OT: UCal Falls Victim to Building the Brand

Submitted by CRex on December 12th, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Since we're a board of conservative people who hate change, I present UCal's amazing misstep in branding.  Their logo change:


Frozen loading bar or flushing toilet, you decide.  Whatever it is, it isn't higher education.  At the end of the day, let us just be thankful that Dave Brandon has yet to hire the design firm who performed this fuckup.   



December 12th, 2012 at 7:53 PM ^

Brandon or someone in the IP area at Michigan wants the block M to be unequivocally associated with the University of Michigan.  It is a very smart move.  As for displaying the M in too many places, that is another matter.  Personally, I never get tired of seeing it.


December 12th, 2012 at 2:43 PM ^

It looks more like something you would see on TV while watching Reading Rainbow after you just ate a handful of mushrooms.




December 12th, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

The CAL logo is used only by UC Berkeley's athletics department. Both the old seal and new toilet bowl logos in the OP's post are University-of-California-wide, meaning all 8 campuses, and aren't sports-related.


As a current Cal student, I went to sign the petition against the new logo at change.org and discovered that 47,000 people had already signed it. The new logo is a failure of truly epic proportions.


December 12th, 2012 at 2:45 PM ^

This goes outside of the crazy branding thing. Schools doing crazy things for sports logos is a misguided trend. This is the first I am aware of schools doing this crazy stuff with the actual school seal. Congrats on Cal taking bad design taste to a new dimension.


December 12th, 2012 at 2:52 PM ^

...posted some select tweets on the subject. I tend to like this one:

"I think my internet connection is down because it looks like the #UCLogo is still loading #sayitaintso #bringbacktheoldUClogo.”"

To me, it looks like the last corn chip in the bag, which is probably what inspired the intern who I would imagine designed this one. 


December 12th, 2012 at 2:59 PM ^

I would call it into us...800-477-4747. If it has been a year or so, then it may very well have been for something like a maintenance job that was either lessened in scope or cancelled altogether (or put off because of everyone's friend - the budget). It might get sent to my group for followup to confirm that it isn't part of something that is eventually supposed to happen. If you get no action, let me know somewhere (here, Twitter, etc...) and I know someone at the pole yard who can take care of it.  


December 12th, 2012 at 3:08 PM ^

Depending on the size, we pay something on the order of $400-$600 per pole ourselves, and one year - for what we expect as a useful life - leads to negligible decpreciation. That might be a good start for the ensuing negotiation. It isn't common now, but farmers used to buy the poles that we replaced from us and make fences from them back in the day - definitely do not recommend burning them as firewood, of course. 


December 12th, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

My wife is of the view it would be hilarious to cut say eighteen inches off the top and when they finally do set it up, see long it takes them figure out why is shorter.  While I agree that might be funny, the part where AAPD drops by to ask me what I've been doing with my power tools at 1 am would be a lot less funny.  


December 12th, 2012 at 3:22 PM ^

I can relate to the last part - as someone who once designed a job that was done off-hours and without the proper permitting with regard to Ann Arbor's noise ordnance (actually had to appear in court  for that one, represented by the company, of course), I can say without hesitation that the police would not find it amusing. 


December 12th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

the seal is changing, but it is a more of a refinement:

they are not just getting rid of it.

i think that we all get riled up here because we see something at the top of the page that is admittedly ugly and think of cal's logo or UCLA or something, but this is a pretty amazingly complex organziation that needs to have some sort of unifying graphical element, and while i personally think that the wierd U shape with the C gradient is a swing and miss, it is not like the original thing they are covering up was really inventive. there is a difference between a wordmark, a logo and a seal. this logo needs to work on a million different applications and sizes and colors to act as a shorthand, visual umbrella for the organization.


there is a video here that explains it a bit.