Our Identity

What’s in a Name

CSU, Chico has had a succession of names in its long history, and you may be able to date an alum by the name they use when referring to the University, which has been known by the following names:

  • Northern Branch State Normal School of California (1887-1921)
  • Chico State Teachers College (1921-1935)
  • Chico State College (1935-1972)
  • California State University, Chico (1972-today)

Since the early days, the University has been commonly known "Chico State."

School Colors

The school colors are cardinal and white.

The University Flame

CSU, Chico graphic design professor Gregg Berryman designed the "flame logo" that was put in place in 1972 at the same time the school changed its name from Chico State College to California State University, Chico. It was designed to suggest a flaming torch of learning, a growing plant or tree, a book or a scroll, or a human shape. CSU, Chico was the first university in the CSU system to develop an integrated visual identification system.

The University Seal

Berryman created the original University Seal, which features a stylized drawing of Kendall Hall and the Bell Tower of Trinity Hall. The seal was slightly revised by Berryman's protegé and graphic designer Alan Rellaford in 2017. The Romanesque architecture of the two buildings and Laxson Auditorium contribute to the old-world ambience of our campus and remain an architectural influence for even our newest campus buildings. The Latin words "ARS PROBAT ARTIFICEM" mean "Art is the test of the artisan." 


Visual Identity Guide
For complete information on the usage of University logos, seals, colors, and more, review our Visual Identity Guide.

The University Flame

The University Flame


University Seal

The University Seal