New University of California Logo Is a No Go for Many

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Designers of the new University of California logo are being schooled for creating a visual image that some think looks less like a symbol for an institution of higher learning than it does a “flushing toilet.”

The new logo has also been likened to the loading symbol for a computer operating system, one of those inane spinning icons that tells you something is horribly wrong but unlikely to fix itself. It has also been called a “cheap advertisement,” “corporate,” “childish” and “weird,” and said to resemble a banana in a cup of water, an upset stomach and a stylized bookworm. One student critic said it reminded her of health care.

The new logo was designed by the university’s marketing department to replace one that was deemed too detailed to reproduce on smartphones, websites and other modern electronic devices. It is not replacing the traditional Victorian seal on formal communications or diplomas, but it will be used to identify the UC system on a broad scale.

A petition to “Stop the new UC logo” had gathered 52,693 signatories by Wednesday evening on its way to a goal of 75,000. A Facebook page to stop the change has 6,504 “likes.”    

UC Regent and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom wrote in a letter to UC President Mark G. Yudof that the new logo “fails to respect the history and the prestige of the University of California.” Newsom tweeted that the logo is a “disaster.”

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Lt. Gov. Newsom Wants the Old UC Logo Restored (by Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times)

Online Petition Calls on UC to Scrap New Logo (by Terence Chea, Associated Press)

Redesigned UC Logo Prompts Outcry (by Justin Abraham, The Daily Californian)

University of California: Stop the New UC Logo (

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