Toolkit: Web Template

Template Fat Footer

The "fat footer" is the area between the main content and the global footer on all sites. This optional content area isn't required or even advised for every site. You can choose to use the general fat footer from the main USU site, your own, or omit it completely. If used however, all sites should try to follow a few basic organization and style requirements depending on their content.

Footers have proven to be unsung heroes in the web world. Usability studies show they can be useful and are in fact used. There are different ways to utilize fat footers, but we suggest you put a couple of key things in there if your site will use one.

Office Name

While technically not required, there is a location reserved for your office name in the fat footer, and generally serves as a title for the content below. If you want to use the same fat footer across all of your colleges, for example, the office name in the footer could be your college, even if you were on a department site. If the fat footer is department specific, the department name would be more appropriate. There are cases where it might make sense to omit this title.

Footer title or office name example

Contact Information

Contact information should be in your site fat footer if you are using one. Contact information must be in the first column of your fat footer. If you are including social media, we also ask that you include it in this column with your contact information. The title of the column can be anything you want.

Footer contact information example

Site Map Links

You should have one or more columns of links to pages in your site if your site has any depth. You can mimic your top navigation, or you could choose to help users discover less critical but semi-important information, provide links for a specific audience like accreditation information, your mission statement, etc. Items that you don't want cluttering up your main navigation. You can fit up to four-five lists of links with your contact information.

Footer links example


If you want to use a column of buttons there are four rules.

  1. The buttons must be in the last columns.
  2. The buttons must use either two or three columns of the overall grid.
  3. The buttons must use the bright-light blue color.
  4. You can only use a single column of buttons.

Try to stick to one to two word button text, and short text to prevent wrapping problems.

Footer buttons 2 columns width example

Buttons in a two columns layout

Footer buttons 3 columns width example

Buttons in a three columns layout


If it makes sense for your site, newsletter subscriptions or similar single input forms can be placed in the fat footer. They generally need four columns of space to fit properly.

Footer form example

Restricted Items

Please do not place any kind of paragraph copy in your fat footer. Much like your main navigation, it is primarily a navigational area and not a content area. We ask that you do not put images in your footer unless you are publishing one or two logos associated with the site information. For example, your page might be the result of a collaboration with another unit or entity.  You could place that unit logo in the fat footer. This is not for your unit logo. Please do not adjust the sizing of headings, links, icons, buttons, or input elements.

Content Spacing

Fat footer columns should be left justified and start from the left with the exception of button columns. Columns should not be equally spaced unless there are more than four columns of content. Below are screenshots of the examples of how we would like to see fat footers look.

Single Item

Footer with single item example

Single Item w/Buttons

Footer with single item and buttons example

Two Items w/Buttons

Footer with two items and buttons example

Three Items w/Buttons

Footer with three items and buttons example

Four Items

Footer with four items and buttons example

Five Items (Equally Spaced)

Footer with five items and buttons example

Six Items (Equally Spaced)

Footer with six items and buttons example