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December 13, 2012


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Meh. I'm not excited about Cal's new logo, but I do have a problem with something created in Berkeley for Berkeley, is being touted as the UC System's new logo: There's nothing wrong with the script UCLA for my alma mater, for example (Psychology '74).

As a symbol of the University of California itself, it's fine. It's easily recognized (which can be good or bad, depending on one's viewpoint, of course). But like you, I'm a bit disheartened by the absence of the university's motto.

@Steve: If by Cal you mean the generally accepted nickname for the UC Berkeley campus, this is not "Cal's new logo." It's a logo for the entire UC system, which operates as an entity separate from the individual campuses (and which happens to be headquartered in the city of Berkeley). [CORRECTION: In the city of Oakland.]

Thus UCLA will keep its wordmark, and all of the other campus will keep their individual logos. That point keeps getting overlooked in the discussions.

A UC grad myself, I'll use that as entitlement for my own comments:

The "C" has a "still loading" look about it, suggesting this: http://kitchenmudge.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/cainloading.gif

In general, the "U" is almost undiscernable, and it's just a patch of nothing that says nothing.

@Mudge: Yes, many people have mentioned "still loading." You can read lots of things into the logo, but if the marketing is done well, your interpretation will be overridden.

This is a bigger issue than one university's logo: it's about professionals vs. amateurs and why the vogue for "socializing" all creative choices is bad news.

“Surfer charm” might suit four of the UC campuses (San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles), but it seems offkey for some others (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside).

Also, UC Systemwide (UC Office of the President) is headquartered in Oakland, not Berkeley; http://www.ucop.edu/locations-maps/index.html

I've been snickering about this quietly for days; one of my best friends is a UCB alum, and BOY, don't get her started. *shrug* I went to Mills...

I kind of think the top of the U is supposed to look like an open book. I like the idea of the C as a "still loading" symbol; most of us, at school, whatever our age, are in a process... eventually the information will load. Or, at least that's the idea.

It's not a classical looking symbol, no. But I'm not sure that changes the occupation of the university, or its students. The only thing I'm prepared to get vituperative about with reference to the UC system? Are the fees.

@Amy: "Surfer charm" is how Co.Design interprets the logo. I haven't seen the design brief used by the creative team, so I can't say whether "surfer charm" was among the design objectives. For all I know, it was.

And that's my point: We members of the public don't have the advantage of knowing the guidelines within which the designers worked, so it's unfair to them to make judgments based on our subjective and uninformed biases.

Thanks for the correction re: Oakland. I've made the change in the comment.

@Tanita: If you watch the video embedded in the Brand New post (http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/ic_uc_we_all_c_for_california.php), you'll see how the shape of the new logo evolved from the book in the old logo.

Armin Vit: "each one is more asinine than the next"
... so he is saying that the comments are getting progressively less asinine? I suspect that was not his intention.

I was at NC State when their new logo was announced and panned (see http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/emd/cvm_logos/NCSU%20LOGO.jpg), not so much for the logo itself but for the cost which was by my recollection over 30K to develop by an outside firm -- and the fact that it looks so plain. I'm not a graphic designer -- it looks serviceable to me, but the price tag is surprising...

@Stacey: The result may look "plain," but I can assure you the process involved dozens of decisions: Should we use an off-the-shelf typeface or create a custom font? What weight should we give the letters? And so on.

Also: We members of the public don't know what the other choices were. The designers may have created and presented some exciting, unusual identities that were rejected by a more traditionally minded board.

Just want to go on record as really liking the new UC logo. I find it elegant, clean, fun and strong (all at the same time), and I like the colors. The "issues" that people are raising aren't relevant, IMHO. I also like that it was created by an in-house design team. I hope they keep it.

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