University of California Branding

I’ve been a designer with the University of California, Office of the President, for a little over a year now. During my initial interviews I was shown a bold and newly designed mark with accompanying branding elements. That identity system was one of the main reasons I accepted the position. It was so exciting to me that an enormous public institution would actually make the move toward a witty, fresh, charismatic and entirely unstuffy aesthetic — an aesthetic that seemed to go against all standard expectations of what public education should look like. And to have the opportunity to work on the in-house team that actually put this identity in place? Yes, please!

This identity was recently released publicly in the form of a branding video (also created in-house). Previous to this new identity, there wasn’t much unity in the material coming out of the University; brand and style guidelines were pretty much “blue and gold” and the widespread misuse of the University’s historic seal as a logo. More than a re-brand, the change has mainly come in the form of strategic thinking. Where once there was design chaos, now there is uniformity and cohesion. There’s a logo, with a typographic lockup; there are official typefaces (two of them); there is professional photography; there are Word templates for non-designers.

Ultimately, this move toward strategy and cohesion has been a vehicle for telling informative, compelling stories about the University. It’s exciting, and a big breath of fresh air to be involved. I look forward to more of it.

university of california

university of california

university of california

university of california

University of California Onward California

university of california

university of california

university of california

university of california

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