University of California officials said they were trying to project a "forward-looking spirit" when they replaced the university system's ornate, tradition-clad logo with a sleek, modern one.
What they got was an online revolt complete with mocking memes, Twitter insults and a petition to restore the old logo. Students and alumni have taken to Facebook and Photoshop to express their displeasure, showing the new symbol ready to be flushed down a toilet and as a permanently stalled computer operating system. One critic suggested the controversial image be tattooed on its creators' foreheads as punishment.
UC campuses in the past have been the site of war protests, sit-ins against tuition hikes and Occupy camping demonstrations. This week, the schools are dealing with a unlikely debate about graphic design and whether the new logo demeans the university.
"To a generation all too familiar with circular, fading loading symbols, this is an attempt to be revolutionary. But it comes off as insensitive," Reaz Rahman, a 21-year-old UC Irvine senior who started the online petition, said of the UC's new logo. "To me, it didn't symbolize an institution of higher learning. It seemed like a marketing scheme to pull in money rather than represent the university."