UC pulls new logo amid criticism, ‘controversy’

The University of California released a statement Friday that it would cease use of a newly released logo following “a significant negative response by students, alumni and other members of our community.”

Daniel M. Dooley, senior vice president for external relations at the University of California Office of the President, released a statement Friday that was posted on UC Berkeley’s News Center website shortly after noon.

Dooley wrote that the response to the new logo had resulted in an unfortunate community controversy.

He wrote: “This controversy has created a major distraction for the UCOP External Relations Division as it pursues its broader mission: communicating to all Californians the vital contributions UC makes to the quality of their lives and the prosperity of the state.”

Dooley blamed “an unfortunate and false narrative, which framed the matter as an either-or choice between a venerated UC seal and a newly designed monogram” as part of the problem.

He said the new graphic would not have replaced the UC seal, but instead was aimed to “provide a graphic cue to distinguish systemwide communications materials from those of individual campuses.”

The new logo was just one part of “a new approach to typography, photography, colors and the like.”

He said that, though the rest of the new approach had been met with praise, and that he was sure the new logo would have, over time, won people over, the university made the decision to stop using it as a sign of respect for the community’s position.

“For certain applications, this process could require a measure of time to complete. In due course, we will re-evaluate this element of the visual identity system,” he wrote.

New, modern UC logo evokes cries of ‘foul’

Would you like a digest of the day’s Berkeley news in your inbox at the end of your working day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.

Print Friendly
Tagged ,
Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comments policy »
  • the new logo was ugly.

  • Wow, that backtrack took even less time than I had expected.

  • I didn’t like the new logo’s design, but regardless of the design, I’m not sure I understand why a new logo was necessary at all. If you’re looking for something to distinguish campus-specific materials from system-wide communication, why not use the original seal?

  • serkes

    Now UC it … now you don’t

  • Tom


  • Bruce_Mc

    The very careful wording of the statement brings back memories of working at Systemwide. Things haven’t changed much. No doubt someone who originally approved the logo will get a promotion over this. That’s UC’s way of proving to itself that they never make mistakes.

  • EarlyMorningCoffee

    UC got Gapped!

  • UC faculty

    No, there was no “unfortunate and false narrative” about replacing the old logo. The new one failed for one reason only: it is ugly! UC should have an open competition and voting.

  • Bill N

    “Therefore, I have instructed the communications team to suspend further use of the monogram…. we will re-evaluate this element of the visual identity system.” Well I suspect that some elements of the logo will change, maybe the swirling toilet one, but that the general changes to create a simplified logo will happen in due course.

  • Howie Mencken

    B’side power to the people!

  • SarahS

    “Bureacratese” is an art form in itself, isn’t it? “Unfortunate and false narrative” indeed! The only unfortunate and false narratives are the explanations for this fiasco and the attempts to defend the indefensible.

  • Mark Petrofsky

    Great news. I didn’t get around to signing the petition but I was brought up in Berkeley (1946 -), played and studied on campus. The new ‘logo’ looked like a worm whirling in death throes as it dissolved in a test tube of acid. I would say that the lack of design sense displayed is incredible but look at the architecture bullding for god’s sake (I worked in the library there). My mom described it as looking like the superstructure of an aircraft carrier. Just another example of hopeless bureaucrats. They’ll be the death of us yet.

  • That’s exactly what I was about to type. The narrative is fine, but the artwork is bad.

  • I like Wurster Hall. Takes a certain kind of perverse aesthetic sense to appreciate it, though.

  • Howie Mencken

    Bravo! Wurster Hall is one of my favorites. It separates the banal from the creative.

  • Guest

    Cal knows where to find top notch designers & faculty …


  • Guest

    Oops, Craigslist ad to become UC Design faculty:


  • Charles_Siegel

    Wurster Hall is in the brutalist style, which was popular briefly during the 1960s but has been out of favor since the 1970s. They were trying to avoid the boredom of international style glass boxes, but they went from boring to ugly.

    There are plans to tear down some noted brutalist buildings. It looks like the J. Edgar Hoover building in Washington, DC, will go. Paul Rudolph’ Orange County Government Center (in New York) is probably going to go; though a handful of preservationists want to save it, the public hates it – and it leaks. There was widespread support for a proposal to tear down Boston City Hall, but it didn’t go anywhere, though the public hates that building also.

    I agree with Paul Kamen that it takes a perverse aesthetic sense to appreciate brutalism – and I am thankful I don’t share that aesthetic sense.

  • Tizzielish

    I believe that the end of the year is, traditionally, a time when many alums make year-end donations to UC, if they are going to be making any donation. Folks think about the tax man, note the end of the year . . . the backtrack happened fast in a play for keeping donations rolling at the end of the year. Sadly cynical but, I’m betting, the real reason for the fast turnaround.