Archive for Friday, September 30, 2005

Same initials, similar logo, different schools

KU paid $88,900; Kutztown paid $20,000 two years ago

September 30, 2005


Call it the other KU.

Most Kansans have never heard of Kutztown University, a 9,800-student school in tiny Kutztown, Pa. Neither had the people involved with designing Kansas University's new $88,900 logo, which bears striking resemblance to that of the other, eastern KU.

"They're distinguishable, but they're also easily confusable," said Phillip Breeze, Kutztown University's director of University Relations.

Breeze chuckled to himself Thursday when contacted by telephone and asked to look at an online version of Kansas University's new logo. In his view, the two schools' logos are just a little too close for comfort.

"I don't see the two schools getting in a battle. I don't think we're fishing in the same pond for students," he said. "But if we don't police it, then it becomes public domain and we're both hurting then. I just think we need to have the legal people chew on this bone."

Both logos display the upper-case letters "KU" in a variation of the Trajan font, with the leg of the "K" swooping down underneath the "U."

David Johnston, KU's director of marketing, said he doubted it would cause anyone to actually confuse the two schools.

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"We're not concerned about it. We find it curious," Johnston said. "Unless there's confusion in the marketplace about who is KU and what is the home of the Jayhawks, then we're not overly concerned about it."

Paul Carttar, executive vice chancellor for external affairs at Kansas' KU, called the similarity "unfortunate." But he said he believed the school was on solid ground, in part because since 1979, Kansas University has owned the federal registered trademark for the letters "KU" for any higher-education uses.

He said that during the process of choosing the new logo, the school's intellectual-property attorneys gave the green light to the new look.

"This is a humorous situation, but nevertheless we are very confident of the strength of our position," he said.

The announcement of KU's new logo earlier this year came after more than a month of gathering feedback on four finalist designs, both in meetings and online. The finalists were chosen with help from LandreyMorrow, a Portland, Ore., firm that was paid $88,900 for its work, which also involved creating a 53-page set of standards detailing how the logo should be used.

Some people have criticized the spending, but KU leaders say they believe they got a good value, given the size of the bids submitted by other firms.

Still, Breeze said his school's logo overhaul, which preceded Kansas University's by about two years, also included a 60-page set of design standards. But Kutztown U's logo cost only $20,000.

Adrian Gonzales, a KU freshman from Shawnee, said of the two logos, "If you didn't look at it that closely, you wouldn't know there was a difference," he said.

The logo on the left is for Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. The one on the right is for Kansas University. Both display "KU" in a variation of the capitalized Trajan font, with the leg of the "K" swooping underneath the "U."

The logo on the left is for Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. The one on the right is for Kansas University. Both display "KU" in a variation of the capitalized Trajan font, with the leg of the "K" swooping underneath the "U."

But he said KU's logo change didn't matter much to him, and he said he didn't think the similarity between the two schools' logos was a big deal.

The same goes for Keith Erney, 22, a senior at Kutztown University contacted by telephone Thursday.

"What do I care?" he asked. "It's so far away."

He said he wasn't even that familiar with Kansas University.

"I have heard of it. Your colors are, I guess, purple and white?" he said.

- 6News reporter Brooke Wehner and staff writer George Diepenbrock contributed to this report.


Tom Jones 12 years, 8 months ago

I think this is so funny. Kansas spends $88,000 and the logo looks like something that could have been done in MS Word. I mean, look at Kutztown. They only spent 20,000. What a great use of taxpayers and KU's money...

galfromku 12 years, 8 months ago

too stupid to even waste a good comment on this...

lunacydetector 12 years, 8 months ago

k.u. set an example as to why throwing money at education is worthless. after all, wasn't it a group of faculty that picked the new logo and justified its expense?

when k.u. complains that they need more money for this or that, just remember the new logo (though the logo's cost was supposedly picked up by private donations - i'd like to know who those people are and read THEIR approval).

amandacorbin_377 12 years, 8 months ago

My husband majored in graphic Arts at Kansas University and now has a professional job creating logos everyday. He has reviewed this logo and stated that it would have taken him around 45 minutes to complete. Why would the University spend so much money getting this done by a "highly recommended agency" when they could have recruited someone with a similar background as my husband that graduated from KU to do it for 1/3 of the cost. There are so many more important ways this money could have been sent. It is just very disappointing.

neopolss 12 years, 8 months ago

88,000? Man, fire on IE and pick a font for cheap. I'd understand if the letters had swords and angels, or some other artistic crap weaved intrically into the letters, but as it is - this is a joke.

rtwngr 12 years, 8 months ago

Kutztown, PA versus Putztown, KS. That's how the University of Kansas should feel after buying this bill of goods. I could sell the university one of my bridges, Brooklyn or Golden Gate, and they could use it to generate revenue for the school.

