After nearly 18 months of continuous designing, UR finally unveiled its new logo on Wednesday, Sept. 5 on the steps of Wilson Commons. In celebration of the new logo, the UR pep band played, UR President Joel Seligman spoke, there were free cookies and keychains and T-shirts were thrown into the crowd of students and faculty. Beyond the fanfare, the UR community gathered to celebrate the process by which UR has come to have a newly redesigned logo.

“After this very intensive process, I look forward to seeing the University logo perpetuate the image of a top-tier University,” Students’ Association President and junior Alvin Lomibao said. “I’m excited to order my business cards with such a distinguished-looking logo.”

When the University decided to update their “look” in April 2006, Vice President of Communications Bill Murphy was charged with the task of forming a working group on the issue of a new graphic identity and he chose to use volunteers from the University. The group had to research the history of the seal and colors, as well as brainstorm the ways the new logo could unite all the facets of the University – as prior to the new logo, nearly every school within the University had their own logo.

The official University seal, which is incorporated in the logo, was first developed in 1851 and redesigned in 1928, according to the September-October 2007 Rochester Review. The seal had one final revision in 1985. Like the seal, the colors adjusted over time. Starting out as magenta and white, the school colors changed to light blue and gray, and then finally to the recognizable dandelion yellow and blue.

Once the research group had brainstormed and whittled down some possibilities, they brought in 10 designers to generate more ideas. In the fall of 2006, the group presented the top 14 logo options to the Faculty Senate, the University management team, the President’s cabinet and students for feedback on these semi-preliminary logos. Student feedback indicted a desire for more traditional, classic logos that expressed their want to fit in with peer universities, such as the Ivy League institutions.

“A successful logo graphically symbolizes a product or institution and evokes its strengths without describing it in detail,” Director of Publications in the Communications Office Steve Reynolds said in the September-October 2007 Rochester Review.

The last step in the logo redesigning process was posting the final five choices online and having over 10,000 alumni, students, faculty and staff vote and express their opinions. The end result was a tie between two logos; thus, the two logos were combined to make the new logo introduced this fall.

“Students played a major role in the logo design – it was very important to involve students in this decision,” Murphy said.

Yet once the logo was decided upon, the hard work began, according to Murphy, as the new logo now needed to be applied to stationary, business cards and much more. For example, the Eastman School of Music needed the new logo to be reducible, as they post many small fliers. So, a design manual was implemented to detail the logo applications on all printed things.

The logo is also now applied to all webpages, apparel in the bookstore and can be seen on the flags around campus.

“Now that we have the formal image of the University, we can start working on a fiercer image for our mascot, URBee,” Lomibao said.

Halusic is a member of the class of 2010.



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