University of California's new logo


111 Responses to “University of California's new logo”

  1. jandrese says:

    While the clipart vibe from the old logo is pretty strong, the new logo looks like a loading screen.  

  2. franko says:

    by all means, please show us your better designs.

    • Brainspore says:

      OK. The clarification that this is going to augment, rather than replace, the university’s seal makes me somewhat less annoyed.

    • Warren_Terra says:

      They claim to have spent possibly as much as 40 person-years on this, and the result is a C dissolving in a test tube.

      Worse, there’s nothing distinctive about it. Even if you somehow discern that the test tube is meant to be a U (no certain thing; it’s too tall, for one thing), the C might mean Chicago, or Connecticut, or Colorado, or many other things.

      Rebranding for some purposes is not the worst idea in the world, though its a questionable use of resources, especially as the University of California isn’t even going to be making money by selling it on T-shirts and binders (people buy the logo of their campus, not of the statewide system). But this truly is a terrible design – and a terrible design perpetrated on a statewide university system full of brilliant artists who’d have loved to have taken a crack at the job.

      • TheMudshark says:

        Whatever else it is, it is more distinctive than the old one. A bunch of stuff with circular writing around it? There must be tens of thousands of logos like that.

  3. Brainspore says:

    Yuck. Also, as a graphic designer I wonder if they’re really prepared for all the functional limitations they’ll encounter with a logo that depends on the use of a gradient. If people think it looks bad now then just wait until it’s embroidered on a shirt, made into a rubber stamp, made into a window graphic via vinyl cutter, etc.

  4. akputney says:

    A travesty of the first order. Utterly meaningless, and conveys no purpose. How much did the taxpayers pay for that?

  5. Jason says:

    Much better than the last logo they tried to use

  6. BarBarSeven says:

    Is the logo on the right, buffering? Is that what that swooshy circle thing is?

  7. ROThornhill says:

    Awww! It’s like the Golden State Warriors logo and the old Hartford Whalers logo had a little logo baby.

  8. Man… tough audience.

    • Darron Moore says:

       Those that can’t design…bitch a lot.

      • Donald Petersen says:

        Seems to me that those that can’t design go ahead and design anyway.

        • Andy Reilly says:

          FTW!  Couldn’t agree more. This isn’t a matter of lay people critiquing the more esoteric elements of design or design theory. It’s a matter of a logo that does almost nothing of what a logo is supposed to do and it doesn’t take a designer to recognize that. 

      • Jens Reuterberg says:

        Yeah… I thought it was ok. Not great but ok and better than the old one. Wasn’t there a post like this a few months back where people got really huffy about some new character design on a box of cereal? … They thought it was too unrealistic or something?

        Same kind of whine-fest where people proved their design-skills by saying something was bad (in the same way I “prove” my 1337-hacker skills by saying commonplace like “Vista was badly made”). 
        Or that Jesus-image remade by a Spanish woman. Allot of people who couldn’t draw a pair of boobs to save their life got all huffy and snort-laughing without even contemplating the difference between art-by-school or art-by-emotion.

        The trick here I think is just join the crowd of snort-laughers – or let them get on with it – because it has nothing to do with aesthetics and all about identity creation by agreement. 

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          It sounds like you’re trying to posit yourself as a member of the tribe that’s Just Too Clever To Be Taken In By People Who Claim To Know About “Design”.

  9. See the classic logo of the UK’s Open University.

  10. aldeka says:

    You put it next to a shitty pixelated version of the seal (this is more like it, kids: and the old version still wins.


  11. trackofalljades says:

    So anywhere else, a college has both a seal and a logo and they’re used for totally different things…and the College Relations or PR department will even have rules laid out for how each treatment is used (even a small community college often does this).

    What’s wrong with this place that they never figured that out?

  12. UC’s answer to New Coke.

  13. Thorzdad says:

    The old seal wins, hands down. The new logo looks more like something for a frozen yogurt shop.

    • Girard says:

      Well, to be fair, the old one looks like an utterly generic 19th-century bookplate or masthead logo. Neither is great. The first functions better as a seal, the second one functions better as a logo. Which, luckily, is apparently how the two images will be put to use from here on out.

  14. cleveremi says:

    I’m a UC Santa Cruz alum. Our mascot is the banana slug. With that in mind, the new logo feels really frivolous to me. If a banana slug feels it lacks the seriousness of a quality education, what will the rest of the world think? It’s a University system, not an app, fer cryin’ out loud.

    • Preston Sturges says:

      Go Fighting Banana Slugs!  Whoot!

    • nate says:

      But you see, eventually our university system will become an app (see Coursera, for example). This new logo is slightly ahead of its time, but not much, and you can look forward to seeing this pretty little icon on a touch screen near you when the university system re-boots as College 2.0.

      • cleveremi says:

        Yeah, you’re probably right. I’m just an oldster who remembers, fondly, the days of written evaluations (instead of grades). Ah, the good old days… now I have to go because there are kids. on. my. lawn.

  15. kichigaijin says:

    Is it just me, or does it look like a big blue tongue licking away at a faded C?

