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New UC Logo—Keep It or Dump It?

The emblem has provoked a loud chorus of boos. University of California officials say the design is less staid and more flexible than the traditional seal. Tell us what you think.

A new, stylized "UC" logo meant to symbolize the contemporary University of California has sparked a firestorm of derision.

Critics say the emblem—a thick blue "U" overlaid with a semi-transparent "C"—looks cheap and commercial, and lacks the dignity appropriate for one of the world's leading universities.

Do you think UC should keep the new logo? We'd like to know your thoughts, so please tell us in the comments section.

In four days, an online petition gathered 49,174 signatures against the design. And a 4-day-old Facebook page, "Stop the UC Logo Change," had 6,108 "Likes."

Officials of the 10-campus UC system have been quick to respond, saying the new logo is an additional branding mark, not a replacement for the official seal. 

"Here's the thing: It's not replacing anything," UC said on its Facebook page Tuesday afternoon. "There wasn't a logo before, and the UC seal isn't going anywhere."

The new logo is the main UC emblem on the UC Office of the President homepage, while the old seal is the main emblem on the UC Regents homepage

UC officials said the university began using the new symbol nearly a year ago, although the uproar hit just recently with a number of press reports.

Jason Simon, UC's director of marketing communication, said in a message  petition organizers posted on their website:

"The new mark was created as a part of our broader efforts to build awareness and support for all the things that UC does to make California (and by extension the world) better. What we have tried to do is to create a mark that is iconic, flexible, and solid enough that it works to represent the UC system as a whole.

"The mark can be used in a combination of the various UC blues and golds as well as in a multitude of applications. Seals are wonderful and carry a legacy and tradition. They also signify bureaucracy, staidness, and other not-so-great characteristics."

Attached to this article is a short UC video released last month, "University of California Identity," that includes the old seal and new logo.

met00 December 13, 2012 at 08:47 AM
They paid someone for this? Let's see, does the UC system have a campus or two where they have a fine arts program? Say a graphic design program? One where there are motivated students that would work in a contest format. Say, $50,000 to the Fine Arts department of the school that designs the winning logo. Each Fine Arts department can submit 10 designs. The Regents will score each design on a scale of 1 to 10. The top 50 designs will be selected from the Regents cut. Then every student in the UC system can vote on the top 50 designs scoring up to 10 of them with 1 being the lowest score and 10 being the highest. The top 25 designs from the student vote will then be offered to the faculty to vote on using the same 1-10 scale. The top three designs will come back to the University Presidents to vote on a 1-3 scale. That final winner will be the top design, and the school that won it will get $50,000 for the fine art department as well as one years free tuition for up to five students who were involved in the selected items design. Now you have a motivated workforce who have a reason to put together award winning designs. You have a first cut by people that will reduce the designs to those most acceptable by them. You have a popularity vote by the students. You have faculty input. And it closes with a small group who are really interested in it. Oh yes, all the voting is done online by student/faculty id's. Bet that simple system would cost less and do better.
MFriedrich December 15, 2012 at 12:21 AM
It is spectacularly lame. Dump it.
Penny Arévalo December 15, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Good news! http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/articles/uc-dumps-its-scorned-new-logo
MFriedrich December 15, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Yay. I suggest we immediately courier a tasteful bouquet of flowers or a fruit and candy basket to the original concept artist to allay an negative response.
Tennickly December 15, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I am glad thgey ditched the logo. As a UC graduate, I would not want to see that on correspondence. If they held a contest for kids to submit logo designs, the outcome would probably have been better.

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