Cal Laboratory is a clinical diagnostic service that works with medical professionals to collect, analyze, and deliver results from three different kinds of tests: toxicology, blood, and pharmacogenomics. They help physicians provide the best treatment to their patients.
Translating a Spirit
The difference between Cal and similar companies like LabCorp and Quest is their people. In Cal’s line of work, it’s easy to reduce people to numbers, but Cal has a vested interest in the people they serve and the people they hire. Their approach doesn’t pit personality against data – it combines them.
Drawing from that approach, we built a visual and verbal identity that matched this unique company’s spirit. The primary tagline, People-inspired technology, serves as the anchoring point for the verbal foundation language, and carries through in the photography style throughout marketing materials. These photographs feature unique individuals photographed in profile; they’re portraits.
Our real challenge in this project was using the existing Cal Laboratory identity to its advantage: refreshing, not rebranding.
The first element to resolve was the name. Cal Laboratory was originally called the Compliance Advantage Laboratory. Then, it became CAL Laboratory, or Compliance Advantage Laboratory Laboratory. Faced with a redundant acronym that read as a name and spoke as a non-percussive, atonal string of letters, we couldn’t burn the whole thing down because of their close relationships with their clients.
We decided to shift their name to Cal Laboratory. Embrace the personality there, lean into its implicit personification, and drop the acronym altogether.
Their original mark and colors combined scientific iconography with Keeneland green – two choices that pigeonholed them. We updated their palette to a contemporary, yet trustworthy look with soft blue and blue black. In addition, we stripped the original mark of its explicitly scientific iconography (the atom) and isolated the quadrupoles. The quadrupoles are a subtle nod to Cal’s work and history.
The result is a brand identity enhances and evolves Cal Laboratory, taking this cutting-edge work into a new era. Read more about the difference between a rebrand and a refresh here.
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