When California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said "Ugh!" on Tuesday, the months-long rollout of a brand-spanking new University of California logo officially became a fiasco. Today the school announced it would suspend its use.
Some students had been up in arms about the redesign for a while, but then students are supposed to complain about school administration and its inevitable idiocy. But when a progressive state politician -- and UC regent -- joins more than 54,000 petitioners and a torrent of brickbats in social media thrown at the design, attention will be paid.
So, was the new logo really that bad? I'd say: Ugh.
The new design streamlined elements of the old. (A short video tracks the evolution.) The dimpled blue profile of an open book sags into a deep U, with a swiped yellow C resting at the bottom of the curve. Its flat, sleek style, readable from across the room, implies hip contemporary branding, which the university wanted, while also appearing frankly corporate, which it didn't.
The old mark is cheerfully corny. A star, a book, a slogan ("Let there be light") on an ornamental ribbon -- the seal looks like scores of other university logos born in the days when hand presses stamped them on diplomas and into books. This one will continue to be printed on the faux-sheepskins handed out to graduates, as well as other official UC documents.