Going modern or just making a mistake? The University of California is making the news over its redesign of their logo and, in effect, their image. However, they may have made one of the biggest marketing blunders.
The prestigious University of California school system has had the same logo for the past 144 years. Representing all 10 campuses, the logo features a drawing of an open book with the motto “Let There Be Light.” Traditional, yes. Outdated? No.
Nonetheless, the university system felt that redesigning their logo would attract new students (because so many students base their college decision on the school’s logo). The new logo is a blue U with a yellow C in the center. The redesign certainly drew attention, but all for the wrong reasons.
UC Irvine senior Reaz Rahman told the Los Angeles Times the logo seems less like a symbol of higher learning and more “like a marketing scheme to pull in money.”
Rahman even started an online petition, asking for the university to re-evaluate their decision. His dissatisfaction seems to be the general reaction to the new logo. Many see it as a blatant marketing scheme, some even comparing it to a corporate-looking fast food restaurant logo.
According to the LA Times, a Twitter-user tweeted, “whoever signed off on this UC logo should be forced to have it tattooed on their forehead for life.” Ouch. The logo has been called everything from disrespectful to tacky. The only thing it hasn’t been called is genius.
Criticism is coming from students, alumni, professors, and marketing execs from all over the country. The online petition’s numbers are quickly adding up but the UC system is standing behind their design, calling it edgy and attractive for students.
It seems like a huge gamble to assume new students will be attracted to the logo when current students and alumni can’t stand it. Yes, the world is constantly modernizing, but how far will one go to seem “cool” when it’s a higher education institution and not a social media app?
Despite so much negativity, many feel this isn’t as bad of a situation as it seems. Twitter easily magnifies issues and makes them seem much worse than they are. Things like this happen every day and eventually it will be yesterday’s news.
Reported by the Christian Science Monitor, Research Psychologist Robert Epstein says, “this tells us nothing about UC or the wisdom of decision making. The only story here is a tired one these days – namely that social media has changed everything.”
Reminding everyone that a decade ago we couldn’t blast out our opinions in social media, Epstein adds that this is simply a typical case with social media – “the uproar is as trivial as the event.”