Fresno State is launching an integrated marketing and communications initiative that incorporates a new logo, the university’s well-recognized dog-paw symbol and three words sharply defining the university and its mission of opportunity: Discovery. Diversity. Distinction.

While the formal name remains “California State University, Fresno,” the new logo embraces the popular name “Fresno State” in all references to the university and unifies campus entities with one graphic element.

 “We aren’t changing our name,” said Provost William Covino, co-chair of the university Integrated Marketing and Communications Steering Committee. “This initiative, instead, reflects and amplifies the positive reputation already established by our formal and informal names.”

The campaign was announced on campus at an event today, April 12. A flash mob of dancers amped up the energy level, accompanied by the Fresno State pep band and mascot Time Out. Banners bearing the new logo were unveiled and the new logo appeared on campus websites and on apparel available at the Kennel Bookstore or through the bookstore’s website

The logo’s distinctive new type font spells out Fresno State in the university’s traditional colors – red and blue.

A paw print connects the name with Fresno State’s most-recognizable symbol, the Bulldog, associated with the university as a whole, not just its athletics mascot. The paw print symbol is an established emblem used by the Fresno State Alumni Association, which has distributed thousands or paw-print pins that are proudly worn around the world.

President John D. Welty described the new logo as “an authentic representation of who we are at Fresno State. It will provide instant recognition and identification, build a strong identity and allow us to communicate with a consistent voice.”

The defining words – “discovery,” “diversity,” “distinction” – emerged from among dozens of words and phrases that embody the essence of the Fresno State academic experience as laid out in a new Strategic Plan for Excellence. “Focus groups frequently used those three words to describe the university,” said Shirley Armbruster, associate vice president for University Communications and co-chair of the Integrated Marketing Steering Committee.

Developing the new logo was a broadly inclusive process that relied on research data, surveys and focus groups involving approximately 2,500 faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni and community members, Armbruster said.

The initiative is the result of nearly three years of consideration. Meetings, focus groups, one-on-one interviews, information from other universities and from communications and marketing experts indicated that Fresno State needed a need a unified brand and image.

To minimize expenses, the university’s Integrated Marketing and Communications Council, representing constituencies across campus, and its Steering Committee did 100 percent of the work, guided by a consultant who is an expert in integrated marketing in higher education.

It would be typical for a university of Fresno State’s size and scope to hire an external consulting firm or marketing agency at a cost of $250,000 or more, Armbruster said. Instead, using a consultant provided experienced and professional guidance at minimal expense — $15,000 of non-state funds.

The new logo replaces more than 100 individual logos being used by different campus entities. It will become part of stationery, business cards, brochures and other printed, online and marketing materials, phased in as existing stock is exhausted, to minimize cost.

“We are especially sensitive to the cost factor, because of our current troubled budget situation,” said Covino, the university’s top academic official.

The steering committee asked a group of graphic design students to help, guided by campus Senior Graphic Designer Todd Graves and the Jeffrey Scott Agency, a local advertising, branding and marketing firm that provided free consulting on the project. The team created more than 50 variations that were tested in focus groups to determine the one best suited to advance Fresno State.

Associated Students Inc. President Selena Farnesi endorsed the Fresno State branding initiative, saying, “I love the idea of a campus-wide logo that is both professional and reflects school spirit and student life. It makes you feel good about being connected to Fresno State.”

For more information, contact Armbruster at 559.278-5292 or