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Which new Kansas University logo do you like best?

Asked at Jefferson's Restaurant, 743 Mass. on May 20, 2005

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Photo of Janele Huelat

“I don’t like ‘The Hill.’ I guess I like ‘Goudy’ the best. I think it looks professional and distinct.”

Photo of Rich Frankenberg

“I prefer ‘Volta,’ because it is a lot more simple than ‘The Hill’ and more bold than the other two.”

Photo of Kumiko Takahashi

“I like ‘Goudy’ the best. I just like the balance of it.”

Photo of John Smith

The Hill’ is a little overblown, ‘Trajan’ looks like we’re compensating for something and ‘Volta’ is too squat. I guess ‘Goudy’ is OK, but I like the current logo. It’s simple but effective.”


sunflower_sue 13 years ago

OK, Don't know WHY we need a new logo but my vote is for Volta. The "U" is messed up on Goudy and the other two are just not what one pictures when thinking "University logo". (Way too pretty...nice design...but we don't wanna say we're "pretty".) However, I agree w/ John Smith, Volta is a bit squat. Elongate the letters just a bit and we might have something.

GreenEyedBlues 13 years ago

I've always been a fan of the curvelinear... "The Hill" is my call. So John, Rich, and Janele had better get with the program. ;)

That aside, I LOVE Century Gothic font!

William_Rothgraeger 13 years ago

Admittedly, I find Trajan the nicest, but...

I have trouble lending support for spending $90,000 on what could have been accomplished in Kansas or at the University for cheaper or free. I'm not voicing anything that hasn't been said before, but given KU's "budget crisis," with annual tuition increases, less aid and laying off of CLAS instructors... what were they thinking? Contracting out to... Oregon??

Well, hey... maybe I'm overreacting. Every University has to prioritize... and everyone knows it was the revamping KU's "old" logo weighing heavily on the minds of the students that caused endless tossing and turning across Lawrence at night.

Fangorn 13 years ago

Agreed, why do we need a new logo? And $90,000! Yikes. If we must, let's go with Trajan and have a font named after a Roman emperor.

Jay Bird 13 years ago

I don't care what the new logo is, I just wanted to say good morning.

ms_canada 13 years ago

Good morning all - and a beautiful morning it is here in the far north. Have a lovely day!!!!

Ceallach 13 years ago

Good morning happygolucky.

Volta is revolting, looks like a badly done fraternity tattoo.

Goudy is too plain.

The Hill is a fun design, to me it says PARTY! Not desirable as the logo for official stationery. Parents and alums (all grown up and proper now) might frown.

Trajan is just right. Professional appearance with an ever so slight little twist on the K. This logo says,Hmmmm,a party? Well I really shouldn't, but . . .

raven 13 years ago

They have been working on these logos for quite some time. $90,000 I am sure it cost much more than that. The KU employees that have been working on these for months are still getting paid too so you have to figure that cost in, as well they flew all over the Midwest doing "focus groups". The logos all just say KU in four different fonts. That could have taken about 5 minutes to create. Why didn't they include the Campanille (sp?) or something else that really makes people think of KU?

ms_canada 13 years ago

Not that it is any of my business, I do like the stylized design of the Hill, but as ceallach says, perhaps not appropriate for an institute of higher learning. Trajan has a bit of style so I would go with that.

Topside 13 years ago

Anything , but "The Hill" I can live with. I agree with extreme_makeover that "the Hill" is a "little much". Matter of fact they all look pretty similar. I'm glad we paid an outside consultant for this. I could get a seventh grade art class to come up with designs this good or better. BTW what's that consultants' number I want a job with them. That must be a great place to do nothing and get paid for it.