Topside 12 years, 8 months ago

Ottr, you and I can be consultants. Let's call KU and offer to fix their logo problem for 50,000 and spend about 1/2 hour on Corel Draw and Ka-ching! laugh all the way too the bank. THe, admin. at KU got what they deserve for trying to fix something that wasn't broke! Private funds or not...BIG WASTE.

lovely1 12 years, 8 months ago

I bet noone knew this logo was going to cost 80grand to produce. And why did we change the old logo?? To be in with the popular crowd or something?! I hope they're satisfied. We fit in now.
Hey kuhwk80 :) how's life?!!! :) haven't seen u for a while.

Topside 12 years, 8 months ago

Dear KU, Next time you get a genius idea to change a logo or policy remember these three little guidelines:

1-Don't pee into the wind 2-Never wake a sleeping baby 3-Don't fix what ain't broke

This whole logo thing wast the biggest RIP-off in history, no doubt! A distant second would be the US buying Alaska from Russia...distant. There isn't anything about those designs you couldn't have gotten from a high school art class within 1 hour. Those were the mose un-origional set of logo designs I have ever seen, hands down. I'm glad someone's grandparent worked forever to build up a huge chunk of change only for it to be SWINDLED by some consultant. "Hey Grandpa can I have a car for graduation?" "No I have to donate money to KU for some worthless crap that even an idiot with an etch-a-sketch could design.
Topside is gettin' upset!

Jamesaust 12 years, 8 months ago

Imagine the reaction if George Bush had pulled off this clunker.

klthompson1 12 years, 8 months ago

FYI kuhwk80---tax dollars did not pay for the consultant.

glockenspiel 12 years, 8 months ago

Im now taking orders. University logos for sale: $88,000 off if you order now.

donsalsbury 12 years, 8 months ago

I still don't understand why they didn't have their School of Fine Arts students just enter a contest, for the 'prize' of having their work used for 10 years (until they decide to change it again)....

Good ol' Kutztown. I once was chatting online with someone and told them I went to KU. She said, "I do too! Which part of Kutztown do you live in?"

bearded_gnome 12 years, 8 months ago

hey, I have an idea, let's have the KU law school file a lawsuit to protect Kansas university's logo from Kutztown's enfringement, spend another $88grand! and, the Kutztown U actually has the nerve to have the "golden bears" least one team in Calif already has that... now, let's come up with a new logo and mascot for Kutztown...after all with a name like kutztown maybe they should be the KU butchers? or, the Kutztown surgeons? ... how dare they have their cheap imitation of Kansas' logo first.

Dani Davey 12 years, 8 months ago

Just to be the lone one not ripping in to KU,

(1) The 88 grand was private donations which means that it didn't at all come from tax payers and private donations are generally earmarked for certain things so it probably couldn't have been used for anything else.

(2) Most of the money went into the expansive PR Research campaign they did to survey a large sample of students and alumni to get their input into the new logo.

I don't see why everyone cares so much. If there's an alumnus out there willing to shell out 88k for something like this then what difference does it make?

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 8 months ago

O-Bob...why should KU eradicate the mountain lions? What did they do to you? Cat killer...

dirkleisure 12 years, 8 months ago

Anytime 88 grand in "donations" is spent on a fool hardy project, that means tax dollars are needed to make up for $88,000 that isn't spent wisely.

KU is a taxpayer supported public university. No matter the source of the funds, it is taxpayer effort that paid for this disaster, and apparently paid $60,000 too much.

Arguing that it was private money is a fool's argument. Anytime money is wasted on such a project, worthy projects either suffer or are paid for by jacked up tuition and increased requests for tax dollars.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 8 months ago

I'm usually very quiet (haha) but this is just unacceptable to me.

