Internal brand update FAQ

May 28, 2024

What is the current status of the brand?

As of Tuesday, May 21, the brand refresh has been implemented at an institutional level (berkeley.edu, news.berkeley.edu, social media profile photos). All other instances of the brand remain unchanged.

Are there going to be other changes? If so, when?

The next step is to develop a signature system that will guide how campus sub-brands can "lock up" their names with the Berkeley wordmark. The signature system, when completed, will replace our brand architecture system

[Note: the difference between a signature system and a brand architecture system is just terminology.]

We'll be working with the Additive Agency, with input from campus partners, to design the signature system beginning on Tuesday, May 28. Until the signature system has been finalized, we're asking units to continue to use the old campus brand.

Our goal is to finalize the signature system by no later than July 1. Please note that it may take additional time to produce logo files for all campus units, so we ask for patience and grace during this transition period. 

We expect campus units to transition to the new brand by Dec. 31, 2025. We suggest a deplete-and-replace approach, so you'll be encouraged to use any existing printed materials featuring the old brand before ordering new materials.

What is expected from me as a staff member right now? 

Units are not expected to implement the new brand or change their marketing and materials at this time. Public Affairs will provide more specificity on the timeline of the signature system rollout as it becomes available. 

We ask that you share this information with others on your team and within your department/unit to let them know what is happening and why and to prepare them for upcoming changes.

Will my department’s logo lock-up change? 

Yes, it will change as part of the new signature system. That work is underway, and we expect to finalize the new system by July 1. 

When was the last rebrand done? 

The last visual identity update was over 10 years ago. The visual identity was in need of an update to stay current and address challenges with its usability. Additionally, research found widespread confusion nationally, statewide and even in the Bay Area about the fact that Berkeley and Cal are the same university, which informed this refresh. 

The brand changes — at their core — have a goal of establishing an interconnected ecosystem within which the Berkeley, Cal and other brand assets can co-exist. New guidelines will bring better clarity and transparency to when and how elements of the brand should be used and provide the campus community with empowering tools to further the mission of the university.

Is accessibility being considered? 

Yes. Accessibility was another significant reason for implementing these changes. The old color palette especially had accessibility issues, particularly in web usage. The new color palette has been optimized to exceed accessibility requirements.