Brand Strategy

Our brand journey began in 2011, when we conducted a deep perception study amongst all our stakeholders – students, parents, faculty, staff, prospective students and parents, alumni, industry hiring managers. Based on the results of this study, we carried out a positioning exercise and then established a creative platform in 2012. At every stage, from concept to execution, the work was shared widely across campus with input from fellow communicators, deans, faculty and the campus leadership, Since the launch of the brand platform in February 2013, the brand team has trained and supported more than 1000 campus employees and tens of departments in their desire to activate and leverage the power of the Berkeley brand. We have an ongoing schedule of brand trainings every semester and we continue to support and consult with departments on a regular basis.

Indeed, we are fortunate to have not one, but two powerful brands. Both Berkeley and Cal are recognized and valued across the nation and around the world. However, this site focuses exclusively on the Berkeley brand, which is renowned for academic achievement not just in the US but also as a leading global brand (#4 – US News World Report 2017). Berkeley is the brand that unites all campus units and it should be leveraged in all communications. Cal will continue to be the brand our athletics and alumni programs leverage and the spirit brand that connects our alums. We are always looking for opportunities to showcase the two brands alongside each other so that people can see and understand the connection and the family resemblance.

Certainly. You can download the pdf right here And don’t forget that you can download the other brand manuals here too.

We try and minimize the work of campus departments by creating design templates that save them time and money. However, if you need something more specific or strategic consulting for your projects, do get in touch. We will support you as best we can (note however, that we are a surprisingly tiny team). Contact us via email with a brief description of your needs, or get in touch with specific team members via our contact page.

Visual Design

Yes, if you have a practical reason, such as large type for low-vision accessibility, a non-English alphabet, addition of a collaborator’s logo, etc. Write a brief request stating your case to the staff at Campus Life Services , and we will evaluate it promptly. If you wish to alter the design of any of our cards for purely aesthetic reasons, the answer is no.

No. Berkeley is one of the world’s most respected brands, and protecting its integrity is essential. Creating bogus “official” Berkeley business cards is a form of counterfeiting, even if your intentions are good. The Office of Business Contracts and Brand Protection (BCBP) works closely with us to prevent this kind of abuse. Thanks for helping us guard the Berkeley’s intellectual property and the great value of our brand.

No. That style has been retired in favor of updated designs that relate to the Berkeley brand. UCSF Documents & Media offers three different options, ranging from formal to more casual in tone. All have been approved by the administration at the highest levels. If you’re looking for a contemporary, business-like design, we recommend card #1.

As of January 2017, we have simplified our color palette to eliminate confusion and enhance accessibility. Our old color model included the original brand (print) colors, plus versions of those colors that met A.D.A. standards for the web—Medalist and Web Medalist, for example. We have collapsed each of these pairs of colors into a single compliant color. See our updated color palette, complete with pop-ups showing detailed web text color options and downloads for Adobe Swatch Exchange files, for details. InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop all support the exchange of colors via ASE files. Load these color files to your program to easily access the Berkeley color palette. How-tos on loading files are included.

We have a limited number of licenses available for all departments on campus. Ideally, your department should have one or two licenses for your designer(s). Contact us if you have any more specific needs.

We highly recommend licensing the Freight font for the web directly from They have a range of affordable options that should work for you. Feel free to contact us if you need any advice.

No. We believe it is critical for the university­­­­ to have a Brand Architecture ­System that provides clarity about the schools, divisions, centers and units that make up the UC Berkeley ecosystem. That’s why we’ve created functional guidelines for developing logo lockups and other visual applications for all levels of units on campus. These are designed to look uniform across all the institution’s diverse entities, and to show how each unit relates to the university. If you do choose to work with freelancers, make sure you share this website and our Brand Architecture Guidelines with them and emphasize to them that they need to incorporate brand elements and concepts into their designs.

Yes. A full Word stationery system is available for downloads on both the identity tab and the Downloads page of this site.

No. We are not a recharge operation, and we don’t have the bandwidth to be the kind of centralized design source you might find at a smaller institution. That said, we are happy to consult on your projects, to provide brand guidance, templates, technical advice, and to recommend approved vendors. Please contact us whenever you have questions!

Please contact us via email, or call us at 510/643-8956 during our weekly “office hour”: Fridays, 10-11 am.

Web Design

Open Berkeley is recommended for those with no prior web experience.

Perhaps. We suggest applying the Berkeley Brand template to a copy of your WordPress site to see how the design will affect your content. To get maximum benefit from the theme, re-enter content into the brand styled components.

Technically you can build a site of any size with the Dreamweaver template; however, in practice larger websites are best managed with a Content Management System.

Please contact us if you have any questions or need further training.