Ceallach 13 years ago

omb: I was just preparing to post a similar question. KU has an excellent Art and Design department in the School of Fine Arts. Surely the school could find many places for the type of fees that are being paid. It is difficult to believe that the complete marketing campaign will come in at only $90,000. Also, what happened to the KU Endowment Association's catchy little slogan "KU First"? Guess admins in marketing forgot about that.

remember_username 13 years ago

Has anybody reading this really looked at KU "integrated marketing plan". As I understand it KU is going to use the methods used by commercial corporations to "advertise" the university and thus raise its status in the world of academia. The integrated marketing plan is a part of an overall strategy (and a large public part from what I can tell) to place KU among the top 25 public universities in the nation. So now we will spend near to 100K on selection of an attractive logo for our new "image". I shudder to think what will be next.

The thing that really makes me want to throw up is that the powers that be are probably correct and more can be achieved by marketing drones than can possibly be achieved by recruitment of inspired faculty or investment in research.

My vote - keep the old one and make it mean something.

Confrontation 13 years ago

For some reason, I just can't imagine any straight KU men feeling comfortable wearing a t-shirt with "The Hill" design.

a_jayhawk 13 years ago

As a graduate of KU's school of art & design (degree in graphic design) I find all the logos to be a bit weak. I, too, would've liked to see designs done IN-house before hiring people who know very little to nothing about KU and I have to say that focus groups don't do justice to the first-hand knowledge of the KU experience.

Raven: I'm with you--make the logo mean something, add KU's uniqueness to the logo because there are many KUs but only ONE University of Kansas. Why not have a logo that says more than the 2 letters?

The Hill is a nice mark but in no way does it have a collegiate feel. Volta is short and stubby and the serifs that connect the 2 letters are too tight...makes me tense. However those slab serifs are very strong if it weren't for their height insufficiencies.

My vote: ask for a do-over or at the very least some tweaking of a couple of these "first drafts"

Terry Bush 13 years ago

I hope KU budget folks are prepared to explain to the Legislators why they spent this money - with things being so tight. If the University really NEEDS a new logo, there had to be alternatives not explored. E.g. A "contest" among current students or even well trained computer geeks would have probably turned out better (and cheaper and more) options! $90,000 to provide how many choices? How is that amount justified when anyone with a modicum of artistic talent and a computer could come up with about 50 new ways of doing a font and these 2 letters? Was somebody asleep at the wheel when this expense got approved?? Of is someone related? Post Audit - are you listening?

enochville 13 years ago

Trajan looks the most professional and ivy league. It reminds me of the schools in the East. I think we should use this one when hitting up alumni for donations. It says academia to me.

Goudy, I think would appeal to the current students the most. It reminds me of Big and Baby Jay. It says fun and sports to me.

I agree with Raven that a rough sketch of the campanille behind the initials might look nice.

raven 13 years ago

I have not admit I am not familiar with Star Wars, which one is C3PO?

Topside 13 years ago

I agree don't fix what ain't broke!

Jay Bird 13 years ago

Where do I go to look at these logo's? I haven't even seen one. I must be in a cave or the force has clouded my vision.

GreenEyedBlues 13 years ago

$90K?!?! Forget all that! I am JUST fine with the current logo, just don't hike tuition 16%! Mother F.

It seems unanimous that people are threatened by the curves of "The Hill". "Gay gay gay", says Extreme_Makeover. Ha ha ha. I think "Trajan" is great, if nothing else because of its name. It's so hypermasculine.

So if you must, KU Marketing, go ahead and slap that on some mugs, spankies, and stationery and I'lll just have to continue to bury myself in student loans. At least I can sleep well at night knowing I attend a school with a sweet pointy logo.

Ceallach 13 years ago

happygolucky: you can also visit the University Relations site to get "the rest of the story" :)

gontek 13 years ago

Does the Goudy design remind anyone of the Kansas City Royals logo? I love the Royals, and the KC logo, but I think KU should distance themselves from that. Why copy?

I love how someone with a computer and photoshop can type two letters in several fonts, give some presentations, show off some color pallets, and send someone a bill for $90K. I am in the wrong business.

I also understand $90K is a drop in the bucket for KU. Only in America...

13 years ago

Are you kidding me that they spent $90k on those 4 designs? They aren't even designs really, they look like type fonts to me. Don't we have an art department that could compete for bragging rights or even a year's tutition if their design wins? $90k is just ridiculous...

