Cal State San Bernardino Visual Identity Program

manualFor many years, individual departments and programs at Cal State San Bernardino developed their own logos that were separate from the university’s primary logo. Over time, the cumulative total surpassed 100 different logos that were intended to represent the university in one way or another, diluting the value of the primary logo, which had served the campus for more than 25 years. A survey of faculty, staff, students and the community indicated that people were not satisfied with the longtime logo, which frequently compelled them to develop their own homegrown logos or alter the official logo. Under the leadership of Sid Robinson, the CSUSB Office of Public Affairs developed a step-by-step process to create a new visual identity for Cal State San Bernardino and a mechanism for ensuring its proper use. Based on research through meetings with the campus community, the new logo and type style captured elements that portrayed the university’s geographic location and its standing as an institution of higher learning. A letter from the university president accompanied the launch of the new design to campus, mandating that all users abide by the standards outlined in a new visual identity manual. The elements of graphic design — including the logo, nameplate, typeface, size proportions and color schemes— were carefully examined and covered in detail to help users accurately and consistently portray Cal State San Bernardino in visual communications, including publications, letterhead, business cards, collateral material, signage, Web sites and more. A full explanation of why departments did or didn’t qualify for their own individual visual identities was spelled out in the form of a visual identity architecture, which set the rules. In the months and years that followed, the university’s graphic look became more uniform and recognizable, helping CSUSB to establish a greater awareness through all of its graphic applications.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: