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L.A. Now Live: New UC logo criticized in online campaign

Times reporters Larry Gordon and Matt Stevens will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. to discuss the new UC logo, which has been heavily criticized by students and alumni in an online campaign.

From Gordon and Stevens’ Tuesday story:

University of California officials said they were trying to project a "forward-looking spirit" when they replaced the university system's ornate, tradition-clad logo with a sleek, modern one.

What they got was an online revolt complete with mocking memes, Twitter insults and a petition to restore the old logo. Students and alumni have taken to Facebook and Photoshop to express their displeasure, showing the new symbol ready to be flushed down a toilet and as a permanently stalled computer operating system. One critic suggested the controversial image be tattooed on its creators' foreheads as punishment.

UC campuses in the past have been the site of war protests, sit-ins against tuition hikes and Occupy camping demonstrations. This week, the schools are dealing with a unlikely debate about graphic design and whether the new logo demeans the university.

"To a generation all too familiar with circular, fading loading symbols, this is an attempt to be revolutionary. But it comes off as insensitive," Reaz Rahman, a 21-year-old UC Irvine senior who started the online petition, said of UC's new logo. "To me, it didn't symbolize an institution of higher learning. It seemed like a marketing scheme to pull in money rather than represent the university."

UC officials were caught on the defensive. They emphasize that the traditional seal, with its "Let There Be Light" motto, a drawing of an open book and the 1868 date of UC's founding, is not being abandoned and still will be used on such things as diplomas and official letterhead. But they say that the 1910 seal is so ornate that it does not reproduce well for many Internet uses and that it is often confused with variations created by the 10 individual UC campuses. UC websites are now adorned with the new logo.

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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