners.
    21. If a banner causes damage to a structure, tree or other property, costs of removal, repair and remediation are the responsibility of the persons and departments who caused the damage.
  10. Flyers:
    1. Flyers and handouts may be distributed only by handing them directly to individuals, not by leaving them to be picked up, except with prior authorization of the responsible unit administrator or building proctor for the location. Commercial flyers and handouts may only be distributed in accordance with the CSU Policy on Sales and Solicitations. Distribution must not disrupt traffic or block any facility entrance, and must be at least 25 feet from any building entrance.


Compliance with this policy is required. For assistance with interpretation or application of this policy, contact Facilities Management Landscape and Architecture Group. This policy will be implemented and enforced on a viewpoint-neutral basis


CSU Exterior Signage Standards

CSU Policy on Sales and Solicitations

CSU Policy on Advertising in University Media

CSU Policy on Free Speech and Peaceful Assembly

Residence Hall policies


Approved December 8, 1994

Revision approved November 17, 2014 by Tom Milligan, Vice President External Relations

Revision approved September 7, 2016 by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations

Revision approved September 24, 2019 by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations