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Come meet UCOP Communications and UC’s new brand

You’ve seen the new UC systemwide logo on websites, brochures and even T-shirts and tote bags. It’s part of a new initiative to establish — for the first time in UC’s 143-year history — a genuine visual identity for the University of California system.

To demonstrate what the new brand is all about and how to use it, the UCOP Communications department is a series of information sessions as follows:

  • Friday, Nov. 16, 2 to 3 pm, 1012 Kaiser
  • Thursday, Nov. 29, 9:30 to 10:30 am, Franklin Lobby 1 Conference Room
  • Monday, Dec. 3: 2 to 3 pm, Franklin Lobby 1 Conference Room

Vanessa Correa, UCOP Communications award-winning creative director, will talk about the creation of the new identity system and brand-related resources available to help OP staff with their print, web and multimedia communications. Get a preview by checking out the new UC brand website and the UC branding video.

In addition to learning about the new identity, you will also hear more about the new UCOP website, which launched last week. The site has a completely new look, structure and navigation, designed to make it easier for users to find the people, information and resources they seek and give departments greater control over their content.

The sessions will also cover how to work with UCOP Communications regarding your communications needs, including whom to contact for various projects and how you can get help publicizing your local events and activities to the UCOP community through Link, UCOP’s weekly online newsletter.

There will also be T-shirts, totes and other free swag featuring the new visual identity.

Comments ( 7 )

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  1. Patty November 14, 2012 Reply

    Why did UCOP think that a 143-year old TRADITION needed to be changed? Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Brown, Duke (to name a few real oldies but goodies) have never found the need to re-brand tradition! Clark Kerr is likely turning in his grave! As a UC alum, this is appalling and offensive.

  2. Mike November 27, 2012 Reply

    Thank you, Patty for starting this discussion. The traditional brand was both classic in appearance and informative. The new one is ugly and confusing. The old saw applies – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  3. Vanessa November 27, 2012 Reply

    Thanks so much for the feedback.

    The two symbols — the new monogram and the historic seal — serve very distinct roles. Our new visual approach does not replace the UC seal. We feel the UC seal is an important component of the university’s brand. The UC system did not have another visual identifier and our identity, as a result, wasn’t well defined.

    The seal will still be used in all formal systemwide communications, including diplomas, regental and presidential communications, and other official documents. This is not a rebranding insofar as the monogram does not replace the seal, but instead the creation of a more coherent, consistent and compelling visual identity in which we preserve the gravitas of the seal. Many of our campuses have limited use of their official seals in similar ways.

    Additionally, the new monogram does not replace the individual identities of our campuses. Instead, it gives our campuses a simple, distinct way to reference the system as a whole.

    The overarching purpose for this initiative is to create a coherent look and feel where previously there was none. It’s of critical importance to the university that it is understood not just as 10 campuses, but instead, as an innovative system that spans undergraduate and graduate education, a robust health enterprise, diverse community programs and the management of several national labs. It’s also a collection of amazing people.

    The monogram is but one piece of a brand identity that replaces a hodgepodge of different symbols, typefaces and colors with a coherent, consistent package that is both fresh and forward looking and at the same time, rooted in UC tradition. There was a clear and ready need.

    In the past year, this more cohesive and expansive brand platform has allowed us to communicate much more effectively, with great results.

    I’m happy to field other questions at

  4. Ginny November 28, 2012 Reply


    Thanks for elaborating on the purpose of the brand. I think that helps to understand the uses of the brand versus the traditional seal.

    I like the new brand. It looks clean and feel that it will help UC to present itself as a leader in the 21st century.

  5. Mike November 28, 2012 Reply

    I really appreciate the effort that has gone into creating a coherent look and feel for a UC brand.

    I was skeptical when I first heard about it. And I’ll admit that at first I was thrown off by how different the new visual assets looks. But, compared to where we were, I really think this puts us on the right track. The website overhaul is a great visualization of the new approach in a simplified design (I don’t miss our old websites at all).

    These new assets also give us and our constituents something we never had – an overall look and feel to this idea that we call the “University of California”. This effort seems more complementary than competing with the unique identities of the campuses.

  6. Emily Montan December 4, 2012 Reply

    I spoke with a colleague who works with donors and she said that one donor was so confused and put off by the new branding that he thought it was the wrong website. So he didn’t donate. She explained it was new and he could trust it. Thank goodness for that! Another donor complained that the link to the campuses was not easily found on the new site – this is how he visits the campuses for donations.

    The campus seals work great! They distinguish each campus but make them a part of the UC system. UCOP has several seals and one that is distinctively UCOP. They are fine and easily defined as the University of California. Personally, I think it looks vaguely like an elephant’s back side and the new website is disfunctional. In conclusion, why change what has worked for all these years. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  7. Anonymous December 4, 2012 Reply

    I agree.

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