SDSU CORAL Research Lab Branding

A Brand matching the Capacity Building Service for Change and Impact.

When SDSU Professor Crystle Alonzo came to us, she had big ideas for her research lab and understood the need for a professional, cohesive branding appearance to go after it. SDSU Coral Lab is a forward-thinking, innovative clinical research lab that wants to disrupt the system and cause change and true impact. It helps future clinicians, families, and service providers who are overwhelmed and burdened by navigating the system to best support children with language and literacy deficiencies. Their main approach is to actively engage with all stakeholders (Schools, Families, and the Community) throughout the entire research process, building up their capacity so they can succeed and live empowered and fulfilled lives.

Brand Clarity First

Branding an academic research lab is not very common, but equally important as any other business, especially considering the stakeholders they are trying to reach. And just like with any B2B company or corporation, we first entered our brand discovery intensive Clearly Branded Process to uncover all the needs for the Coral Lab and ways we can best convey its brand personality and attract the audience they want.

What We Learned

We learned that the system seems broken with all its drama and bureaucracy that delays the support many of these children and families need in their early years. Crystle understood that she has to intervene earlier, help the kids before they start school, and change the path of struggle BEFORE they develop behavioral problems. She needs to get out of the silo of academic research and work in collaboration with the local community. This might mean bold moves, unconventional methods, and grassroots initiatives. The brand should embody that rebel attitude however should also reflect the means to get to these goals, which are much more gentle, subtle, and inquisitive. Therefore the visual approach has to be open, friendly, and inviting to the collaborators and community and appeal to a broad spectrum of people, including kids and their families and potential investors.


  • CORAL Lab becoming a local resource and establishing a trusted voice for children and their families with language & literacy difficulties
  • Inspired and encouraged other academic labs on campus to branch out and do the same
  • Empower students of CORAL Lab to continue to build out the brand and succeed on their own


  • Brand Clarity & Strategy
  • Brand Foundation
  • Brand Identity
  • Collateral Design