Fangorn 13 years ago

Just a note: my understanding from the article is that this $90k was privately donated funds. But still, how many other more worthy projects are there for this funding? r_u is exactly right. They don't try to make the men's basketball team good by advertising. They recruit good players and work hard. An emphasis on recruiting good faculty and staff would be refreshing.

FlakeyT: Do you remember a song by the Bloodhound Gang from about 8 years ago called "Why's Everybody Always Pickin' On Me"? Opening lyrics: The morn' that I was born my old man beat up the doctor / He clocked the doctor cause the doctor said I looked like Chewbacca / The doctor said sir you're misled sir which infers you mistook me / I did not mean your lovely wife was shackin' up with a wookie.

gontek 13 years ago

the article one_more_bob linked to made me wonder, what is with the names? Why not call them options A, B, C, and D? Sure Trajan sounds strong, but 10 years from now, who is going to remember it is called "Trajan"? Also, by calling one "the Hill", it elicits a more emotional connection to KU, moreso than the other names, possibly lending it some bias. The other three are just the names of the fonts. The hill is really the only original design. Keep 100% of the focus on the "designs"... I am beginning to agree that KU is getting ripped off on this.

acg 13 years ago

You've got to be freakin' kidding me! Am I to understand that KU needs a new font for it's logo and they paid $90k to some lame ass company from out of state to come up with that? I could've done that, for free, in two minutes, on Microsoft Publisher! Is this something the school really needs right now, with tuition going up as high as it is? I admit I don't keep up with KU related nonsense very much, so I want to know, what moron is in charge over there?

Ceallach 13 years ago

sunflower_sue: I left a note for you at the end of yesterday's line.

Ceallach 13 years ago

acg: if you are trying to single out one moron from the "in charge" administrative staff, you will need to be more specific :)

Ceallach 13 years ago

omb: now that logo would be a designer's dream.

William_Rothgraeger 13 years ago

Yes, it was privately funded. It's nice that KU has some wealthy supporters, but maybe we should be trying to convince them to donate to... education.

KU can't hold onto quality professors without a decent paycheck, even with a stellar logo.

William_Rothgraeger 13 years ago

OK, the $90,000 comment was a slight exaggeration. To be perfectly fair, the bill was $88,900.

William_Rothgraeger 13 years ago

Ha ha, OMB.

When I made the comment early this morning, I didn't anticipate my loose figure would stick. So, just for accuracy sake, I thought I'd fix it.

Linda Aikins 13 years ago

I also have a huge issue with paying an out-of-state firm to do the logo, regardless of the funding. It just contradicts what we are trying to teach everyone - that Kansas is indeed as big as you think. I can hardly type that without laughing.

I personally believe there has to be someone who grew up with sunflower seeds in their diapers who could have come up with much better logo choices than these are.

Maybe we could have Trajan Hill Cheese?

Jay Bird 13 years ago

Thank's for the links. I like the one we have now better than those. If I had to choose, maybe that trajan one, I guess. Still like the one we have best.

Fangorn 13 years ago

happygolucky: you've given me an idea. How about we all vote for the current logo and then ask the consulting firm for the $90k back? I'm sure they'd give us a full refund if we asked nicely. (Now excuse me, I have to go talk to the pink kangaroo knocking on my front door.)

a_jayhawk 13 years ago

happy go lucky: and what logo would you be referring to? You said: "I like the one we have now" ... The jayhawk? because i think that is the only official logo we have at this time.

frankly, i see good reason for this new logo (to go with our jayhawk or to stand alone w/o j) because I don't especially like seeing a bazillion versions of "KU" slapped onto everything that stands still. I'd like to have a logo that somehow includes "K" and "U" but I don't think it needs to be limited to just those 2 letters and I definitely don't think we should dumb it down such as the firm in Oregon is suggesting.

I've said all that to say this: I'd rather have a bazillion versions than any of these 4. It's unfortunate.

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