  16. mobobo says:

    i’m liking it. refreshing and bold especially for a uni.

  17. Dan Century says:

    About as good as the newest DC comics logo. 

  18. Something about the look of the new logo makes the recent tuition hikes even less palatable.  It looks like an education from a UC is something I can get for $0.99 at the app store.

  19. Chris Worley says:

    This article is misleading.  The seal shown here is NOT being replaced.  Instead, it is this logo that is going away -

  20. lecti says:

    Looks like shit.  The brand is ruined, and I want my tuition back.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Your tuition?  How am I supposed to tell people that I worked at “The Big C” for 15 years?

      • GawainLavers says:

        I’m pretty sure at some point there was a golden “UC” on the hill behind the Berkeley Campus (next to LLNL), but the U is now gone (there’s just a big gap there, and the “C” fades in and out.  There’s also something like a retaining wall to the right of the C that occasionally matches in color, providing us with a Hollywood sign version of “C-”, which feels about right.

        • ohbejoyful says:

          No, it’s always just been a big C.  There is a tradition to go up and repaint it the night before the annual football game with Stanford.

  21. jenjen says:

    I’m a UC employee.  When all I saw was the badly-artifacted jpg with the gradient and thought it was replacing the seal I was horrified. (The Monkey Jesus comparison being hilariously apt)  But after watching the video they made about it and seeing the non-gradiented versions I’m much less bothered by it. I had already seen it on a mailing about healthcare benefits back in November and didn’t make the connection.  It looked fine and I like the type that goes with it (although I wish the word “OF” was smaller).  I am concerned about how absolutely craptastic the gradiented jpg looks though – we try to optimize the heck out of our web graphics so I can see bad-looking versions of this abounding on the web. 

    • fergus1948 says:

       I  think that’s why other commenters have pointed out that putting a gradient in a logo is almost certainly bound to end in tears.

    • Festus says:

       Funny, I got much more irritated after watching the video. Maybe because I am an historian and know a bit about why and how the original logo was chosen. The original is gracious, it is elegant, it lasted through many technological and social changes. The new one is destined to be replaced in a few years by something equally awful and short-lived. Why?

  22. novium says:

    Another UCSC alum here. I’d get all fired up and start making loud and angry statements about not donating any money, but as I tell the alumni fund development people every year I call, that would first require that I have money. 

  23. TheOven says:

    People always hate a new logo. 

  24. guest says:

    I am surprised teh internets hates this design: it is clearly the back end of a cat which is facing away. Does the internets no longer likes kittehs?

  25. desiredusername says:

    Does this mean UC Berkeley’s blue is no longer Yale blue but some kind of abominable Skeletor blue?

  26. tubacat says:

    If you want to see how it’s intended to be used, check out the link (it’s at the top of a very “arty” web site that scrolls two directions and has arrows that hop up and down the page — yuk):

    I don’t like the new “supplementary” logo, even given that people don’t generally like new logos. Last night I was skimming children’s books from the 60′s online, and some of those designs/illustrations are truly timeless. There is a difference between good visual design and “cheap and cheerful” – it’s too bad that my alma mater chose the latter…

  27. monitorhead says:

    You know, my alma mater Northern Iowa got a free panther logo from a t-shirt company. A snappy logo but as a graphic design alumn, i think it would have been a good project for graduate students in the art department to come up with something. loading screen or not.

  28. dawdler says:

    Sorry if someone already posted this.  There’s even a petition against it.  As a Cal alum I signed with no hesitation.  It’s really a poor job.

  29. cstatman says:

    am i the only one who sees this as a bad “prince albert” piercing joke???

  30. oldtaku says:

    ‘designed by an 11-person creative team formed about three and a half years ago.’

    … 35 person-years they spent on this. Design by committee wins again.

  31. Michael Dolan says:

    If you flip it over, will it run from Pac-Man?

  32. Wingnut says:

    I have no opinion on this.

  33. lishevita says:

    It hurts. I am a sad bear now.

  34. Deermag says:

    i cant see this. It’s still didn’t loaded yet

  35. hexopogs says:

    Looks almost exactly like a Ziiiro watch face.

  36. gmills says:

    Oski wept. 

  37. It could be the logo from a UC Peyronie’s disease research group.

  38. They should keep the old logo but put an iPad istead of the book

  39. The problem may be that neither the old logo nor the new one look good…

  40. Festus says:

    It is really difficult to get grads of California, UCLA, Davis and the rest to agree on anything. Congratulations, terrible overpaid branding folks, you’ve done it! We all hate what you are trying to do to a perfectly lovely and serviceable “brand.”

  41. myke says:

    It seems  everyone has missed the most useful feature of the new logo design.  If it is meant to appear on brochures and advertisement (mentioned in the article), it is perfectly suited for California High School Seniors as it does not require literacy to understand.  It may actually be somewhat more difficult for the litterate because the ‘U’ and ‘C’ (particularly with gradient) are poor representations of the actual characters.  A truly appropriate representation of and for the California educational system.

    No, I’m not bitter :)

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