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Branding Initiative

Cal Poly Humboldt Branding Initiative Timeline


As we expand into a polytechnic institution, we have a momentous opportunity to share our story and our distinctive strengths with a much broader audience.

To do this effectively and authentically, Cal Poly Humboldt will be working with marketing firm SimpsonScarborough on a broad-based initiative to energize and elevate our brand.

A nationally recognized agency that specializes in higher education marketing, SimpsonScarborough has led more than 300 colleges and universities through branding initiatives. These have included other California State University campuses as well as public and private institutions of all sizes across the country.

Supported by SimpsonScarborough’s marketing and communications expertise, we will build awareness of Humboldt on the national stage through a long-term branding initiative. This will include creation of new graphic identities; a new brand strategy and development; brand awareness campaign; prospective student recruitment collateral; and a refreshed digital presence and web templates. This project will showcase our strengths, and will also capture the spirit of what makes Humboldt a special place to live, learn, and work. In raising our profile, we will attract new students and donors, better engage our alumni, create new opportunities for partnerships, and strengthen the pride among everyone who is part of the Cal Poly Humboldt community.

This is the start of a multi-year effort that begins with extensive research and consultation with the campus community. In December, SimpsonScarborough representatives took an extensive tour of the campus and the local community. They also met more than 125 students, staff, and faculty with the intention of better understanding the University and how we represent ourselves. More conversations and outreach are planned for the coming months.

SimpsonScarborough will partner closely with the Polytechnic Implementation Communications Working Group, who is responsible for communications, marketing, branding advertisement, engagement activities, and events.

There’s much work to be done in a short period of time. Our immediate planning and development will occur in three phases, followed by multiple years of implementation and buildout.

Over the next few months, the campus will use a phased approach to transition Humboldt State University to Cal Poly Humboldt on everything from websites and social media accounts to signage and forms. Some things will need to change right away, but some can wait until the final brand identity work is completed.