The Internet Hates the New University of California Logo



Like, really hates it. Nearly immediately after being officially unveiled following a long design process, the logo — which is essentially a stylized C inside a U, and which will be used to represent the UC system in various ad campaigns and official communications — was met with basically nothing less than abject rage:

At this point, no fewer than four Facebook groups have popped up against it, and as of this morning, more than 38,000 people had signed a petition on calling for the University to scrap the new logo; in the petition's comments section, it has been likened to "the logo of something found in the toddler section of Toys R' Us," "a badly-designed overlaying of more-or-less random shapes," and "a logo from a bad online university."

"I did not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend a school with a logo that looks like it's still loading," wrote Sheila Lam of Berkeley, while Michelle Doan of Irvine got topical with it, writing "YOLO: You Only Logo Once."

According to Steve Monteil, media relations director for the Office of the President — which oversees all the University of California's operations (and, full disclosure, employs my mom) — the new logo was never intended to replace the university seal, which has been in use for 144 years. Rather, he said, it's "a new tool" to help UC "connect with people in a number of different ways ... It won't affect the day-to-day on campus, or the identity of any one campus, or the traditional identity of the university." The new logo is simpler and more scalable than the university seal, and it can be modified in a number of different ways using different colors and patterns, as this video shows, adorably:

University of California Identity from University of California on Vimeo.

According to a letter UCOP Marketing and Communications Director Jason Simon wrote to the petition's founder, "what we have tried to do is to create a mark that is iconic, flexible, and solid." At a moment when the University of California is struggling mightily, the new logo plays a big role in its new "Onward California" campaign, which is intended to remind citizens, politicians, and businesspeople of the University's importance. But it seems that that very impulse — toward branding and marketing and R&D — is what's rubbing people the wrong way. The most cutting criticism out there of the new logo, might, after all, be that it's too corporate:

And that's something that might be harder to shake. But, said Monteil, "it's all in the eye of the beholder." And for the record, it's actually sort of starting to grow on me? Feel free to rip me apart in the comments.