December 19, 2012
Ouch -- the danger of being a graphic designer
In the last few weeks a team of designers at the University of California have received a painful lesson in brand ownership. It's called "don't mess with my logo".
It's a fairly common problem: branding works. If you spend a lot of time and effort building one, you must understand that you can't just barge into the room and change the wallpaper. You've got to be diplomatic about how you make the transition. In some cases people simply don't like change. In others, a majority of those effected might not like the new solution.
In this case, it appears, the reaction was negative on both fronts. I even saw a comment from an internationally known type designer on one blog that simply said, "The new logo sucks" — that hurts.
The design aside, you'll see one seemingly silly, actually serious mistake was made in the video used to roll-out the design: they show the existing University of California seal unceremoniously wiped off the page. That was a very bad idea.
A monogram is "a mark composed of one or more letters". Ironically, in defense of the design it was later argued that it wasn't the seal that was being replaced at all, just the university's existing monogram. Oops. Ouch. Over.