Archive for Thursday, September 8, 2005

KU athletics changes its face

September 8, 2005


Hal Sandy drew Kansas University's happy Jayhawk in 1946 and later sold the rights to KU for $250.

Times have changed. The university recently spent $88,900 to create a new logo that was stamped on the jersey worn by Sandy's smiling Jayhawk and publicly unveiled Wednesday at a university news conference.

In recognizing Sandy's contributions, KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway joked that the sense of thrift the university practiced in buying the rights would continue.

"We will try to continue that kind of economy," he said.

But some say they don't see frugality in the logo design effort. The changes also included making the official colors royal blue and crimson.

"I think that $90,000 is way too much for a new logo," said Karen Bentley, a KU sophomore.

Anthony DeFilippo, a KU senior, said he would have preferred KU hired its own students to design the logo.

"I wish nobody had told me how much it cost to make (the changes)," DeFilippo said. "Now, when I see it, I'm like, 'Waste of money.' But it looks good."

Private funds covered the cost of LandreyMorrow, a Portland, Ore., firm hired to help develop the new logo. The firm's work included holding focus groups and gathering input on the subject.

KU marketing director David Johnston said the clear, cohesive image would save the university money in the long run by making communications more efficient.

"Now we know what these symbols communicate and can better use them," he said.

KU officials at the news conference Wednesday lifted a screen to reveal the bird sporting the new logo.

"This is something that is long overdue," Hemenway said. "We're starting a new era, and we're starting it today."

The university also unveiled its new "signature," a combination of KU's logo and full name.

The new images will be popping up on everything from business cards to T-shirts to university vehicles to the floor of Allen Fieldhouse.

They come after two years of research, discussions and planning. The new logo and related images are part of KU's integrated marketing campaign aimed at unifying the university's visual identity with hopes of improving recruiting, public outreach and public relations with state officials who control the purse strings for state funding.

The new logo will not mean the end of other typefaces on merchandise, said Paul Vander Tuig, KU's director of licensing and trademarks.

"The intent is that this 'KU' will supplement the other ones out there," he said, adding that he believes the new logo will prove the most appealing to buyers.

A graphic identity standards manual, including logo and signatures for university departments to use, will be placed on the Internet later this month. That will begin the phase-in process. Guidelines on Web, signage, merchandise and other elements of the system will follow.

Sandy, a 1947 graduate, drew the Jayhawk now in use while he was a KU student.

Now a retired marketing consultant who lives in Westwood Hills, Sandy said he was asked by the public relations director to draw the "happy" Jayhawk now long-familiar to KU fans. Until then, many earlier renditions made the mythical bird look aggressive or mean. Sandy was called on to make a happy Jayhawk.

"On the dining room table of my grandmother's home in Kansas City, where my family stayed during the war, the Jayhawk was born," he said.

He'd never drawn a cartoon before and hasn't since.

"I'm flattered that little bird has endured," he said.


average 12 years, 6 months ago

Maybe it's just because I've seen the other design for my entire life, but the new font on the Jayhawk is UGLY by me.

jlm 12 years, 6 months ago

I agree - I am not a fan of the new KU. I participated in the survey saying so and I know several of my friends did too.

It's frustrating to see the ugly font. What a waste of money.

BDub 12 years, 6 months ago

Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is. It's just changing the font. It's still the same big letters on Jay's chest. I don't even know why this is deemed newsworthy, frankly.

BDub 12 years, 6 months ago

Oh, I guess the $90,000 spent on this IS newsworthy, though. The fact that they hired a firm to come up with a logo that most anyone could do by playing with fonts on their home computer for free is really a waste.

dawatts 12 years, 6 months ago

WASTE, WASTE, WASTE. KU could have developed this new logo on there own without spending all that money!

galfromku 12 years, 6 months ago

It burns me too. From my name you can probably tell I work at KU. This past year because of budget cuts, when one staff member quit, management decided NOT to replace her. With a manditory decision to me, I was given her responsibilities to carry out as well. (So I am literally doing the job of 2 people.) I also took on the duties of supervising people when I did not do that before and personally found ways to trim our budget so our dollars would go farther. In addition... we were told that be being removed from the state civil service system, we would gain more flexibility when it came to getting raises because instead of a standard across the board raise we would be able to get a wage increase based on MERIT. Even the HR Dept said they did NOT want to see an across the board spread and it should genuinely be decided on MERIT. Well... long story short, even though that is the "request" from HR, each particular Dept. or School gets to make the final decision for the people in their group. My particular part of the University decided it was too difficult to be fair, so went ahead and decided to give everyone a blanket 1.5%. Wow... that will be a whole $1.52 a DAY for me! Too bad that money wasn't used to combat the increase in costs that took place this year JUST TO PARK HERE ! I agree with the other person's comment that perhaps it could have used the resources of art, design, and graphic students here instead. I agree that wasting $90,000 and two years worth of meetings and discussions are not only frivolous, but a slap in the face when there are people working for $8-$10 an hour, while they have to bring their own toilet paper, ink pens and kleenex to work because their employer's budget has been cut so drastically. Now doesn't THAT make you proud to be a Jayhawk... ??!!?! !

Sad... really sad... :(

lelly 12 years, 6 months ago

I got my athletic ticket purchase postcard in the mail yesterday. Seeing Lew's name signed at the bottom after seeing how he and the rest of the athletic department treated their longtime supporters and then to be reminded how much KU spends on a "new" logo, an athletic director and other things. Why not support the staff in the trenches? Becuase that's not where the glory is. UGH. They won't get a dime from me for ANY athletic event. Of course, they don't want my dime because I can't put $5000 behind it.

