Archive for Wednesday, July 6, 2005

KU touts new logo as strong symbol

July 6, 2005


A font meant to mimic lettering on an ancient Roman column will represent Kansas University in the future, officials announced Tuesday.

Officials said the letters "KU" in Trajan typeface, one of four finalists announced in May, will serve as a university-wide logo.

"It means different things to different people," said David Johnston, KU's director of marketing. "Some people could get that sense of the hill with the elongated 'K.' Some people saw it as taking a step forward. However it is interpreted, it is a strong, confident symbol."

The logo will be incorporated with the words "The University of Kansas" to become the university's official "signature." The symbols are expected to be used on all university materials, including stationery, signs, business cards, cars and athletic jerseys.

The Trajan font was created in 1989 by a designer wanting to replicate the Trajan column, a landmark in Rome.

The decision came after more than a month of gathering feedback on the four finalist designs, both in meetings and online. Those finalists were chosen with help from LandreyMorrow, a Portland, Ore., firm that will be paid $88,900 for its assistance.

A report prepared by the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service at the KU School of Education said online data showed many respondents felt the Trajan design was "classic" and "traditional" compared with its counterparts. Five percent to 10 percent of those making comments felt the design was too boring or plain.



Comments were already flowing on the Journal-World's Web site shortly after a story announcing the selection was posted Tuesday. Most of them criticized the choice.

"Are they kidding?" one person wrote. "The Trajan design is a tragic mistake. I can't believe the university blew so much time, money, and effort on this project, especially in light of the choice."

The logo announcement is part of the university's integrated marketing campaign, which aims to standardize visual elements used by units on campus. Earlier this year, the university announced it would use crimson and royal blue as its official colors, phasing out navy blue used by some units on campus.

"No one is saying if we all use one blue, we'll have winning sports teams," said Paul Carttar, executive vice chancellor for external affairs. "No one is saying if we have a consistent visual identity, we'll have a great university. But we want to be in a position where the different parts reinforce the whole."

Johnston said plans call for KU officials to work with LandreyMorrow to develop a set of standards for when to use the new logo and when to use the university seal and Jayhawk. He said nothing about the Jayhawk would change, though the university seal likely will be reserved only for formal university functions.

Johnston said he wanted the symbols to be used consistently over time.

"We don't intend to do this (redesign the logo again) in the next 10 to 20 years," Johnston said, "so we want to make sure that it lasts."


mefirst 12 years, 11 months ago

Holy Cow!! WHO CARES???? This is news?

Densmore 12 years, 11 months ago

With regard to Dani's comment from yesterday: Yes, the consultants might have been paid with funds other than those that the legislature appropriated to the university for education. However, spending money in this fashion indicates that we have a big pile of money for purposes other than education, while at the same time we are clamouring for more from the legislature. Not a good move if our main concern is education. I think our next move will probably be to hire some consultants to determine whether the new logo resulted from evolution, intelligent design, or unintelligent design.

Dani Davey 12 years, 11 months ago

The University has certain funds that it can only spend on certain things. Athetics for example. It is technically a separate organization from the University which is why it doesn't have to give any of it's basketball revenues to education. Or the Unions, they are separate organizations so everything they make from the bowling alley or coffee shop or anything else in there, stays with them. Endowment raises some money but it's mostly for projects like building renovations and you can't take an alumnus' money telling them it's for one purpose and then use it for another. The University does need more money for education because at the rate it's going right now my little sister isn't going to be able to afford her tuition, housing and the almost $500 a semester that books can cost. And she's in-state!

Terry Bush 12 years, 11 months ago

This is an utter waste of tax dollars, and IMO the worst of the expensive logos they "created" (the KU design school would probably have come up with better/more logo's without costing a cent). I think the "Silly Season" is well upon us. Start storing up water and generators. The end is near... And it's not funny.

lunacydetector 12 years, 11 months ago

i wish i would've designed the new logo. what a difficult task... K U..... ku.... Ku... k u...... KU....

Me: that'll be $89,000.

KU: give us some more money now, taxpayers!....we don't have enough!

what a JOKE!

Joowy 12 years, 11 months ago

$89,000 on something that a 6th grader could have done on MS Word. Excellent problem solving skills Institute of Higher Learning. Just another reason I'm happy I didn't go to KU.

joekansas 12 years, 11 months ago

I just saw the new KU logo today from the alumni newsletter and I could not have been more disappointed. This "Trajan" typeface was deemed classic or traditional by what standard? The curlie cue thing on the end of the "K" is appalling to me and I just cringe looking at it. If you want to talk about tradition, what was wrong with the KU typeface that the athletic department has been using on the football helmets or the basketball uniforms for several years. Now that would be tradition for the university, and some connection the alumni and all fans would unmistakenly make and readily accept. I have no idea of what tradition this new Trajan KU logo is supposed to represent. I take great pride in being a Jayhawk (first by birth and the second by choice) and knowing our traditions. You do not see Oklahoma, Nebraska or any other Big 12 school changing their logos so why should we? Great tradition stands the test of time and we have it! I just hope we do not end up like another Marquette University. Not to mention the waste of $89,000.00 that definately could have been used more wisely.

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