We Won! Now What...

OK, we have successfully led the revolt against the UC system monogram, but in the process, we learned a lot of salient points.

First, the UC system has no set colors, logos or "brand identity" beyond the existing seal and a commitment to various shades of blue and yellow.

Second, the UC system will create a brand identity with our without us, because they see this as essential. They will create a new logo at some point, because they don't believe they can use the seal for everything (this may be something for us to explore, can we make the seal into a recognizable twitter avatar, etc)

Third, if we don't speak up, they will not listen, their idea of engaging stakeholders seems to involve the design community and not us. Even if they do reach out to alumni, we should be ready with constructive suggestions.

So, here's our chance. In the post-tempest time, we can be creative, and figure out what we want in a logo:

  • What should it represent?
  • What is the essence of the University of California we want represented?
  • What symbolism could be used to effectively and quickly communicate this essence in a small space?

Here are my thoughts for the beginning of discussion:

My primary complaint about the logo had been that it didn't clearly convey what it represented (the University of California) or anything about that institution. While a simplified logo cannot tell the story that the seal does, telling no story at all seemed to me to be the fatal flaw of the previous monogram.

The essential function of the university is the enhancement and promulgation of knowledge.

The university motto is fiat lux, which is a representation of shining the light of knowledge in the darkness of the unknown. (very relevant to the enhancement and promulgation of knowledge). I would consider some representation of Fiat Lux an essential element, in that you could incorporate this alone and represent the core mission of the university. In the seal, the motto is stated and there is a star shining light into the darkness.

I also think that the letters U and C need to be clearly recognizable.

As for speculative suggestions from an engineer, you could use the motto in written form or some representation of light shining into the darkness (maybe a yellow ray of light into a blue background).

In other news, I like the original Blue and Gold.

we should also note that the campaign's goal is to show the progress the university has made for California. I think that shining light into the darkness does this as well, but that would be another item to try and represent.

What do you think, what should be conveyed by the logo?

Be nice. You can find the original CGB team at

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