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The Cal Poly Logo

Our Logo

Our logo is the key component of our visual identity and acts as our signature and stamp of quality. It should be used correctly and consistently to reinforce and protect our brand on all communications and promotional materials, as well as on all of our digital properties. Cal Poly's marks and logos must comply with the university's use rules


Cal Poly logo


Anatomy of Our Logo

Our logo consists of two components: the shield plus the wordmark.

Cal Poly logo with the shield, workmark and logo marked


The shield was inspired by the university seal and designed to represent our core philosophy, Learn by Doing, as well as our iconic location. It pays homage to our legacy of excellence and makes Cal Poly instantly recognizable.


Our wordmark is custom-designed artwork to reflect both the historical and modern facets of our brand. It cannot be replicated through typesetting nor separated from the shield.

Correct Use

Cal Poly logo showing the amount of clear space that needs to be around the logo.

Clear Space

Safe area refers to the clear space required surrounding the logo. The safe area for our logo is measured using the height of the “Y.” Using this system, the safe area distance will always scale with the logo. 

Cal Poly logo showing its minimum size of .4"

Minimum Size

In all print applications, the shield should never be less than .4" tall.

Color Variation

cal poly logo on a light green background

One-Color Version

The first format of the university logo is one color using Poly Green. This logo should be used on white or light-colored backgrounds.

Cal Poly logo on a dark green background

Two-Color Version on Dark Background

The second format of the university logo is a two-color version using Poly Green and a white "fill." This is called the reversed logo.

Cal Poly logo on a photo background

Two-Color Version on Photo

The reversed logo may also be used on photographs or images, especially those with a dark or an uneven light background.

Other Marks

CIE department logo

Logo Lockups

Cal Poly colleges, divisions, departments, centers and other affiliates have versions of our logo, built upon our shield and wordmark. We also call these "lockups."

Learn about Logo Lockups

Cal Poly Seal

The University Seal

Since Cal Poly's inception, our seal has evolved over the years to represent Cal Poly's history in the CSU system. It is reserved for our most important and official documents and communications.

Learn about the University Seal

Cal Poly Athletics logo

Athletic Logo and Marks

Cal Poly Athletics has a distinct sub-brand based on the history and tradition of the Mustangs sports teams. These are reserved for the athletics department and should not be used in lieu of our primary logo or as the brand identifier of Cal Poly.

Learn about Athletic Logos and Marks

Incorrect usage

Do not recreate or modify the logo in any way. Please avoid these violations to ensure the logo is used consistently across all platforms.

Our logo is not created from a simple typeface and recreating it with typefaces you have will not make a correct logo

⊗ Do not attempt to manually recreate the logo.

Tilted logos do not look right and are not permitted

⊗ Do not tilt the logo.

stretched logos are broken logos and not permitted

⊗ Do not stretch or skew the proportions of the logo in any way.

Cal Poly logo on a topo mark with very dark lines looks terrible

⊗ Do not apply the logo directly over a busy background pattern.

logos in unbranded and unsanctioned colors don't look like Cal Poly and are not permitted

⊗ Do not alter the color of the logo.

drop shadows on our logo look terrible

⊗ Do not apply drop shadows or special effects to the logo.

Cal Poly above the shield does not look like Cal Poly and is unbalanced

⊗ Do not rearrange the shield and wordmark.

simply reversing colors on our logo does not create a correct Cal Poly logo

⊗ Do not manually reverse the university logo, use the reversed university logo for dark backgrounds.

Accessing Cal Poly Logos

Required for Campus Communication

The Cal Poly logo must appear on all forms of communication and can be downloaded by faculty and staff. When appropriate, an official lockup may be used in print or on merchandise (but not on websites).

Follow Trademark Licencing Guidelines

Anyone who uses our logos and brand marks must read and accept our trademark licensing guidelines. The Cal Poly logo may be used by Cal Poly faculty, staff and students for officially approved campus uses only. The logo should always be reproduced from official university artwork. Do not attempt to create Cal Poly logos. The Cal Poly logo is not for personal use.

The Cal Poly logo shown on a camping mug and tote bag