Digital Standards: Video Style Guide

  • Introduction

    The purpose of this style guide is to ensure a consistent output in all video content of Oxford Brookes University and to ensure the brand is conveyed correctly.

    Video is a vital part of the marketing and communications of the institution and is one of the main media used in promotion.

    As video content is so widely viewed, it’s important that the video style reflects the University in the correct manner.

    Video Production

    Within Oxford Brookes there are a team of Video Producers who can help you with video production or advise on your next steps.

    If you wish to commission a video related to Oxford Brookes your first point of contact should be the relevant Marketing and/or Communications team. They will be able to discuss your idea and be able to advise on how best to utilise video.

    Do not commission any video content without first speaking with your relevant contact, if you are unsure of who to get in touch with please contact the Marketing and Communications Directorate.

    Video specifications

    Video Quality

    All video should be filmed at a minimum quality of full HD at a resolution of 1920x1080, wherever possible.

    Aspect Ratio

    All videos produced for the university must be filmed in a 16:9 aspect ratio and filmed in landscape.

    Settings

    • File format: mp4
    • Resolution (minimum): 1920x1080
    • Video codec: H.264
    • Frame rate: 24fps/25fps or 30fps

    Visuals

    Visual style

    The overall style of video content should be similar to the other visuals created for Oxford Brookes promotion. The videos should centre around people and the style used should be reportage, meaning candid shots and real scenes, capturing the essence of the university. Shots should be simple but interesting and creative without feeling posed or contrived. Visuals should be crisp using natural colours with use of different focus where appropriate.

    Individual people shots

    Shots should not appear staged and should look natural, apart from when a person is being interviewed. Wherever possible people should be filmed in their own environment, for example a motorsport student in the auto lab or an architect student in one of the architecture studios.

    Group shots

    Shots of groups of people should be imaginatively filmed, appear natural and not staged, being captured in a suitable environment for the video.

    Campus shots

    Wherever possible video of the campuses should show people interacting with the environment and show building in their best light. Interesting abstract shots of the architecture of the buildings can also be used.

    Oxford city centre

    Shots of Oxford should represent a student city and include the buzz and multiculturalism of the location. They should capture the atmosphere and the various characteristics and attributes of the city. Shots which contain buildings of other educational institutions should be avoided. If another institutions building is used it should only appear within the background of the setting/environment of the video and not the main focus.

    Assets

    To ensure consistency within Brookes video content all videos should use the following assets.

    Lower thirds/supers

    The lower thirds are the title used to show someone's name and position on screen. At present there are two lower third options, white and charcoal. In addition to this there is a side colour where any of the Brookes branded primary or secondary colour palette can be used (excluding charcoal). When using these colours, ensure they are the correct colours for screen use. Please refer to the branding section for video for more information.  

    Names should be in Helvetica Neue 95 Black with the title in Helvetica Neue 65 Medium. If Helvetica Neue is not available then Arial Bold can be used for the name(s) and Arial used for the title.

    Current Lower Third (charcoal and lime option)

    Current Lower Third (white and magenta option)

    Think about what colours best suit your video. If unsure it’s best to go with the Brookes charcoal background with a Brookes lime or Brookes pink colour option as these are our primary colours.

    Ensure that the same selection of colours are used throughout the video. The lower third colour should not change throughout the sequence and should complement the colours of any graphics in the video. For example if there is an opening slide with a Brookes Pink background then pink would be a good choice for the side colour option for the lower thirds.   

    The lower thirds/supers should be on screen for enough time for the audience to be able to read them, around 5-7 seconds would normally be enough. The lower thirds should also be inside the title safe area of the video (see safe areas section) and fade in and out of the sequence.

    End Stinger

    Every video created for Oxford Brookes must have the end stinger at the end of the video. The stinger can be downloaded from the Oxford Brookes website. If you feel that the stinger should not be used for the video you are creating or needs to be used in partnership with another organisation please contact the Marketing and Communications Directorate at commsservices@brookes.ac.uk who will advise.

    Current end stinger
    thirds2.png

    Intro Stinger

    There is no intro stinger at present, all videos should preferably begin with an interesting and relevant shot to grab the viewer's attention or a title slide for the video.

    If a title slide is used it should include one of the primary colours as the background and should not include the Oxford Brookes logo.

    Safe Areas

    Videos created should adhere to standard safe areas. This is to ensure that if a video produced is displayed on a television any graphic will be able to be seen clearly. For content being created strictly for the web these areas aren’t usually needed, however it is still good practice to follow these guidelines in case the content is repurposed in the future.

    Audio

    The audio track accompanying videos needs to be clear and easily audible. To ensure good sound, where possible use an additional mic source other than the mic built into the camera. If anyone is to be recorded speaking to camera, film them in a quiet location and ensure they can be heard clearly with minimal background noise.

    Levels

    Check the sound levels to make sure they are not too loud and not going into the red on any visualised display of the sound on the camera equipment or later in editing.

    Ensure that sound does not exceed 0db as this will mean any audio is distorted. The sound level of video will vary depending on the recording but as a rule of thumb audio should be around -10db to -20db.

