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[+] Why do we need a new identity? Don't we already have one?

Yes. Caltech stands for innovative research and academic excellence; we are a small place offering big advantages to those for whom we are a good fit. These attributes are expressed daily in the work we do, the faculty and staff we recruit and cultivate, and the graduates we produce. But there are other institutions with similar profiles and missions, and they are in direct competition with Caltech for talent, funds, and attention.

Our new identity helps us tell a coherent and compelling story about who we are, what we do, and why we matter. Our ability to speak effectively about ourselves will help us attract the resources we need for continued success.

[+] Who was in charge of this project?

The identity project was initiated by former president Jean-Lou Chameau and endorsed by Caltech's Board of Trustees. Interim President and Provost Edward Stolper and Vice President of Development and Institute Relations Brian K. Lee served as the executive sponsors; they had final authority in approving project decisions and outcomes. A cabinet composed of leadership from academic divisions and Institute departments shepherded the project, reviewing findings and outcomes at designated key milestones. The Office of Strategic Communications facilitated the day-to-day work of the project, coordinating interviews, focus groups, and surveys; organizing cabinet meetings; and collecting community input as the identity evolved.

[+] Is the Office of Strategic Communications going to enforce the new identity?

No. We see our role as helping the Caltech community understand the value of a strategic identity, encouraging its adoption across campus, and serving as a resource for questions, assistance, and best practices.


[+] Where can I download the new logo and icon?

Visit the Logo and Icon pages to download these files and view usage guidelines.

[+] Can you explain the difference between the logo, seal, and icon?

The logo was developed to help us increase awareness of and appreciation for Caltech. It reinforces our name and confidently reflects our stature and reputation. Because it is more scalable, readable, and flexible than the seal, it more clearly articulates our identity, especially to those unfamiliar with Caltech. It should be used in place of the seal in informal communications such as event flyers, research posters, PowerPoint presentations, and print and digital newsletters, memos, marketing materials, invitations, and advertisements, as well as on stationery and websites.

The seal is the official imprint of Caltech and carries a greater stature than the logo. It should be used in the most formal and official applications and expressions of our identity, such as diplomas, letters from the president, and commencement materials.

The icon is a digital-only mark that is recommended for use as a favicon and for other digital media with small graphic requirements.

[+] Are we keeping the Caltech seal?

Yes. The Caltech seal has not been redesigned or retired, but it is now reserved for formal communications such as diplomas, letters from the president, and commencement materials. For usage guidelines, please visit the Caltech Seal page.

[+] Are we keeping the Caltech beaver mascot?

Yes. There is now a standard beaver logo available for campus use. Please visit the Athletics Marks page for usage guidelines.

[+] If my department/division is using the seal on everything right now, and you're saying it's only to be used for formal documents, do I need to change it everywhere?

We would prefer that you use the Caltech logo in place of the seal in informal materials such as brochures, newsletters, research posters, stationery, PowerPoint presentations, event flyers, and invitations. We encourage you to phase the logo into your materials in a way that makes sense for the budget, schedule, and communications needs of your department/division.

[+] Can I put the icon next to the logo? How about the seal?

No. The Caltech logo should never be paired with the seal, icon, or any other logos or symbols. Each of these elements are designed to be used on their own.

[+] What is going to happen to the existing department and division logos?

Under the new system, departments and divisions may retain their existing logos. We have developed placement guidelines to determine where the Caltech logo should sit in relation to other Institute symbols. Please view the Co-Branding guidelines.

[+] If we have our own logo and are creating a brochure, where do we put our logo and where do we put the Caltech logo?

We have developed placement guidelines to determine where the Caltech logo should sit in relation to other Institute logos and symbols. Please view the Co-Branding guidelines.


[+] Is orange still Caltech's official color?

Yes. We will be using Pantone 165 as the standard color in order to make the shade of orange consistent across the Institute. For color value information and best practices, please visit the Color section.

[+] How do I make sure that I get the right orange?

We have provided color values for a variety of contexts to ensure you always get the right orange. If you are printing, use Pantone 165. For digital printing, use the corresponding CMYK or RGB "process color" formulations (255,110,30), and for website design, use HEX FF6E1E. Consult with your printer for the best solution and the best way to prepare your files for print. For more information about color values, please visit the Color section.

[+] What other colors can I use with the Caltech orange?

We have suggested a primary color palette as well as a set of impact colors to complement the orange. Please visit the Color section for color palettes and usage guidelines.

[+] I don't have the new fonts. Where do I get them?

You may either purchase the new fonts or use the suggested standard alternatives, which you should already have on your computer.

Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk may be purchased here:

Adobe Caslon Pro may be purchased here:

Kievet Slab Pro may be purchased here:

For standard alternatives, use the Arial family in place of Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk and Georgia in place of Adobe Caslon Pro.

[+] What is the new website font? Where can I get it?

Vaud, a sans serif web font, is the primary typeface for the web and is recommended for navigation, page titles, and body text; LTC Caslon Long Web, a serif web font, is suited for body text; and Kieveit Slab Serif is a contemporary serif web font that is suited for navigation and page titles (not body text). 

To request access to the above fonts for use on websites within the domain, contact us.

For standard alternatives, use the Arial family in place of Vaud and Georgia in place of LTC Caslon or Kieveit.


[+] How can I order new stationery and business cards?

Stationery and business cards can be ordered through Caltech's Graphic Resources beginning April 8. Please contact Chris Henderson at extension 6705 for more information.