If you are a resident of Ontario (or Canada even), with an internet connection, this morning you most likely heard about The University of Western Ontario’s rebranding initiative. UWO, colloquially referred to as “Western” by hopeful high school students and undergrads alike, is a pretty well-respected institution with a long history. They recently made the news due to the possible HIV vaccine they’ve been working on being approved for more testing.
What most people (undergrads I still have on Facebook from high school) were upset with was the name change. Officially, the university with remain The University of Western Ontario, but otherwise it will be called Western U. Kind of odd, considering it’s located in Ontario (for all of you geography loathers, this is the province with Niagara Falls. Think about it) and not Alberta or BC. In my opinion, the UWO name has a certain amount of prestige to it. It’s a specific name, and Western U is very generic. It’s like that “Central High” that all the kids attended on various short-lived ’90s sitcoms, it’s just not remarkable.
There’s a pretty nifty video that goes along with the re-brand. It details the lengths they went to and the research that was done to make this decision. See it here.
I like the new logo, though. By all means.
A lot of universities who re-brand lose the original classic elements to their logo, if they ever had any at all. I want to go to a school that has a logo that won’t get old in a few years, that doesn’t look like it’s a school akin to Everest College or something (no offense to Everest.) The logo should punctuate the years of history an institution has, it shouldn’t be some sort of tacky modern thing that will have to be changed in 5 years when Helvetica finally falls to the depths of Comic Sans.
My previous institution, Ryerson University, had a logo that I wouldn’t consider wearing on a sweater, let alone pasting it to the bumper of my car.
Yuck. I hate this “logo” to no end. Look at Western’s. Now back to this. This logo is wimpy, it’s ugly, and it’s weak. It doesn’t say “we are an acclaimed educational institution that our students have great pride in and are proud to attend.*” It says “We’re really bad at emphasizing fonts and we’re playing off laziness for minimalism. You should probably apply at U of T.”
*there isn’t really much school pride at Ryerson, but this crappy logo isn’t helping
I am quite thankful that I’m now enrolled in a university that understands that completely modern isn’t always better. (Although we won’t mention the larger campus of this university and their logo. No, we won’t.)
Thank the lord.
I am just a traditionalist, I suppose, who grew up watching all my favourite characters on American sitcoms go off to college* and come home with bumper stickers and hats and pennants emblazoned with their school’s logo. It was always a crest, or some collegiate-like font with huge, menacing letters. Ahh, what dreams are made of.
*A quick American to Canadian translation:
American “college” = Canadian “university”
American “community college” = Canadian “college”
You can’t get a degree from a college, only diplomas or certificates that are usually 2-3 years. (Although some colleges have bridging programs with universities, but that’s a whole ‘nother ball game.)
I don’t know why you guys are so weird, call it what it is!
It may seem like a superficial thing to complain about, but judging by reactions on Twitter today, logos and branding are something students actually care about.
If you’re paying 7 grand a year (15-20 if you’re living away from home), it’s not unreasonable to want a logo you can be proud of.
Oh, and I hope my bias against my former school doesn’t show too much. Yeah, right.