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UC's new logo prompts criticism, petition [Talk back]

December 10, 2012 | 11:44 am

Corporate and cheap? A "loading" symbol? A toilet flushing? Critics of the University of California's logo have taken to the Web to protest a simplified version of the University's “Let There Be Light” seal.

Talk back LAA video posted by the UC shows the old logo's transformation into the modern, "boldly Californian" take. The simplified logo features a blue "U" that mimics the shape of a book with a “C” resting at the bottom, in various colors. It can be seen in action on the UC Office of the President's website. 

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 had 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.

Some praised the university's video introducing the logo, but doubted whether people will make the connection between the new symbol and the traditional seal without the added explanation.

AJ Lagar tweeted: Logos should b able 2 convey the message w/out a video 2 explain "Why". ... Good video, lackluster logo."

Others questioned the university's need to rebrand.

"To have this as a symbol for our campus is an insult," John Lee of Berkeley wrote on the petition. "UC remains and will be the best public institution in the world. Also, UC is an educational institution, not a start-up company."

Several memes mocking the new logo have popped up around the Internet since its unveiling.

What's your take? Does the UC need a fresher look or does the traditional UC seal say it all? Let us know in the comments section or by tweeting @LANow. 

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-- Larry Gordon and Samantha Schaefer

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