Protest erupts over new University of California logo

Tens of thousands are angry about the rebrand of UC's classic monogram. But are the protestors knee-jerk reactionaries or do they have a point?

For the first time since 1860, the University of California quietly introduced a radical new logo design last month. But it hasn't gone unnoticed by students, alumni, and others associated with the institution.

A protest against the change has been steadily building - and is now reached mammoth proportions, with more than 37,000 people signing an online petition to date, while the Facebook campaign has attracted more than 4,000 likes.

The new logo is stridently minimalist and modern

Few can be surprised by the strong reaction, as the new modern looking, minimalistic logo (above) is a big departure from the old. Its plain, wide-spaced font and brash yellow stands in sharp contrast to the grand-looking 144-year-old logo (below).

Designed by an in-house team, the new logo is available in a variety of colours, including pastels, and has been primarily introduced because the intimate details of the old mark didn't reproduce well digitally.

The replacement of the old logo, in use for 144 years, has led to a storm of protest

The new logo is already in use on the university president's site and its Onward California campaign. However, the original logo will remain in use, appearing on official university letters and documents.

In response to the protests, the university's marketing communications director Jason Simon said: "What we have tried to do is to create a mark that is iconic, flexible, and solid enough that it works to represent the UC system as a whole. The mark can be used in a combination of the various UC blues and golds as well as in a multitude of applications."

"Seals are wonderful and carry a legacy and tradition. They also signify bureaucracy, staidness, and other not-so-great characteristics. Much of this was evident in the testing and discussion we did as part of the process."

Watch this! Promo clip of the University's rebranding:

What do you think? Is the university moving with the times, or throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Let us know in the comments!

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