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Cal State LA

A public comprehensive university in central Los Angeles, one of 23 in the Cal State system.



Video Case Study

Athletic Branding

College Lock-up


  • Needed to differentiate university from local competitors (USC, UCLA, CSUN, CSULB).
  • Had to raise institutional profile beyond local and regional level, into national and international sphere.
  • Needed to move upstream in prospective student consideration set, beyond "safety school" status.  


  • Faced a decentralized university communications infrastructure.
  • Fielded differing opinions on brand direction among internal and external stakeholders.
  • Had to incorporate historical brand elements (Diablo mascot) in new brand design.


  • Executed research and analysis plan among stakeholders that created consensus on distinguishing brand characteristics, positioning and messaging.
  • Provided a creative brand/logo concept with associated tertiary logos and brand elements that honored institutional past, while pointing to future.
  • Delivered separate Brand Identity Style Guide and Athletic Identity Style Guide for extension across complex inter-departmental brand architecture.


  • President William Covino, Ph.D. reignited a sense of pride and loyalty among students, faculty, staff and alumni during the fall 2015 convocation launch of the rebrand. 
  • University implemented a centralized, comprehensive and effective branded communications strategy across all departments.