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April 10, 2013

Cal Athletics Unveils Updated Brand Identity for Golden Bears

The University of California Athletic Department today reveals an updated visual identity for the Golden Bears, introducing a set of graphics, colors and imagery that pays homage to Cal’s historic past and creates a contemporary look.

Among the changes fans will see are uniforms that portray a coherent theme throughout all sports; consistent use of Cal’s blue and gold colors across a wide range of platforms from uniforms and team performance gear, to signage and advertising; as well as a new Bear logo. One significant element will not be altered: the Golden Bears’ most enduring and iconic mark – the script Cal – will continue as the primary logo for all of the University’s intercollegiate athletic teams.

“We feel we have developed guidelines that respect Cal’s strong tradition and universally-recognized marks,” Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. “At the same time, we realize that we need to create a look designed to evolve with our changing world. Through a nearly two-year process, we examined the attributes that define our department and its values, including such words as innovation, character, excellence and commitment. These are the characteristics we want associated with Cal Athletics, and they have helped define our new visual identity.”

Cal Athletics collaborated with the Nike design team to create the new brand identity. The core elements of the unified identity include logo, color and type usage designed to be flexible and keep pace with the athletic department’s evolving needs.

“We have a long history and great partnership with Cal, and it has been exciting to help them achieve their goal of building longevity and consistency across their brand.” said Todd Van Horne, Nike’s Global VP and Design Director for Nike Football.

Cal’s blue and gold colors remain but will now be used across programs to create consistency among team uniforms where variations have developed over time. A third color – gray – will be introduced in some cases to accent Cal’s traditional shades.

The distinct Cal script logo remains the primary mark for the Golden Bears and serves as the main visual identifier.

“Our script logo is recognized around the world by alumni and fans, so we felt it was important to maintain the equity it has built,” Barbour said. “We have worked to embrace the aspects of our visual brand that are firmly entrenched in our department’s culture, while coming up with new marks in areas where we haven’t been as consistent or developed a strong brand presence.”

One example is the Golden Bear logo, where a wide variety of shapes and sizes have been used over the years. In their place will be a single new bear mark portraying a powerful, intelligent force that pays homage to the traditional mascot Cal used more than 100 years ago.

To help build a coherent look for a wide variety of athletic communications, a custom font was designed. Unique word marks for California and Golden Bears using the font form a clear and consistent identity.

Many of the older Cal marks, such as drawings of Oski, are enduring images for Golden Bear fans and will remain available on a wide range of items, such as T-shirts and sweatshirts, but Cal's team uniforms and performance apparel will leverage the updated identity.

“When it comes to developing our brand, consistency is key,” Barbour said. “This work is crucial to our efforts to not only develop but also advance and leverage the brand that is Cal Athletics. Our student-athletes and coaches are excited about the new look and feel of our department, and we hope our fans will share in the enthusiasm.”