College students can have visceral reactions to many things — dormitory life, cafeteria food, midterms. And in this age of instant criticism online, another item can be added to that list: protests against the efforts of universities to refresh their logos, slogans and mascots.
The latest example of a university coming under pressure over its efforts to rebrand itself is the University of California, which after 144 years unveiled a new logo for the university system.
The original seal, dating back to 1868, showed an intricate design that included an open book under the light of a bright star while a banner with the words “Let There Be Light” floated below. The new logo, created by a team at the university, featured a “C” inside a blue U-shaped figure with a top that appeared to be an open book.
The change to the logo was part of a broader rebranding effort by the university system called Onward California, meant to give the university a new visual identity, attract new students and articulate a vision for its schools, said Jason Simon, director of marketing communications at the University of California.