Campus: San Diego State University -- March 29, 2004

SDSU Debuts New University Logos

Rubio Family Provides Gift to Support First Design Upgrade in 27 Years

San Diego State University unveiled a new graphic identity system today that features a more classic design meant to convey SDSU’s status as one of the outstanding public universities in the country.

“We are not just a ‘big’ university; we are by every definition of the term a ‘major’ university in research, teaching and community service, and now we have a graphic identity that is consistent with the stature and influence our university has earned,” SDSU President Stephen L. Weber said at a brief ceremony in front of Hepner Hall to honor the launch of the new marks. “The new university logos…will help us to integrate our communications and establish a consistent identity to better tell the story of San Diego State’s excellence.”

Hepner Hall is the centerpiece of the new primary logo, its distinctive bell tower and twin turrets depicted in relief with two lines in capital serif type underneath: “San Diego State” on top, and “University” below. The primary colors remain red and black, and gold will be added in some cases as an accent color. SDSU’s previous logo was introduced in 1977.

Weber described Hepner Hall as a fitting icon for the new logo because it honors SDSU’s heritage, and yet has a timeless connection to the university’s mission. “This historic building has served as the front door of the campus since it opened in 1931, a gateway to knowledge, achievement and human development,” he said.

Greenhaus, a San Diego-based advertising agency, designed the new primary logo and secondary marks, which include a new university seal, a banner logo and an updated “SDSU” initials logo.

The graphic identity project is part of a larger strategic communications initiative SDSU launched in 2002. Plans to develop a new logo began after surveys of faculty, students, staff, alumni, community representatives and business leaders revealed most respondents could not describe the current university logo, confused it with the university’s Athletics logo, or believed it did not convey SDSU’s stature as a major university. Based on these findings, a committee of faculty, staff, students and alumni began working in March 2003 with Greenhaus on a new graphic identity for the university, as well as integrating other university communications.

Also in 2003, the Ralph Rubio family made a gift to fund the development and implementation of the new graphic identity. As a result, no new state funds were required to undertake the project.

“None of this would have been possible without the leadership of The Campanile Foundation and the generous support of Ralph and Dione Rubio,” Weber said.

The cost of developing the new graphic system and guidelines for its use was $85,000. The new graphic identity will be phased in using remaining funds from the Rubios’ gift. In most cases, however, there will be no additional cost to upgrade. For example, use of old letterhead and other materials with the previous logo will continue until supplies are exhausted, and the new logo will be phased in with new orders.
Introduction of SDSU’s new graphic identity will not affect use of the university’s current Athletics logos, which were introduced in 2002.

Editor’s Note: Electronic versions of the new SDSU logo are available for media use at The site is password protected; please contact any of the following for access, or to receive the logo on disc or via e-mail:

Jason Foster; 619-594-2585 or
Aaron Hoskins; 619-594-1119 or
Jennifer Zwiebel; 619-594-4298 or

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