Archive for Thursday, September 7, 2006

Free the Jayhawk

A new logo in a Trajan typeface and KU blue: $89,000. The Jayhawk on faculty and staff business cards: priceless.

September 7, 2006


The Jayhawk is back in business - at least on business cards.

As part of Kansas University's overhaul last year of its "visual identity," the famous mascot was banned from all academic uses, including departmental stationery and business cards. The happy 'hawk was deemed appropriate for use by the KU athletic department and the KU Alumni Association but was determined to be too frivolous to carry the university's academic banner. For that purpose the university adopted the stylish, if unoriginal, blue "KU" with an elongated leg on the "K."

Not so fast, said many KU faculty members who were attached to the distinctive Jayhawk on their business cards. At least one business school professor balked at the logo order, created his own business cards and said KU officials would have to "come pry them from my cold dead hands."

Clearly this was a serious matter, not only to Jayhawk lovers but to the KU administrators who continued to try to enforce the visual guidelines.

Finally, after a year of trying to erase the Jayhawk from academic business cards, cooler heads have prevailed. It was announced this week that KU will loosen its policy and give faculty and staff the option of using the popular Jayhawk on their cards.

What a relief.

Putting the Jayhawk back on business cards isn't exactly an earth-shattering decision, but the issue was elevated by the fanfare that accompanied its initial ban. The university's new logo was the product of a long process that included paying a consulting firm $89,000, and KU officials apparently were determined to put their new blue KU to good use.

Fortunately, returning the Jayhawk to business cards occurred with significantly less fanfare this week and apparently at no additional cost to the university.

The best things in life are free.


roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 9 months ago

I could use a few consulting jobs like that.

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