Densmore 12 years, 6 months ago

Two things:

  1. galfromku. State employment stinks-there's no doubt about it. Get out. Find a job in the private sector. You will not have as much job security, but you will likely make more money. Working in Kansas government must now be like it was working for one of the miserable governments behind the erstwhile Iron Curtain. Those that fund state functions are stuck to the notion that they can treat civil servants miserably. What they don't understand is this: as taxpayers, we will ultimately get services commensurate with the pay. Do you want good state troopers? Pay for them. Do you want good state tax auditors who can deal with the complexities of corporate America and ensure that all corporations pay their share in accordance with the tax statutes of Kansas? Pay for them. It goes on and on. The solution for you personally is to get out of civil service (or quit your bellyaching). And that happens to be the solution for the state as well, as follows: If enough good people leave for the private sector and we are left with nearly unemployable idgets as the standard in our civil service, there will ultimately come a time that these boneheads who know nothing more than the "no new taxes" mantra will be forced to fund government or will be replaced by moderate and sensible legislators.

  2. We had a great Jayhawk logo. We made a slight change to the font and we now have our venerable bird walking from the viewer's right to left, as opposed to the other direction. We still have a great logo. But why was this necessary? What did we accomplish? I don't get it. This must have been some sort of battle of egos. Someone will now be able to tell their grandchildren that their big accomplishment in life was to turn the mighty Jayhawk 180 degrees and change the "K" in "KU."

Eric TheCapn 12 years, 6 months ago

so now it faces left (backwards) and has slightly different lettering?

i read about this when it started and it was stupid, and it is still stupid.

i could have done that for $1,000 but made it better and given you options for a new jayhawk.

they should have had a student/staff contest for like $5000, it would have produced better results and they could have had a gallery on campus, not to mention more student and alumni input.

plus, it would be someone associated with the school's work.

missmagoo 12 years, 6 months ago

it seems that we are getting rid of all things classic--granted some things do need updating (ie the windows in allen fieldhouse and maybe even the scoreboard) but SERIOUSLY...THAT JAYHAWK IS UGLY..leave it alone.

Katie Van Blaricum 12 years, 6 months ago

Who in their right mind would pay $90K for a new font for two letters? Holy crap, this is the most retarded use of money I've ever seen. I'm so glad I don't go to KU anymore.

cwrist 12 years, 6 months ago

$90,000 would have been better spent on scholarships for students.

jvr 12 years, 6 months ago

I like how lew can spend $90,000 on a logo change, but when the athletic department was pushing around ideas about how to support the hurricane disaster one of the coaches brought up the idea of donating all of the old NIKE t-shirts, shoes, sweats etc. since they were in need of clothing and we have three storage units full of old NIKE equipment that can no longer be used because of the adidas contract., he put the idea off because he knew that later on he could have his annual "garage sale" and make a profit for himself off of those clothes. Maybe he should have saved some money on his new logo and given it to people who really need it

daddax98 12 years, 6 months ago

dosen't the article say that the research was paid for with private donations? If people want to waste money paying for this sort of stuff don't they have a right to do so? Additionally, everyone seems to think this change in logo was initiated by the athletic department, why is that? every time i hear anything about this issue the concerns are for letter head and promotional material and the such not athletic uniforms

laughingatallofu 12 years, 6 months ago

KU marketing director David Johnston said the clear, cohesive image would save the university money in the long run by making communications more efficient.

"Now we know what these symbols communicate and can better use them," he s"aid."

What a crock of BS. Shame on the KU Administration and David Johnson.

I am truly embarassed by this.

Densmore 12 years, 6 months ago

"This is something that is long overdue," Hemenway said. "We're starting a new era, and we're starting it today." What an insightful comment! What brilliant leadership! Hip Hip Hooray for Hem-en-way! (Seriously, is this guy really the Chancellor? Where can I apply?)

dadax98: Sure the thing was paid for by a private donor. Someone at the Endowment Association called a fat cat alumnus and asked for ninety large. The donor said "no problem." The point is, the Endowment Association could have just as easily called the fat cat and said "We were going to ask you for $90,000 to pay some out-of-state consultants for a new logo, but then we decided that with the great wealth of talent at the University, we would have our students and faculty design a new logo. However, we could use a donation for our Graphic Arts Department to buy some new graphics art equipment, which is sorely needed, and to reward a few meritorious art students with special grants/scholarships. We thought that you would find this preferable to giving us ninety grand and watching us flush it down the toilet."

My guess is that KU would have got the $90,000.

Nikki May 12 years, 6 months ago

Wait, when did we get a new floor in the field house last? I thought it wasn't that old. Was it the 2003-4 school year? We get a new one already? WOW.

Nikki May 12 years, 6 months ago

Oh, and I feel like he's backwards now. Why is he going that way? It's like he's looking back. He should look forward, especially if this is the FUTURE of the Jayhawk. Who did they "study" people in Oregon that don't even recognize a Jayhawk? Or people here? I would have been against it.

redneck 12 years, 6 months ago

I wonder who the city fathers are looking out for by wanting to prosecute first time marijuana offenders in Municipal Court instead of District Court. I have been wondering where that smoke is coming from that the KU Chancellor is trying to blow up our back sides if you get my drift. Beam me up Scotty!

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 6 months ago

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