"$88K for logo" "$500K for new gateway" "Chancellor gets 3% raise"

Sure, this may all be private money, but it's kind of like when the CEO drives up in his Ferrari parked next to your used car the day after you are told there will be no raises this year AGAIN. As much as college costs are rising, I would think an image of frugality would be in order on the part of the University. Sheesh.

kuslave2 12 years, 8 months ago

Great article on KU's waste of time and money.

But here is some more stupid. The link below is to KU Dining services (Lawrence KU) logo, and it uses similarities from both school logos.

This logo is currently diplayed in all the Kansas University dining halls/Unions. Go check it out and compare it to the other two here in this story.

LawrenceBoy 12 years, 8 months ago

I commend the LJW for pursuing this story. I still think they should dig a little deeper. 80K+ for the new identity system is the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of people spent thousands of hours on this project. How much did that cost? Meanwhile, KU looses ground in the rankings, spends more money on buildings, and still can't adequately compensate and its employees.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 8 months ago

Yes, LawrenceBoy, I agree with you. And I commend them for making it front page news.

Lots of administrators bailing out recently. Wonder what's coming that we don't know about yet???

bankboy119 12 years, 8 months ago

Know what else is interesting about the rankings? EVERY year that prices have gone up KU's rankings go down because the quality of the campus doesn't get any better. Just because their getting more money doesn't change anything because it just mean more money gets wasted. Same thing with government.

pgeek 12 years, 8 months ago

Hope part of the $88k did not go to the trademark attorneys who cleared the mark ...

Kookamooka 12 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure the KU Chancellor is a Republican NOW! This is such a Republican thing to do. Spending 80K on a 5.oo logo. Find out if the "consultants" who spent the 80K were in anyway "related" to some mucky muck at KU. Thats how to get to the bottom of this one!

Tony Kisner 12 years, 8 months ago

This is a simple reminder of what happens at an institution full of egos that believe they are the smartest people in the room. I think this $88K would be small potatos if the spread a little sunshine on the rest of the orginization. Which will never happen. (maybe they are smarter than the rest of us!)

glockenspiel 12 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure the KU Chancellor is a Republican NOW! This is such a Republican thing to do.

Actually, the Republican way would be to buy Kutztown Univerisity, and then take their logo.

Most of the money went into the expansive PR Research campaign they did to survey a large sample of students and alumni to get their input into the new logo.

Does it cost 88,000 to put up a survey on the website and have some students walk around with some surveys?

Don't see myself donating money to KU anytime soon...

Tony Kisner 12 years, 8 months ago

Oh Solomon, maybe we should split the logo in two. Each school taking half, and see how it goes.

avhjmlk 12 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, the University of Kansas is probably safe with this one because of the trademark--good comment, Solomon. I also agree that the unified identity thing is good.

However, this does harken back to when Free State High School opened, and we discovered that the company hired to design the new Firebird stole 60% of the Temple University Owl, changed some colors and the length of the tail, and voila! We had a Firebird, which then had to be changed.

del888 12 years, 8 months ago

I have the Trajan font on my computer - bought it from Dell for $825. They (KU) should have just bought a new computer and they could have had access to all the fonts! I would demand a refund from the 'artist' who created this joke!

lunacydetector 12 years, 8 months ago

Solomon says: "The stationery and business cards that the various schools, deans, etc. use will present the same, controlled image of KU. This will create a "brand" identity. In addition, there will be strict standards of how the KU logo, the Jayhawk, and other graphics will be used, printed, etc."

i thought the k.u. jayhawk was identifiable enough. just imagine the expense for all the new business cards, stationery etc. printing ain't cheap. who picks up the tab for all the printing anyway? private donations? i doubt it.

on another matter, why does the state of kansas have to print the governor's name on EVERYTHING? imagine the savings if THAT wasn't deemed necessary.

it must be nice working in government, able to spend, spend, spend anyway you like.

mlb8383 12 years, 8 months ago

I don't understand what all the confusion is about...I can tell the difference between the two logos and so could a 3 year old. The Kutztown logo obviously has a longer stem from the K that goes all the way under the U where as KU's logo just has a short stem from the K that doesn't even make it half-way under the U. I wouldn't even call it "swooping down underneath the U". Oh well.

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