    If any extra audio is added to a video such as music it should be at a volume that would not distract from any voiceover or interview.

    Style

    Additional audio should be appropriate to the video being produced and reflect the brand of Oxford Brookes. Any accompanying music used should be positive, inspiring, upbeat and shouldn’t distract from the content.

    Licensed Audio

    Please see the Copyright and Permissions section of this document for more information.

    Interviews

    Framing

    To ensure the videos produced for Oxford Brookes are shot correctly and look professional ensure the shot has good framing and the interviewee is sitting correctly.

    Ensure eyeline is correct, with the interviewees eyeline in the top third of the frame. Place the interviewee either to the left or right of the shot and ensure the person interviewing is sitting behind the camera as close as possible but on the opposite side to the camera lens of the interviewee.

    Questioning

    Content produced should have engaging people wherever possible, answering in a confident, clear and positive manner. Make sure the person being interviewed is relaxed and comfortable and ask open questions to aid this. In addition prompt them to give an answer with the question in it. For example, if the question is, ‘what is your name’, ideally they would answer, ‘my name is…’. This will make it easier to edit at a later stage.

    Clothing

    Anyone on camera should have suitable clothing and avoid wearing designs with distracting or potentially offensive slogans on. Branding on clothing should be kept to a minimum also.

    Background

    Ensure the person being interviewed is in focus and the background relevant to the video but blurred out so it is not distracting from the interviewee.

    Where appropriate use a background which is relevant to the person being interviewed within the context of the video or use a generic background within Brookes. For example if the person being interviewed is an architecture student discussing their course, then filming them in one of the architecture studios would be suitable. If this was not possible, then filming them in one of the shared spaces such as the Forum would be a suitable alternative.

    Cutaway Shots

    To aid the interview and to make the video more visually appealing, ideally some cutaway shots should be filmed to overlay onto the video. These should be relevant to what the interviewee is talking about and should be used to help convey information about the topic being discussed. These shots should fit with the visual style laid out earlier.

    Branding

    All video content must adhere to the wider brand guidelines set out by the Marketing and Communications Directorate.

    Typography

    All Oxford Brookes video content should have Helvetica Neue as the main font used. The main variations which are used are:

    1. Helvetica Neue 45 Light
    2. Helvetica Neue 65 Medium
    3. Helvetica Neue 75 Bold
    4. Helvetica Neue 95 Black

    If the tools being used to create any graphics for video does not have Helvetica Neue then Arial can be used as a substitute. The variations are:

    • Arial
    • Arial Bold
    • Arial Black

    Font colours

    The colour of the font on any graphics should be white apart from the white background lower third when the font colour should be Charcoal.

    Background Colours

    Any background colour used within graphics of video content created should use the official Oxford Brookes colours. For an opening or title slide the background colour should ideally be one of the primary colours. Below are the colour palettes with screen/web colour numbers.

    Primary Colour Palette

    Colours.png

    Secondary Colour Palette

    Colours.png

    Accessibility

    All videos must be accessible to everyone and this should be considered during production of any video.

    Subtitles

    Subtitles can usually be added onto most of the media platforms which Oxford Brookes uses for promotion, such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. If a video is being produced to be shown at an event within Brookes the subtitles may need to be added on manually to a video in editing software.

    Colours

    When producing a video and especially any graphics, colours should be considered in terms of accessibility.

    Copyright and Permissions

    Permission

    Anyone being filmed must sign a permission form which clearly shows they agree to their image being used for Oxford Brookes University promotions.

    In the case when it is not possible to ask everybody being filmed for permission such as a large event then there should be adequate public signage informing people that filming is being undertaken and if they do not want to be recorded in any way to contact a member of staff.

    If filming children then full permission must be obtained by the parent or guardian before filming.

    Music

    Any audio tracks used in a video produced for Oxford Brookes must have the correct permission to use it for its purpose. Ensure you have obtained the correct licence before using the audio. There are websites available to purchase music tracks as well as copyright-free music sites, for more information on this please contact the Marketing and Communications Directorate at commsservices@brookes.ac.uk

    Video

    If pre-produced video content will be included in the video then the correct permission must be obtained before it can be used in an Oxford Brookes video. If you are unsure about the correct permission for pre-produced video, please contact the Marketing and Communications Directorate at commsservices@brookes.ac.uk

    Information

    All information used in the content must be factually correct and must not be misleading in anyway, adhering to Consumer Protection Laws. Information must be accurate, complete, clear, unambiguous, up-front, timely and accessible. If you are unsure as to whether something included in a video is correct then you should cut this from the video or research further to obtain the necessary information.

    In addition any statistical or promotional fact must be clearly referenced in the video content.

    Additional

    External Video Production

    If commissioning an external production company to make a video for Oxford Brookes University you must only commission one of the approved suppliers to do so.

    Further Information

    If you have any questions, require more information or if you want to know about something which this document has not covered please contact the Marketing and Communications Directorate at commsservices@brookes.ac.uk we will be happy to help.

    Neil Wilson
    August 2018

    n.wilson@brookes.ac.uk