University of California’s troubled new look

What ever were they thinking at the University of California?  After a hailstorm of negative responses to its new “modern” look

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the prestigious university has dropped the new monogram many said looked like a badly done corporate makeover. As university officials wrote in their press release today about its “visual identity system:”

“A controversy has developed over an element of an integrated visual identity designed for use by the University of California’s systemwide office. This controversy has created a major distraction for the UCOP External Relations Division as it pursues its broader mission: communicating to all Californians the vital contributions UC makes to the quality of their lives and the prosperity of the state. The controversy has been fueled in large part by an unfortunate and false narrative, which framed the matter as an either-or choice between a venerated UC seal and a newly designed monogram. In fact, the graphic element in question was never intended to replace the official seal that still graces diplomas and other appropriate documents. Rather, it was to provide a graphic cue to distinguish systemwide communications materials from those of individual campuses. The monogram was only a piece of the visual identity system — a new approach to typography, photography, colors and the like — that was developed by UCOP design staff. We have instructed the communications team to suspend further use of the monogram. For certain applications, this process could require a measure of time to complete.

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