Transition Guide

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. This guide outlines and prioritizes the changes and provides instructions and resources for faculty and staff on how to make the transition as smooth as possible.

  • Name Usage: Use Cal Poly Humboldt or, depending on usage, Humboldt on second reference going forward. Please DO NOT use the acronyms CSPUH or CPH, or shorten the name to Cal Poly.
  • Social Media: University social media managers should change account profiles and handles before Monday, Feb. 28. Please begin using #CalPolyHumboldt in posts.
  • Email and Voicemail: Update your email signature and your voicemail message  if you currently use a version of Humboldt State University.
  • Vendors/Partners: Update the University name with vendors and other business partners and contacts, and update memberships.
  • Virtual Backgrounds, Logos & Templates will be available on brand.humboldt.edu after the announcement.
  • Business Cards, Name Badges & Stationery: If you need these immediately, you can order them through Marketing & Communications. There is no cost for these items during the name change transition. NOTE: business cards, name badges, and stationery will change again when the new logos are finalized. Only order what you need to get through this semester.

As we expand into a polytechnic institution, Cal Poly Humboldt will be working with marketing firm SimpsonScarborough on a broad-based initiative to energize and elevate our brand. Included in the initiative is the creation of a new university logo and other brand identity marks which are slated to be finished in May 2022. 

Until the new logo is completed, we have temporary transitional logos available for the campus to use on everything from websites to stationery to forms.

University Name

The California State University Board of Trustees approved a new name for Humboldt State University—California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt. The University will informally be called Cal Poly Humboldt and Humboldt, depending on usage.

When referring to the University in the main body of your content:

  • Use Cal Poly Humboldt in most cases.
  • Use Humboldt or the University, if desired, on second and subsequent references and when using a casual tone.
  • California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt should only be used when referring to the full formal name is necessary for context. NOTE: there is no comma in Cal Poly Humboldt.
  • DO NOT USE acronyms such as CSPUH or CPH. At this time, there are no official acronyms for our institution.

In general, the following replacement rules apply:

  • Humboldt State University changes to Cal Poly Humboldt
  • Humboldt State changes to Humboldt or Cal Poly Humboldt depending on usage
  • HSU changes to Humboldt

Refer to the Editorial Style Guide for more information. 

Websites

The University’s main website address humboldt.edu will stay the same, as will most sites with addresses like marcom.humboldt.edu. Some sites, like hsujacks.com, will change (humboldtathletics.com). For web addresses that are changing, redirects will be put in place to automatically take users to the new URL.

All University sites will undergo a branding and content transition to Cal Poly Humboldt, which will include replacing the current Cal Poly Humboldt wordmarks in the header and footer with the Cal Poly Humboldt transitional logos.

To ensure a smooth transition, website owners and editors won’t be able to update their site content from 5 p.m. on Jan 26. to Feb. 3 at 5:30 p.m. 

During the content freeze members from Marcom and ITS will begin replacing all instances of Cal Poly Humboldt, Cal Poly Humboldt, and Humboldt with Cal Poly Humboldt or Humboldt in site content. After the sites have been updated please review the content changes on your website for accuracy.

If you have urgent content needs, please contact webadmin@humboldt.edu with the subject line “Urgent – Content Updates,” and we’ll work with you to update your site as soon as possible.

Social Media

If your department has social media platforms, you will need to update the username and display name on your social profiles to reflect our new name and polytechnic status. This will help new followers find you as well as present a current, accurate profile to the public.

This must be completed before Feb. 28, 2022. With dozens of platforms and 150+ university-affiliated account names floating around, requirements will vary. Here are the general guidelines.

Naming structure 

Account profile names that include “Humboldt,” “Cal Poly Humboldt,” or “Cal Poly Humboldt,” should be changed to “Cal Poly Humboldt.” Do not use acronyms (like CPU or CSPUH). 

  • For example, @Humboldtpainting would change to @CalPolyHumboldtPainting. 
  • If the username currently says @Humboldt[deptname], that can remain as is. 

Each platform has its own requirements for character limit. Here are links to instructions for changing the profile name for the most common ones: 

Hashtag

The University’s standard hashtag will change from #HumboldtState to #CalPolyHumboldt.

Visual guidelines 

Profile pictures (sometimes called an avatar) that include “Humboldt”, “Cal Poly Humboldt” or “Cal Poly Humboldt” should be removed and replaced with updated language. For consistency and searchability, it is best to put the University’s reference first with the department/club/unit name second. 

Beyond those changes, we do not recommend redesigning a new avatar from scratch until the University’s new rebranding guidelines are finalized.

Questions?

There are dozens of platforms, each with their own requirements. And it is possible that your username is unavailable or exceeds character counts. MarCom is happy to help with any questions you may have—Mike Dronkers at mad9@humboldt.edu.

Branding

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 project will include audience research to inform the brand; brand strategy and development; creation of graphic identities; brand awareness campaign; prospective student recruitment collateral; and a refreshed digital presence and web templates. 

Until the new logo is completed, we have temporary transitional logos available for the campus to use on everything from websites to stationery to forms. 

Downloads are available for the following:

Business Cards, Name Badges, Stationery

If you need new Cal Poly Humboldt business cards, name badges, and stationery (letterhead and envelopes) right away, you can order them through Marketing & Communications. If you already have a name badge, Marcom will replace the insert graphic, just state that you only need the insert in the order notes. There is no cost for these items during the name change transition. 

NOTE: business cards, name badges, and stationery will change again when the new logos are finalized. Only order what you need to get through the semester.

Voicemail, Email, Contact Info

  • Update your voicemail message to Cal Poly Humboldt if you currently use a version of Cal Poly Humboldt.
  • Update the University name with vendors and other business partners and contacts, and update memberships.
  • Update your email signature with Cal Poly Humboldt

Merchandise

To show off your pride in Cal Poly Humboldt, the Humboldt Bookstore on campus and The Campus Store in Eureka have Cal Poly Humboldt merchandise in stock now and will be building inventory in the coming months. They will continue to sell legacy Cal Poly Humboldt apparel and materials. 

You can also buy Cal Poly Humboldt gear online through the Humboldt Athletics website.

Signage

Campus entryway signs will be updated in February with the transitional logos. A comprehensive project for interior and exterior signage will begin after the branding initiative is complete. The full signage project will include interior building signage, scoreboard signs, fleet vehicles, banners, and other building graphics.

Documents & Forms

Forms intended primarily for an external audience should be changed soon after Jan. 26. Examples of external-facing forms that are priority for updating are new employee recruitment forms, giving forms for donors, purchasing forms for vendors.

  • If your form has a wordmark or logo on it, replace it with one of the transitional logos.
  • When the final Cal Poly Humboldt logos are approved, these forms will need to update again.

Internal forms like key requests or can wait to be updated for new brand identity work to be completed in May.

Licensing

The University is working with our licensing partner, Affinity Licensing, to protect and positively enhance its name and image by monitoring how its official trademarks are used in public. This entails managing a list of licensed vendors who have been approved to produce products that represent the Cal Poly Humboldt brand and enforce appropriate usage of our name. The University is working with Affinity to notify all vendors of the name change and provide access to transitional marks.