The University of California debuts one of the worst logo rebrands in history.

/ Comments (16)

Yesterday, the University of California debuted their rebrand - and proved in the process how important it is to have a professional do your logo. We can't even express how poorly done the new one is. So maybe you can help us. Put your thoughts on the UC logo in the comments. And try not to puke on your keyboard when you do.


I can't defend the work, but I do wonder if there is a level of bias toward change. Over the years, I can't recall one major logo change that wasn't scalded by the design community.

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is this logo really all that bad?? look at the old logo, you cant tell me this new redesign isnt better than that.

So this is just be used as the seal now? What about all the other Cal logos - are those just for sports?

I think the main issue people are having is that the new logo does not say prestigious university. You also probably wouldn't be able to tell what the hell it was by itself.

We're not saying the old one didn't need a good updating/redesign. But at least you know who it's for.

The new one could be a gas station mini-mart logo, the Chico State Diving Team or a new female condom.

The rebrand is fresh - It is a contemporary mark for a modern world and symbolizes the dynamic culture that is california, and the UC system. The seal is a overused symbol and does not stand out against other universities.

The rebrand is not "fresh." It's idiotic. The UC system does not need to "stand out against other universities," since there are no people of consequence who don't already know what UC is. This is the corporate mentality at work undermining an institution that should be the farthest thing from corporate.

The writer of this post as an idiot.

Someone who clearly does not understand communication design in the slightest.

The new logo was designed as a part of an identity system, to single the logo out as an individual element is idiotic.

You clearly are very sheltered from the world of design to be labeling this, a decent identity system, as one of the worst rebrands in history.

Don't publish things you know nothing about.

Hey Anon,

What is idiotic is that you think this logo will never live on its own. It's all nice and jargony to spout bullshit like "it's part of an identity system" - but the reality is, it will frequently be found by itself with no other part of the identity system around.

So if you want to explain why the logo - even as part of a system - works, then be our guest. If you just want to troll our site and insult people, then go fuck off.

The new design is a hundred thousand million billion times better than the old seal. The old one looks like every college seal at every university in the universe and a small child could do better with a dull crayon.

Try putting that old logo on a business card and it not looking like crap.

The choice is completely obvious to anyone not marred in university political nonsense.

I like the new one. And the old one looks poor when compared to similar round seals. Its symbolism is almost amateurish. It was bad in the first place.

You really need to get a grip. There is nothing in that logo design or the accompanying visual system that warrants either your comments specifically or all the general invective directed at it. This seems like nothing more than archly conservative aversion to change at its most embarrassing extreme.

The issue here is brand tone. There seems to be a massive disconnect with what the university (or at least the marketing/brand team) thinks it should look and feel like and what people (students,staff and potential applicants) perceive the brand to be. I wonder if enough consideration went into trying to understand the brand and where it needs to be in the next 5 years and then designing a system around that as opposed to just making something feel contemporary for the sake of it.

The idea of a logo is that it IS supposed to stand on its own. The campaign and miscellaneous items are supposed to compliment it. The logo mark and logotype should work in unison as well as independently. This image does not say what this is and it is a very poor representation of a higher education institution.

Is that blue thing a bomb shape? Is the yellow "C" a gestating alien? Who's to say? Say what you will about the traditional seal, but being ambiguous or trendy does NOT make for great design. It just makes design for the sake of design. Being literal may not be en vogue to other designers, but communication is what should be our focus in creating design work.

You, like almost all the media, got this story completely wrong.

Its not replacing the SEAL. The LOGO is different. The SEAL isn't going anywhere. They are to work together, used at different times as needed.

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