Art Tech Stuff

Another Bad Logo Lesson

Logo redesigns are so fraught with emotional baggage. You bring in a firm with no institutional history and they do something that violates everyone’s sense of tradition. Or you do it in-house with people who have no idea the technical traps they’re walking into. They have to be resizeable. They have to fit in the margin, or in the masthead, or a footer, or a billboard, or an magazine advertisement, or on a keychain or a web banner or on a coffee mug.

I’ve been through a few of these myself, and it’s so easy to end up with something unusable, or illegible, or both; or something that takes your brand and says, “who the hell is that?”

Enter the University of California.

This is yet another chapter in the gradual erasure of anything hand-drawn, antique, venerable, complex, multilayered, historic or just plain old-fashioned. I really don’t like it because of its ordinariness.

Though it would make a terrific pennant to hang from a lamppost.

In monochrome it’s a whole other ballgame isn’t it? It took me about two seconds to recognize it: It’s the Microsoft Windows “wait” animation, the spinner you see while you wait to see if your system has actually crashed or whether your last keyboard command actually worked. In other words, it’s a symbol of fear and dread.

Tom McGee has been building web sites since 1995, and blogging here since 2006. Currently a senior developer at Seton Hall University, he's also a freelance web programmer and musician. Contact him if you have the need for a blog, web site, redesign or custom programming!

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