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New UC monogram to be suspended

Following a swarm of social media activity and news media coverage last week, UC Senior Vice President for External Relations Dan Dooley announced Friday that further use of the new UC monogram would be suspended.

One small piece of the new UC visual identity system, the monogram generated controversy based in part on a misperception among some students, alumni and other members of the UC community that it would replace rather than supplement the UC seal.

“A controversy has developed over an element of an integrated visual identity designed for use by the University of California’s systemwide office,” Dooley said in a public statement. “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 in-house design team in UCOP’s Communications Department developed the new visual identity system — including new photography, a color palette and typography — with the goal of capturing the vibrancy and innovation of UC’s campuses, medical centers and research and agricultural activities throughout the state.

“Their thoughtful work has been groundbreaking, not only for UC but for higher education. It has won multiple national awards and been heralded by the professional design community,” Dooley said in a statement to the UCOP community. “I couldn’t be more proud of the work or the talented team we have.”

The team followed a diligent process in developing and reviewing the identity elements in collaboration with campus and UCOP colleagues as well as testing them through focus groups and surveys.

The monogram itself was tested in a “soft launch” manner for nearly nine months in applications such as human resources and benefits materials, admissions and financial aid websites and mailers. It was then displayed more prominently as a part of the Onward California public outreach campaign and on the new UCOP website.

UCOP communications will be working to determine next steps following the suspension of the monogram. It has already been removed from key websites and social media profiles.

If you have questions about how to proceed with any print or other design projects you may have in process, please contact Production Manager Yem Ling Fong at

Comments ( 3 )

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  1. Chris Orr December 18, 2012 Reply

    Sorry to see the surrender to a spate of social media carping. I hope the fresh colors and collatoral design (including the word mark) continue to be used.

  2. Howard Fallon December 19, 2012 Reply

    Hubris means extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.

  3. Emily Montan January 15, 2013 Reply

    Many design experts I have spoken with (from outside of UC) have told me they thought the design was not well done or well thought out. I have also been told that had it been properly vetted and marketed, the concept of a logo would be accepted. I accept that we need a logo because the official seals don’t do well on electronic media.

    I would like to see a design contest like they did for the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC. We may get some great designs.

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