Case Study: CALS Program New Brand, Identity, and Website

By Michael Sasorith | November 2018

CALS (Comprehensive Advanced Life Support) Program does amazing work! Health care providers in rural areas face limited resources to deal with possible life-threatening situations. Providing essential knowledge through interactive courses, CALS Program helps rural health care providers learn important life-saving skills. Their work benefits states like Minnesota and Wisconsin, and has also expanded out globally to countries like Kenya and Haiti.



Before partnering with ArcStone, the CALS Program website was jumbled with a lot of information and a had confusing navigation. After analyzing some data, it was clear that users couldn’t find the information they were looking for and most pages received very little traffic. Another component that didn’t work properly was their brand and identity. The logo didn’t accurately represent the work that CALS Program did, and the visual brand had a rustic and vintage style that was ill-fitting. Before tackling the website, ArcStone and CALS Program collaborated on developing a new look for the organization.


The Logo Design Process

The main challenge for designing the new CALS Program logo was to incorporate the three main aspects of the organization: rural environments, medicine, and education. Each had a limited amount of recognizable symbols, and the initial rough sketches were unable to mold them all together. After many iterations that weren’t hitting the mark, many deep discussions and back-and-forths occurred to discuss what imagery best reflected each key element.

Some ideas included:

  • Medicine — medical cross, caduceus vs the rod of asclepius, the star of life, an ambulance
  • Rural — barns, rolling fields, cows, long winding roads, hills
  • Education — books, graduation cap, diploma


Excitingly, we came to a solution that literally invoked a “wow.” The final CALS Program logo clearly represents rural environments with the imagery of a barn and smooth curving fields. With more inspection, one can notice that the rural image is encompassed by a stethoscope, and the bell/drum laying over the fields to symbolize the CALS Program, “taking the pulse of the rural health.” Another subtle visual is that the stethoscope is in the shape of an open book to represent education.




The Web Design Process

Before we applied the new finalized brand, it was especially important to assure that the content and information on the website was consolidated and organized in a way that made sense to their users. The main objectives for the redesign was to make certain that users were able to learn about CALS Program, and make it easy for those who are interested in taking a course to view available upcoming courses and register.

Once the steps of organizing the sitemap/information architecture and creating wireframes were finished, the website was built in WordPress using the Divi theme. Key templates that were focused on were the course pages, affiliate pages, and the calendar page — all striving to accomplish the main objectives.


CALS Program about page on macbook


Comprehensive Design for Rural Medicine Education

At ArcStone, we’re experts in all things digital — analytics, SEO, and websites. Often times, this creates a misconception that we’re unable to create logos and develop brands. Although there’s an argument for going to agencies that specialized in certain areas of work, when it comes to developing a brand it can be beneficial to be comprehensive in the approach. Just like the important word that makes up the CALS acronym, from logo sketches to website launch we have enhanced the CALS Program brand to exemplify the great work they do. 


Topics: Case Studies, Digital, Design and Technology