Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the CSU Branding Standards important?

The guidelines, applied correctly and consistently, enable the CSU to project a strong, coherent identity and help to prevent confusion among our audiences. Proper use of the CSU’s official signatures (wordmark, graphic signatures, seal and emblem) is an important part of the branding process, enhancing the CSU's image as a high-quality educational institution.

What is the CSU wordmark?

Instead of a logo or icon, a "wordmark" or logotype has been designed as the official mark representing the CSU. Our wordmark contains the initial letters "CSU" in a rectangular box with the name “The California State University.” Read more in the CSU Brand Guidelines (PDF).


The official CSU wordmark colors are Pantone Matching System (PMS) 186 Red and PMS Warm Gray 11. The wordmark can also be reproduced in black or reversed out of black or other dark colors.

When can I use the CSU wordmark?

The CSU wordmark should be used predominantly for all general promotion uses, such as marketing publications, CSU merchandise and annual reports.

When can I use the CSU seal?

The seal is used primarily as a signal of authentication and should only be used on official CSU documents, such as diplomas, transcripts, certificates, contracts, formal stationery and invitations. In order to maintain its integrity and effectiveness, the CSU seal should not be used for informal or routine materials.

Where can I obtain an electronic version of the CSU wordmark or seal?

Please contact the Chancellor's Office Communications Department to request electronic files of the wordmark or seal.

How has the CSU seal changed?

The CSU seal has been revised several times over the years. Learn more in History of the CSU Seal (PDF).