The new monogram has been suspended from use after just six months following a significant negative response.
The University of California’s senior vice president for external relations Daniel M. Dooley announced on Dec. 14 that the use of the new UC logo would be suspended from further use.
Jason Simon, the UC Director of marketing communications, confirmed the drop of the new logo was due to the negative attention it was receiving.
“The University of California system-wide monogram recently created is a source for great debate, dialogue, and division,” he said. “We intend to suspend use of the new monogram. We will begin to take the steps required to do so.”
The UC decided to create the new logo in order to create a more modern look for websites and publications in fundraising while appealing to residents, business owners and politicians.
An in-house design team designed the new logo. It featured a spiraling C inside a sealed shaped U. The original logo featured an open book with the script “Let there be light” and the date 1868 in which the system was founded.
“The new mark was created as a part of our broader efforts to build awareness and support for all the things that UC does to make California better,” Simon said. “What we have tried to do is to create a mark that is iconic, flexible and solid enough that it works to represent the UC system as a whole.”
The monogram was never meant to replace the original seal on important documents such as diplomas and other appropriate documents, but rather distinguish the UC from other universities as an extension of the university’s public outreach strategy, which includes the Onward California campaign and mobile tour that stopped by UCI last quarter.
“In fact, the graphic element in question was never intended to replace the official seal that still graces diplomas and other appropriate documents,” Dooley said. “Rather, it was to provide a graphic cue to distinguish systemwide communications materials from those of individual campuses.”
The new seal was formed out of the features of the old. The blue U was taken from the open book and the faded C was placed on the bottom in order to emphasize “University” and “California.” The monogram was described as “a new approach to typography, photography, colors and the like” developed by the UCOP staff.
The new logo had been in effect for six months, making its appearance on websites and student’s health insurance cards.
The logo received a vast amount of negative attention in a short amount of time once students were aware of its existence.
Students were displeased not because the old logo was being replaced, but rather that it was being replaced with a logo that was “ugly.” Students stated that the logo looked like a “flushing toilet” or something from the toddler section of Toys R’ Us.
Reaz Rahman, a fourth-year student started a petition to stop the new UC logo and to restore the old.
“I was absolutely appalled,” he said. “As soon as I saw it, I knew someone had to do something. The monogram itself did not seem to uphold the honor of the University. It did not look like it was properly representing an institution of higher education.”
Dooley acknowledged the significant negative response, and announced for the communications team to suspend further use of the monogram. Steps have been taken to remove the new logo from websites.
Dooley said in a statement that he hoped that this passion could be redirected toward a broader advocacy for UC.
“For it is only with robust support from the citizens of this state that the university will be able to serve future generations of Californians as well as it has those of the past,” he said.
“While I believe the design element in question would win wide acceptance over time, it is also important that we listen to and respect what has been a significant negative response by students, alumni and other members of our community.”
When learning that the new logo would be suspended, Rahman thought it was a victory for democracy.
“This petition really demonstrated how the UC community can come together and voice our opinion in an effective manner,” he said.
There has been no decision by UC as in what they are going to do next.
“I think moving forward, if the UC system continues to re-image itself, a better and more innovative design will be established to represent all ten campuses with prestige, something the monogram was lacking,” Rahman said.