The Office of Communications design team provides a variety of creative services for the College. We design graphics, posters, webpages, animations, video title slides, signage, all variety of merchandise, and more. We also work with vendors, outside agencies and freelancers, as well as coordinate printing with both on- and off-campus vendors.

Whether you’re aiming to promote an existing event or initiative, or you have a brand new idea but don’t know where to start, we can help you conceptualize and may be able to design materials that communicate your ideas to our campus community (and beyond) from start to finish. The design process starts with developing a basic communications strategy and creative brief that will clarify the goals of your project and help ensure that your message reaches its intended audience successfully and effectively. With that in mind, please contact us as early as possible in the development of your project.

sampling of posters and a webpage designed for departments

Design Request

The design team in Communications can create posters, social graphics, webpages (and much more) to help you promote your event, program, or other initiative. We also create official Amherst College logos for departments.

An Introduction to Amherst’s Visual Identity

January 2024

Willa Jarnagin, of the Communications design team, introduces the Amherst College Visual Identity Toolkit, explaining why it’s important to use our branding assets and how you can access them.

Visual Identity

Amherst College’s Visual Identity Toolkit (VIT) includes official logos, typefaces, wordmarks, and colors, along with specifications for use. Adhering to the VIT ensures that the College’s visual identity remains strong and cohesive across its many applications, reinforcing the connections and importance of its many departments, offices, and groups. Before beginning any design project, review and familiarize yourself with the VIT and then contact the Office of Communications with any questions related to your specific project. 

Design projects that will be shared with broad audiences (internal and/or external) must follow the VIT specifications, including our official brand typefaces and color palettes, and be produced collaboratively with the design team. Projects that are targeted to smaller, on-campus audiences may be allowed a slightly less strict adherence to the VIT after consulting with Communications. Current students, faculty, and staff are able to download assets from the VIT directly. All others—outside vendors, alumni, and families—must request specific graphics through our request form.

Visual indentity pieces, including a mammoth logo, the college wordmark, and a color chart

Visual Identity Toolkit

Find official Amherst College logos, colors, and more — as well as instructions for use — in our Visual Identity Toolkit. And browse a library of Amherst photos.

How We Prioritize Projects

In order to meet the demand, we provide various levels of service. We prioritize projects that engage the broadest possible audience base (e.g., Orientation, Commencement, Reunion) by working directly with offices and departments to design all of the pieces needed for a particular event or campaign. For more targeted requests (e.g., one-time campus events, guest speakers, affinity-based programming), we consult with offices and departments to determine what materials are needed. If we are not able to prioritize your project, we will provide design templates, feedback on designs developed in-house, or recommend and collaborate with an outside designer or agency. 

Working with Outside Designers

If you are considering using an outside designer, you must contact the Office of Communications first. Once an outside designer is chosen, we can help you develop a creative brief to guide the project and provide the vendor with our brand assets to help ensure a successful start. We will give the vendor appropriate feedback and guidance throughout the design process to ensure that their work adheres to the College’s visual identity.

Have a question? Email us at

Design FAQ

Meet Us

Joanna Mahoney

Joanna Mahoney

Graphic Designer

79 South Pleasant Street
Willa W. Jarnagin

Willa W. Jarnagin

Director of Web Design & Communications Services

As a web developer and digital designer, I contribute to many aspects of Amherst’s digital presence—from web design and content strategy to promotional graphics and more. 

Working with the Web Services team in IT, I specialize in CSS and UI/UX design. For departments, I provide a variety of web support, including assistance with visual design, content flow, usability, accessibility, and search engine optimization. Additionally, I build custom WordPress sites (see The Common and Hidden Drives). With a background in graphic design and illustration, I can also create graphics for your department or project. 

Contact me with requests related to College websites, graphics, or Amherst’s Visual Identity Toolkit.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Roberta L. Diehl

Roberta L. Diehl

Director of Digital Communications

As Director of Digital Communications, I lead the creative team responsible for producing digital, print, photography, and video content, setting strategies, prioritizing requests, and recommending and implementing tools to improve the efficiency of our work. I also collaborate with staff in departments and programs across campus to support their digital and print-based communications projects.

In addition to a B.A. in Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, I hold an M.F.A. from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Contact me about related to digital, print, photography, or video projects. 

Pronouns: she/her/hers