Brand style guide brings new visual identity, streamlines communications

By California State University, Bakersfield

After more than a year of extensive research and development, California State University, Bakersfield is unveiling a new brand identity that includes a new university logo and seal.

The goal of the new brand style guide is to create cohesive communications across campus and reinforce the core visual identity of the university. The branding comes as CSUB wraps up its 50th anniversary celebration and kicks off its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign. 

“We are looking ahead, to the horizon, and see hope and renewal in the rising sun. And like the sun, we, too, are rising: Rising to serve our students, rising to move our region forward, and rising to summon a future of opportunities, prosperity and excellence for all,” said President Lynnette Zelezny. “This era of optimism and vitality at CSUB requires a brand that captures our renewed spirit as a university that champions hope and new beginnings. Please join me as brand ambassadors for CSUB as we launch our unifying vision: We are `Runners on the rise!”

The new brand style guide is the result of research conducted by the Office of Marketing and Communications in the 2020-21 academic year. Nearly 100 students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and board members participated in a series of focus groups that helped shape CSUB’s brand positioning. The focus groups identified six pillars that are representative of the new brand: Community, diversity, unique student experience, beginnings, opportunity and growth.

“We know that a brand is more than a logo. A brand is a combination of authentic features that makes an institution unique,” said Dr. Esra Hashem, director of marketing and communications. “Through focus groups, we discovered from the CSUB community what those unique features are, and they became our brand pillars. Those pillars were then translated into symbols that represent the university brand.”

Nearly 2,000 people voted on the university’s new logo and seal in spring 2021.

Some of the key components of the new brand style guide are:

• New logo and seal: The primary logo depicts a shield featuring a sun rising over a field, representing the growth of the university and the fertile lands of Kern County and the entire San Joaquin Valley. The new academic seal features a rising sun and fields like the new logo. It now also includes the year 1970 to recognize the year when classes were first held at CSUB.

• New colors and fonts: For the first time, the university has selected secondary colors that can be used for marketing materials and other communications: Dark blue, light gold and gray. The primary colors of CSUB remain blue and gold. The university also selected fonts that can be used in digital and print collateral.

• New templates and downloadable resources: The brand style guide includes new templates, including letterhead, business cards, PowerPoints, Zoom backgrounds, flyers, signage and more.

The implementation of the visual identity will be gradual, taking place immediately on the university’s website and digital platforms, and later extending to the university’s physical infrastructure, such as the water tower and campus signage. The university is working with vendors to update CSUB apparel and other merchandise so that customers can buy the latest gear.

For more information about the new brand, visit csub.edu/brand.