A new toolkit will allow the Berkeley and Cal identities to coexist in an interconnected ecosystem.

Berkeley. Cal. California. UC Berkeley. For many with strong ties, these are all synonyms for the world’s premier public university. However, over one-quarter of the people living in the San Francisco Bay Area are unaware that Berkeley and Cal are the same university. The situation gets worse the further you get from the Bay Area. Nationally, more than two-thirds of people think Berkeley and Cal are different institutions.

After reviewing these and other research findings, the Berkeley/Cal Identity Task Force made several recommendations to enhance clarity, elevate community and communicate the breadth of the campus’ offerings and comprehensive excellence.

In response to the task force’s recommendations, the campus undertook a project to update the Berkeley and Cal brand identity. While the recommendation to shift the athletics identity to Cal Berkeley will not be adopted, the other changes recommended by the task force are reflected in this visual identity update.

Our inclusive process

Over nearly two years, representatives from key campus constituencies, including alumni, faculty, staff and students, guided this inclusive and thorough process. In addition to bringing their own experiences and expertise to the project, the task force and committee members considered the feedback shared by the campus community and the extensive research conducted for this project.

Qualitative and quantitative research

63 Interview and focus group participants
15,830 Survey respondents
68 Peer institutions analyzed

Our visual identity

The Berkeley and Cal identities have been redefined to enhance clarity and elevate community. Whereas in the past, connections were discouraged, the new visual identity envisions an interconnected ecosystem where Berkeley and Cal complement each other.

Berkeley & Cal logos

Primary logos

The Cal logo is unchanged, preserving its rich history and tradition. The Berkeley logo is being updated to address issues with legibility at small sizes, usability in digital environments, and incompatibility between the two logos while maintaining the equity built over generations.

The Berkeley logo is based on the University of California Old Style typeface created by Frederic Goudy for the University of California Press. The typeface is also known as Berkeley Old Style and Californian. Over the years, the Berkeley logo has evolved while maintaining its connection to the Goudy typeface.

The new iteration of the typeface has evolved to perform better in digital spaces by lessening the contrast of the letterforms. This means that the difference between the thickest and thinnest parts of the characters has been reduced, resulting in better legibility.

The new Berkeley logo draws inspiration from the original metal version of the typeface and other Goudy works. It retains the visual equity of the existing logo while functioning as a believable system with the Cal logo.

golden bear icon with a berkeley blue background

Secondary brand assets

The Berkeley seal hasn’t been changed and is an important part of our heritage and reinforces our legacy of leadership. The guidelines around using the seal, the bear and other brand assets are being updated to support our legacy and community building.

Color palette

For the past decade, academics and athletics have used different color palettes. Moving forward, the traditional “Berkeley Blue” and “California Gold” will be used in all contexts. Berkeley Blue has been brightened to better match the saturation of California Gold. An updated simplified secondary color palette will complement the primary blue and gold.

Examples of the brand typography spelling out Fiat Lux

Typography

The standard use of two new typefaces, Inter and Source Serif, will provide additional opportunities for visual connection. Both typefaces are released under open-source licenses and available for free through Google Fonts.

example of a graphic element

Graphic elements

The new brand visual identity includes updated graphic elements inspired by existing brand elements. These include an optimized version of the Berkeley seal, which can now be used in additional ways, including as a supergraphic, and other components pulled from aspects of the seal and Cal logo.

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