For Your Inspiration: A look at the University of California Identity
Weekly web series to bring you a small dose of inspiration. We are doing something a smidge different this time around, while we look at the University of California’s new identity.
We normally take a look at a nice set of videos to inspire you for a week, but we are taking a break this Tuesday. Instead we are taking a look at just one video. With all the recent, albeit recent, controversy surrounding the new branding of the University of California, we decided to share a few thoughts. Have you seen it? No? Take a look:
After watching this great piece of marketing, my opinions have become pretty apparent to me—what a mistake.
A Mistake for the Future
This branding piece is, and UC’s acceptance, falls in accordance with our recent entrepreneurial time of start-ups, web apps, and apple. The age of trendiness, youth, and self-righteousness. Though this may sound familiar to decades past, there is no such a unique time as now where youngsters are assuming the role of technological, physiological, and art experts. An era where youngsters are recognizing their voice and ability to control, including political elections. The young voice recognizing its voice…and corporations recognizing their pockets.
This is brought on by the onset of how-to books, easy coding languages, jquery, and copying those who do it best. Buying a mac and Photoshop doesn’t make you a wiz—Or does it? The new UC identity is a decision lost in time. Faculty members, old and outdated, likely sought to modernize the college…bring in new blood. Distinguish itself. Reach out, with an open hand, and say “We are cool and new and accept similar ideologies as you”. An attempt to tap into the new youth.
Nothing New Here
Someone got taken advantage here. Likely the school. Losing a prestigious logo and brand to something that is not distinctive nor informative, and like many schools, should stand the test of time (though the logo likely wont). Logos must be designed around an idea and subsequent content.
The UC logo needs the video. Without it, we are lost in what the meaning is and logo’s representation. The trending lines and colors masking an ideology of scholar and knowledge turned to a school of beaches, sandal wearers, vintage cameras and page turners. The gradient “C” looks like a loading icon and if it doesn’t, I am not sure I know what it should be (though I get the “C” is for California) but heck, there are a lot of California schools out there.
The logo is a fun start. The video; a great story. But a logo of a school it is not. The identity is the idea that over simplifying (an idea of the youth) is the best course of action—when you have simplified so much that you need a video to explain, perhaps you should revisit. Building a logo utilizing Photoshop or Illustrator tutorials you find online (let there be light) should not be the foundation of style for your brand.
What do you think of the logo? Of its video? Does it do the job or does it fall short? You decide in the comments below!