Friday, March 6, 2015

UC suspends new logo after widespread protest

New UC Logo

The University of California's old seal, left, will remain on official university documents, but marketing materials and websites will feature the radically simple and more contemporary symbol on the right. AP photo

From page A7 | December 16, 2012 |

Farewell to the banana sticker.

The University of California on Friday announced it has abandoned its new logo after nearly 55,000 people signed a petition saying the logo was overly corporate, resembled — among other things — a fruit label and did not sufficiently reflect the university’s prestige.

“It is important that we listen to and respect what has been a significant negative response by students, alumni and other members of our community,” Daniel Dooley, senior vice president for external affairs, said in a statement. “This controversy has created a major distraction.”

The logo, a block “C” nestled in a U-shaped silhouette, sparked widespread mockery when news reports brought it to light last week. Some said it resembled a bidet, a kickboard or a logo for an Internet startup. “Looks like it’s still loading,” wrote a Berkeley woman on the online petition.

The university has withdrawn the logo from its website and will no longer use it on printed materials, although items already emblazoned with the logo will not be discarded, said UC spokesman Steve Montiel.

Students and alumni said they felt vindicated the logo has gone the way of New Coke.

“It’s good that UC is listening to us,” said Connor Landgraf, student body president at UC Berkeley. “Hopefully they’ll start listening to students on other issues, as well, such as tuition increases.”

Alumni didn’t like it

Jefferson Coombs, director of the UC Berkeley alumni association, said alumni were pretty much united in their dislike of the new logo.

“I’m pleased UC listened to the prevailing and really unified voice of alumni,” he said. “Alumni are extremely proud of the university’s legacy of excellence, and this logo did not reflect that.”

The UC Office of the President’s marketing department created the logo about six months ago as a way to promote the entire organization, which includes 10 campuses, five medical centers and dozens of laboratories and research centers, to a wide spectrum of Californians at a time when the Legislature was preparing another round of funding cuts, Montiel said.

The university also needed a logo that would reproduce clearly on smartphones and iPads, the preferred communication mode of prospective students, he said.

The logo was never intended to replace the old logo, the classic “Let There Be Light” seal that’s adorned diplomas, letterhead, coffee mugs and other UC items for more than a century.

Although, that logo might be even more corporate than the new moniker, said Sam Redman, a historian at UC Berkeley’s Regional Oral History Office at the Bancroft Library.

The original seal was designed by Tiffany & Co., he noted. The formal, detailed design was modeled after the crests of the great universities of Europe, as a way to elevate UC’s image at a time when its reputation didn’t extend far beyond the Sierra.

Notably conservative

Newly opened colleges across the country were adopting similar seals, but even among those the University of California’s is notably conservative and traditional, he said. It shows an open book illuminated by a shining star, underscored with the words “Let There Be Light.”

The seal was introduced in 1895, when the university was less than 30 years old. It’s also been modified a few times, most notably when officials changed the original Latin from “Fiat Lux” to the English equivalent.

Redman sympathizes with the university’s desire to update its image occasionally, especially now in the digital age and the fact the university encompasses so much more than a single land-grant campus in the East Bay.

“In 1895, they were trying to establish a formal, recognizable identity, easily replicated with a set piece on an old printer,” he said. “They weren’t anticipating that it would someday go on T-shirts and Twitter.”

Still, the old logo remains immensely popular. If it ain’t broke, they should leave it be, he said.

“Even after all these years, the old logo still looks fantastic,” he said. “It’s part of our past, our origins, and who we are today. It really doesn’t need to be adjusted at all.”

— Carolyn Jones is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Reach her at [email protected]



San Francisco Chronicle



Bay Area developers join Mace proposal

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Trial ordered in Davis child death case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

‘Topping out': Sign a building beam at the Shrem Museum

By Jeffrey Day | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Life after lawn: Fifty greens for shade

By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

UCD police warn of sexual battery incident

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Bob Dunning: There’s an exception to every rule

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Ukraine declares heavy weapons pullback from front line

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

NASA craft circling Ceres in first visit to dwarf planet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

CHP car hit with bullet on highway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Got sun? Indoor herbs can thrive on windowsills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

How can we know that the products we buy for our homes are safe?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Quick home improvements that raise your resale value

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Spring-clean your kitchen in five easy steps

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Peripheral neuropathy support offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

Workshop eyes creating peace through creative play

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

Museum brick sales to end this month

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

Cabrillo Club plans membership dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

Dryers: Homes’ energy guzzlers just got greener

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

UCD improving farming, food production with fewer pesticides

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: B6 | Gallery

PSAs highlight area nonprofits

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

Waldorf’s spring tea party doubles as open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Register online for Woodland rec classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Older adults will discuss conscious aging movement

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7Comments are off for this post

St. John’s shows off cuisine at brunch

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

Seniors serious about fitness

By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Pig out at Pig Day Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Porkers on display at Hattie Weber Museum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11



Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

Some convicts don’t deserve parole hearings

By Tom Elias | From Page: B4

Here’s how to make college cheaper

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

Obama’s world is a dangerous place

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Dirty laundry on the company line

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B9



DHS girls track and field team reloads for 2015

By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD women fall at UCR

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Aggie men clinch Big West crown

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Marsh provides radio images of a ‘magical’ Aggie hoops season

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devil volleyballers cruise in home opener

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Bella Vista slips past DHS softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12



Rec Report: Looking ahead to spring break

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

What’s happening

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

Wineaux: A local diamond in the rough, revisited

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9



Tables available at Vinyl and Music Fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Steve Kiser’s work on display at Gallery 1855

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Second-rate

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Learn from experts at ‘Art of Painting’ conference

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

Tom Brousseau to visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ auditions set

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela celebrate Mandela’s legacy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12 | Gallery



Honey, we shrank the SUV — and Europe loves it

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery





Comics: Friday, March 6, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B10