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Cal State L.A. president unveils new brand highlighting University's relationship with Los Angeles

September 18, 2015


New brand comes as University enrolls record number of students, builds new downtown campus

Shield LogoCal State L.A. celebrated the start of a new academic year Monday with the unveiling of a new brand, a fresh commitment to pushing boundaries, and the highest student enrollment in the history of the University.

Outside the Luckman Theatre, colorful banners sporting the new logo hung from beams, and festive rhythms filled the morning air as Cal State L.A.’s Afro Latin Ensemble entertained the crowd.

President William A. Covino unveiled the brand during his Convocation address to an eager gathering of faculty, staff, students and University supporters inside the theatre.

“As we know, a brand is more than just a logo,” Covino said. “It is shaped by every image and word used in communication materials and interactions.”

The University’s relationship with the city is a key aspect of its character—and an important element of the new brand.   

The logo is a shield marked by angles that reflect urban architecture and represent the enterprising, agile global city that is Los Angeles.  Inside the shield, a Los Angeles skyline ascends upward, toward a boundless future.

Badge Logo“The thick bordure (outer edge of the shield) has open corners that represent a campus that opens out to the region we serve, where students faculty, staff, alumni and our community are shaped by Los Angeles and in turn shape its future,” Covino explained.

The creation of the new brand was a year in the making and involved forums, focus groups, and conversations with hundreds in the University community. Covino’s address included a short video that further explained the brand and its purpose.

“Our aim was to find the best way to capture who we are for those we serve, to unify the many depictions of Cal State L.A.,” the video explained. “We needed to better define and represent our university through our logo and brand.”

The new brand comes at a time when the University is evolving, reaching goals and setting records:

  • When the fall quarter begins, more than 27,000 students will be enrolled, breaking the University’s previous enrollment high of 25,276 in 1975.
  • In January of 2016, Cal State L.A. will open a new downtown L.A. campus to meet the needs of working professionals, those in career transition and people seeking personal enrichment. With the new campus the university will expand its reach.
  • In the past fiscal year, our fundraising team doubled the amount raised by the University in 2013, reaching the highest level of philanthropic support in the history of Cal State L.A.

Eagle LogoThese developments are examples of Cal State L.A. pushing boundaries. That theme echoed throughout Covino’s speech, which highlighted the many accomplishments of faculty, students and staff. Washington Monthly magazine ranked Cal State L.A. among the top ten master’s universities in the nation, Covino said.

The University is also pushing boundaries in the world of the arts with the development of a new bilingual MFA in creative media.

“It will provide our students with an exceptional educational experience, one that speaks to the value of multilingual literacy, and the increasing prominence of Spanish in Southern California and the nation,” Covino said.

Covino’s address painted a portrait of an emerging Cal State L.A., one that merits a second look---and its new brand.

“We are building the University of the future,” Covino said, “with terrific energy and determination.”   

Photos: At the top, Cal State L.A. main logo. Upper right and center left: Other Cal State L.A. logos. Bottom left: Cal State L.A. Golden Eagle. 



Cal State L.A. is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 27,000 students and 240,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State L.A. has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit