New UC logo getting savaged in online campaign

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Criticism continued to build Monday against the UC system’s new logo, fueled in part by an online campaign.

“Anyone who has ever looked at a Mac screen has been frustrated by a loading sign,” said David Bocarsly, UCLA student body president. “It’s ironic that this frustration is conveyed in the logo. I don’t think it was intentional.’


“It looks like a loading symbol, and all the frustration that comes with it in modern society.”

Like so many students and young alumni, Tomo Hirai, a 24-year-old UC Davis graduate, first saw the new logo in a newspaper article linked on his Facebook wall. He fixated on the swooping yellow “C,” and then it hit him.

“Geez,” he recalls thinking to himself, “that’s basically a loading logo.”

About 30 minutes on Adobe Photoshop was all it took to turn the system’s artistic effort into an animated GIF. Hirai tweeted his work out on Friday, among the first to publicly mock the new logo.

“It cheapened the entire UC System,” Hirai said of the UC team’s design. “That’s not what you do to 144 years of history.”

Creators of an online petition opposed to the change say the new logo ‘loses the prestige and elegance of the current seal.’ They want the 10-campus system to use the traditional circular medallion that shows an open book, the motto “Let There Be Light” and the 1868 date of UC’s founding. Or find a dignified alternative. The petition has more than 39,000 supporters so far.

UC system spokeswoman Dianne Klein said that critics wrongly assume that UC is eliminating the traditional symbol. In fact, that will remain on all diplomas and official correspondence, such as presidential letters, among other uses. But she said the old logo does not reproduce well in small size on Internet pages and that UC wanted something more visually contemporary and versatile, especially for online efforts to seek donations and recruit applicants.

“Like anything with design and change, people have opinions,” Klein said. She added that alumni, students and parents were consulted about the new design, which was created by an in-house design team at no extra cost to the university.


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Images: Side by side, the old and new UC logos. Credits: University of California