Consistent appropriate use of the CSU wordmark helps build awareness of the university's depth and breadth, and makes the CSU instantly recognizable in our over-communicated world.


The CSU wordmark is the core component of the CSU’s visual identity system. The complete mark is comprised of the “CSU block" and the California State University name in type. The wordmark has been specifically designed through careful kerning and type manipulation to create a unique collegiate mark to represent the CSU. Please do not attempt to recreate this mark.

A safe area should always exist around the wordmark to allow for maximum legibility. While the wordmark may be printed on top of an image, no elements such as typography, other logos or graphic elements should intrude into the safe area. Placing the logo too near a cut or folded edge also violates the concept of a safe area. The minimum safe area is equal to one-half the height of the CSU block in any application of the wordmark.

For design purposes, the wordmark is available in multiple iterations, including a single-line version, a stacked or two-line version and a reversed (white type/solid background) version. In very rare circumstances, the "CSU block" can also be transformed into a horizontal bar.

CSU wordmark
CSU wordmark two line version  
CSU wordmark reversed (white type/solid background) version

Please contact the CSU Marketing Communications team to request CSU wordmark files.

Note that the California State University wordmark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. There are times when the wordmark with the ® symbol should be used; however, for simplicity and stylistic reasons, the registration symbol is not required at all times. The integrity of the wordmark is sufficient to protect the CSU from unauthorized infringement.

CSU wordmark with the ® symbol

CSU Wordmark Guidelines

  • Use the wordmark in its entirety on all print and electronic communications that share information about the California State University or its affiliated programs, divisions or entities.
  • Use the wordmark in an area in which other type is not touching it or superimposed over it. The preferred location is in the upper-left corner of a printed document.
  • Use only reproduction-quality electronic images of the wordmarks available from CSU Marketing Communications.

In cases where the CSU or its representative works in concert with an outside entity that desires to be named on collateral, apparel or merchandise, the wordmark may be printed in association with the partner agency’s or institution’s official symbol or logo. However, neither entity should appear more prominent than the other; each should have equal weight, size and presence.

Endorsed Wordmarks

CSU divisions, departments or programs may not create individualized wordmarks or logos that promote themselves independent of the university. However, they can request their own “endorsed wordmark,” in which elements of the CSU wordmark are incorporated with the department name.


Please contact the CSU Marketing Communications team​ to request endorsed wordmark files.

CSU Seal

The official CSU seal is a core emblem of the California State University. The original seal was designed in 1962 by Fresno State Professor Emeritus Darwin Musselman, and the current seal has evolved from that design.

Learn more about the seal’s history here.

The CSU seal signifies the academic character of the university and is appropriately used with official CSU policies, decisions, ceremonies or other formal actions of the California State University. The seal may also be used for premanent identifying marks in architecture. In addition, the seal may be used by the chancellor and the Board of Trustees at their discretion. To maintain its integrity and effectiveness, the seal should not be used for relatively informal or routine materials, or for materials not directly related to academic purposes.

CSU Seal Guidelines

  • The seal must be reproduced from an authorized electronic file provided by Marketing Communications within the Chancellor’s Office. It should not be redrawn, separated into component parts or modified in any way.
  • The seal is most properly rendered in black (or a screen tint of black) or reversed white out of a solid color. With special permission, it may also be reproduced in one of a limited number of colors from the CSU color palette. The color chosen for a particular publication should be coordinated with the color families suggested in this guide. The seal can also be rendered using these special processes: metallic gold ink, metallic silver ink, blind-embossed or engraved, or foil-stamped in silver or gold with a matte finish.
  • The seal may be used in combination with the seal or emblem of a CSU campus or the State of California, but should not be combined with any emblem or symbol representing a commercial entity.
  • The seal may be combined with the California State University name or other type, but type should not touch or be superimposed on it.
  • The minimum size for the seal is 3/4 inch in diameter.