Bringing the Cornell CALS brand to life on our websites


A note from our Digital Media Strategist Laura Caruso
Read Time: 3-4 minutes

Greetings, CALS web editors, communicators and readers,

Thank you to those of you who were able to attend one of our Cornell CALS brand mechanics workshop this summer, where we outlined the many new tools we have to talk about and produce materials for our college. We will be sharing an update soon on our progress bringing this brand to life on campus and look forward to hearing from you about your experience using the new brand toolkit.

One next step for us is to bring the brand to the “CALS web system”—including our CALS homepage and the more than 60 other school, department, program and unit websites that many of you help maintain using the CALS content management system, Drupal. This work will involve both an interim step this fall and a much longer-term website redesign across the next year.

Why is this necessary?

Updating the logo, colors and fonts on our websites now will help us introduce the new look and feel of the college to our many audiences inside and outside of CALS. Ultimately, we want our websites—our most external-facing tool—to match the other on-brand materials we’ve all started to create. This work will serve as a helpful interim step before initiating a major, comprehensive website redesign project across the next year.

Partnering with our web editors, the CALS Office of Information Technology and an external agency, we will soon begin to scope out the website redesign project, which is estimated to take 12-15 months. We’ll provide more information in the coming weeks and continue to communicate our progress regularly on a new section of this blog, so please stay tuned!

How will this affect me?

The interim changes to your website will include updates to the Cornell CALS logo, some colors and fonts. However, the way you edit your department, program or unit’s website in Drupal will remain the same. You will not need to do anything for these changes to take place, and we will keep you updated on when we’re ready to push these changes live (see estimated project timeline below).

What’s changing?

1. Updating the CALS logo

The new Cornell CALS primary wordmark with the Cornell University seal will replace instances of the current logo at the top of your website.

2. Using colors from the primary color palette

The Cornell red or “Carnellian” will remain a prominent feature of the CALS web system, as it’s represented in our new set of primary colors, along with four gray hues. We’ll largely rely on the primary color palette as a guide in this interim step.

Primary and secondary color palettes with hues of red, blue, grey and green
The new primary and secondary colors are derived from Cornell’s color standards.

3. Using our new fonts on the website

Our new fonts—Work Sans and Lora—will stand in for the existing set of fonts on the websites in Drupal. These fonts are optimized for the web and will help to express and reinforce our new look.

  • Work Sans, a sans-serif font, will be primarily used in headings, image captions, navigation bars and menus.
  • Lora, a serif font, will be used primarily in body text.
Examples of the Work Sans and Lora font families
Work Sans and Lora are publicly available and readily accessible typefaces for use on the web.

What’s the estimated project timeline?

The style updates will occur in two phases beginning in September and reaching completion by the Thanksgiving holiday:

  • Phase 1 – Wednesday, September 6: Updating the Cornell CALS logo, colors and fonts on the CALS homepage and subsequent pages of the core website ( and the undergraduate admissions website (
  • Phase 2 – Early October: Updating the Cornell CALS logo, colors and fonts on the remaining school, section, department, program and unit websites that use the Department 1, Department 2 and Department 3 themes.

We’ll be in touch with additional information and more concrete timelines as this project evolves.

Please reach out to me at with any questions. Hope to see you all soon!

Laura Caruso, Digital Media Strategist
Cornell CALS Office of Marketing and Communications