Cal State LA Rebranding

Design doesn’t sell itself. Words also help craft a brand narrative. Cal State LA wanted their new identity to takes ownership of LA’s urban core (as differentiation from USC and UCLA). “A major school, in a major city.”

Year-Over-Year Results (post rebrand):
• 32% Increase in campus bookstore sales (branded merchandise)
• 18,000+ New Facebook friends
• 4,000+ New Twitter followers
• 2 Major capital donations exceeding $1 million
• 28,000 New undergrad enrollments (largest in university history)

  • Role CD, Copywriter
  • For California State University, Los Angeles
  • URL CalStateLA.edu

Logo design by Cory Grabow

New logo designed as an “icon of modern heraldry,” blending a classic collegiate shield with contemporary iconography, represents an enduring and forward-thinking university.

Logo redesign explained in a self-written (and voiced) video case study. Motion graphics by Kal Khidr.

New brand needed to shift perceptions from legacy "safety" school to world-class university status, inspire greater alumni and corporate giving, and increase enrollment.

The brand unveiling to university stakeholders included an experiential “takeover” of the new downtown campus space at 801 South Grand.

Under the pretext of touring the new classrooms, university leadership was ushered through the raw downtown space displaying the university’s new identity in the form of a concrete soccer pitch.

Actual soccer team athletes sported the new athletic identity, and scrimmaged in front of university stakeholders.

Attendees were gifted limited-edition branded wearables, including logo-embroidered caps and soccer jerseys to commemorate the occasion.

The event culminated with a visual presentation of the new brand architecture.

It required separating university brand ID guidelines from athletic brand guidelines in two documents.

Athletic guidelines included new mascot design and application across signage, collateral, sports uniforms and merchandising categories.

Detail page of mascot design representing a mighty bird of prey with a wise gaze, embodying the athletic and intellectual hunger of her students.

New brand architecture was seamlessly integrated into the university’s existing digital CMS, for a revitalized look and feel across all digital properties.

Year-Over-Year Results (post rebrand):

• 32% Increase in campus bookstore sales (branded merchandise)
• 18,000+ New Facebook friends
• 4,000+ New Twitter followers
• 2 Major capital donations exceeding $1 million
• 28,000 New undergrad enrollments (largest in university history)