University of California
The new logo (top) and the old logo (bottom). The old logo will still be used on official documents and diplomas. The new logo will replace more informal systemwide news and communication.

 

The University of California has introduced a new systemwide logo in past months, sparking criticism more recently from students and alumni.

The UC found a lack of consistency with the original logo, and aimed to modernize its design to go along with systemwide outreach in the state, said UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein.

The new logo features a shield-shaped “U” and a smaller “C” within it.

Klein said the older logo, which depicts an open book and the words “Let There Be Light,” will still continue to be used by the University on official documents and graduation diplomas. The new logo will serve for more informal systemwide news and communication ““ as well as on the University website, she added.

A team of in-house staff designed the logo for no additional cost to the University over the course of a few months, at about 10 percent of their time while working on other tasks, Klein added.

But the new logo has prompted criticism from the UC community, as well as the creation of an online petition on Change.org, called “University of California: Stop the new UC logo,” which has gone viral through Twitter and Facebook over the weekend.

The petition, which started Friday, had received 35,756 signatures ““ including those of students and alumni ““ as of 7 p.m. Sunday.

“The newly redesigned monogram of the University of California, while attempting to be modern, loses the prestige and elegance of the current seal,” the petition states. The petition also urges signers to ask the UC Board of Regents to consider an “alternative solution.”

Still, the University hopes the change will be an effective marketing strategy without compromising its identity, Klein said.

“(The new logo) is part of a larger effort to communicate the multifaceted aspect of the UC system as a whole. … It doesn’t replace individual campus identities,” Klein said. “What this does is allow for better systemwide marketing campaigns, for one.”

Another UC promotional outreach campaign by the UC Office of the President, called Onward California, uses the new logo, Klein said. A gelato truck ““ a part of the Onward California campaign ““ that stopped at UCLA on a statewide tour in October bore the new logo.

“We wanted a meaningful symbol to represent the innovation … the “˜California-ness’ (of the UC),” she said.

“It is part of a systemwide outreach to our key constituents including … communicating to everyone that we are a system.”

Jonathan Acosta, however, a first-year biochemistry student, said he thinks the new appearance the UC strives to present will be counterproductive.

“We’re an internationally recognized university … I don’t see any other top-25 schools updating their logos,” Acosta said. He said he first heard about the logo change within the past few days when he saw the petition circulating on Facebook.

Sarah Wagstaff, a first-year psychobiology student, said she did not think the UC needed to update the logo.

“Even though the original logo wasn’t exactly the greatest-looking, it had a quiet dignity to it,” Wagstaff said.

The University is open to the feedback it has received about the new logo, Klein said.

“There are some (people) who don’t like it, and some who think that (the design) is long overdue,” Klein said. “We are listening to everybody and think feedback is important.”

Contributing reports by Zachary Lemos, Bruin contributor.

Email Hafner at khafner@media.ucla.edu.