Now U C Me, Now You Don't (1)

As we’ve progressed into the so-called digital age, we as a University should exhibit the dynamism that makes us such an excellent institution. Yeah we didn’t believe that crap either – but that’s the reason that Dianne Klein, of the UC’s office of the President, gave for the recent “modernization” of the logo of the University of California.

In an unprecedented apparent disregard for the 144 year old seal that has become famous among academic circles – the open book that is truly representative of Cal students during dead week – the University of California has decided to go with a sleeker, cleaner, and more minimalistic design for all publicity purposes. If you were a fan of the older Victorian type scroll and circle, that’ll still be available for viewing pleasure on all official documents and letters. It appears that this stunt is just a marketing campaign that is supposed to make the UC campuses more attractive to the average Californian, as if the almost 400,000 collective applications received during last year’s college rush weren’t enough.

Interestingly, the main thing that this new logo will change is not the emblematic Fiat Lux seal, but instead the terrible all-caps rage that was the University of California web logo beforehand. It took a grand total of 11 people and three years to get the job done, and it’s being heralded as an innovation in “brand marketing.” Which you have to admit, the old-school seal wasn’t the easiest to draw onto an advertisement – so more of a bureaucratic function.

Sure there’s a fancy splash video for the creation of the logo and the remake of the “Let There Be Light.” But when we’re measuring up to other prestigious universities, it’d be nice to be closer to Harvard, who is planning on keeping their Veritas seal until the world ends in about 13 days, as opposed to Stanford with their ugly new font that was somehow necessitated by the iPhone’s incompatibility with the old font.

Of extra intrigue to students at UC Berkeley is just how similar the mutual University of California logo was to the Berkeley logo – unsurprising, since we are the original campus. By introducing the new seal, the focus has now shifted to the aggregated system instead of subtly prioritizing Berkeley as the first and foremost in higher education in California. Though it may just be a symbol that doesn’t cross the average student’s mind on a daily basis, but it does exert a special influence – akin to the effect of Kate Middleton’s pregnancy on the consciousness of the state of Britain – though its existence within us may be a bit more figurative.

Image source: (top and bottom) University of California, Business Insider under public domain



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