10 December 2012

University of California logo

So my alma mater has just introduced a re-branding which includes this breathtakingly crappy new logo.

There's an expensive-looking brand introduction video that only succeeds in making me like the original more than ever.

If you must go for some slick, contemporary new version of the university seal — which I don't think you should — I could make a better one in fifteen minutes.

Update: After another fifteen minutes, it's looking actually kind of good. Maybe the University will buy an hour of my time.

Update: Aaron Bady at The New Inquiry has a terrific long meditation on the change which indicts the UC leadership in profoundly misjudging the meaning of the university in our current social and economic moment.

This new logo is absolutely ridiculous. Not only is it called a logo, but it is EVERYTHING our school is against. Might as well have slapped a McDonalds “M” on top of it and call it a day. It looks so corporate, and it looks CHEAP.
Not only is the experience itself being devalued (by changing a seal into a logo), but commodifying the degree actually reminds people of the thing they went to school to get away from: the dehumanizing effect of a dehumanizing labor market, and the fear of social death that the specter of unemployment represents. Without a degree, you’re just a pair of hands, a unit of “work,” and since respectable blue-collar jobs are disappearing faster than the polar ice caps, education becomes the fetish object that will save us. If you have a degree from Cal, after all, you have a network, a place, a status, or at least that’s what you hope to acquire there: you hope to become a person who doesn’t have to worry about being left behind.
But the UC administration thinks about their university like upper management thinks about corporate assets, and they’re threatened when other people claim to have a right to speak for and to represent it, when other people claim to have an ongoing stake in what the university is. That’s why they call the cops on protesters and make you get off the grass, and beat you if you don’t. They want to cut that cord.

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