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University of California Cans Controversial New Logo

Deluged by a tsunami of criticism of its new logo, the University of California announced Friday that it is suspending use of the symbol, which features a thick blue "U" and an emerging/disappearing "C."

The people spoke, and UC listened — if begrudgingly.

The University of California is suspending use of a stylized new logo that drew a chorus of boos and prompted an online petition that gathered more than 50,000 signatures against the symbol, UC announced Friday.

"This controversy has created a major distraction for the UCOP (University Office of the President) External Relations Division," said a statement from Daniel Dooley, UC senior vice president for external relations. 

Critics said it appeared cheap and commercial, and that, unlike the traditional university seal, lacked the dignity appropriate to one of the world's great universities. Opponents included Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"The controversy has been fueled in large part by an unfortunate and false narrative, which framed the matter as an either-or choice between a venerated UC seal and a newly designed monogram," Dooley said.

UC said the new symbol was an additional branding element, not a replacement for the seal.

"Yet," Dooley acknowledged, "while I believe the design element in question would win wide acceptance over time, it also is important that we listen to and respect what has been a significant negative response by students, alumni and other members of our community.

"Therefore, I have instructed the communications team to suspend further use of the monogram. For certain applications, this process could require a measure of time to complete. In due course, we will re-evaluate this element of the visual identity system."

This story originated on El Cerrito Patch.

Kathleen December 14, 2012 at 11:39 PM
They can convince themselves that it was a "false narrative" but frankly, I understood that it wasn't either/or. It may be true that the formal seal isn't the best graphic for all purposes, but that's a separate issue from the fact that the new logo was just lame.
Chris Nicholson December 14, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Exactly! Super lame.
Chris F. December 16, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I am sure that changing the graphic would save the UC money. The UC should have created a statewide contest and asked the students to submit logo's with the winner getting paid tuition for a year.

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