Masthead, logo and navigation

Our websites are often the first impression people have of the university system, and the masthead is the first thing they see on any given website. It is important that the masthead promotes the USNH brand, provides top-level options that show the breadth of the institution, locates the user on the site and follows a consistent structure in order to help users easily navigate the USNH web universe.

Purpose and audience

The masthead consists of the institution’s logo and persistent sitewide navigation. The main navigation is used for institution branding to identify the site and the user’s current location in the site and provide main navigation for that section.  Secondary navigation provides links to other important areas of the institution's site, as well as search functionality.

The institution's Communications or Marketing department and Enterprise Technology & Services (ET&S) are responsible for and will collaborate to ensure a consistent masthead and branding. This standard applies to all USNH mastheads.

Guidelines for all mastheads

All USNH sites must meet the current masthead specifications for logo; college, department or service name; menu items and upper menu items. Secondary logos, photos or third-party branding are not allowed within the masthead. All USNH websites and pages available through links from other USNH webpages or through organic search engines must display the masthead. (See Guidelines for web applications below for exceptions for approved external web applications.)

Guidelines for menu navigation

Links within the horizontal or vertical navigation bars should be used exclusively for navigation within your website. External links and links to .pdfs are not allowed in any top navigation, except for links to external websites that meet all of the following criteria:

  • The linked site has the USNH institution’s domain in the URL
  • The two sites have a business/reporting relationship

Otherwise, external links and links to .pdfs should exist only within the body copy. In addition:

  • Internal links should open in the same window
  • External links should open in a new window
  • Social media links can share space with the title or navigation or can reside elsewhere within the site, including the footer

Main navigation

All language should be kept consistent in main navigation. Please work with your institution’s marketing department and follow all brand guidelines and styles:

Guidelines for web applications

Web applications guidelines are by necessity more flexible, since some applications allow for more customization than others. Web applications should try to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Use an approved USNH logo in the upper left on a bar that is consistent with the Brand Guidelines for your institution:
  • Link the logo to the institution's home page
  • Please work with your institution’s marketing department and ET&S


Some examples of web applications following these guidelines:

If you have any questions about branding web applications, please contact ET&S. Remember that all web applications through an external vendor require a contract with ET&S or approval from a dean.


For support for mastheads, logos and navigation, please contact Enterprise Technology & Services (ET&S).


Anyone working on a college or school website masthead is welcome to attend the open walk-in training and help sessions that ET&S offers in support of Drupal. For a schedule of the training sessions and walk-in times, see the Teaching & Learning Technologies training calendar.

Responsibility for Content

College and school websites are maintained by members of the university community acting as official representatives of USNH. Some editors may have access to the masthead. Site owners are responsible for complying with all relevant laws, USNH policies and this standard.


Although ET&S does not monitor or regularly review website content, it reserves the right to remove any masthead content that it considers to violate this standard any other USNH policies.

If inappropriate or inaccurate content is submitted, USNH ET&S will contact the site owner to discuss the issue. If the site or content owner cannot be contacted or is no longer at USNH, that content will be administered by ET&S and can be removed if deemed inaccurate or inappropriate. When content is obviously unacceptable, ET&S will immediately remove the content prior to contacting the site owner. Unacceptable entries also may cause USNH site access to be suspended.

Reports regarding inappropriate content may be sent to ET&S.