After three years of planning, University releases new academic logo

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of UT Austin

After three years of planning, the University switched over to a new academic logo for use online, in merchandise and in other matters related to UT. 

The University debuted its new logo, which features a burnt orange shield with the word “Texas” to the right of it, last month. The logo no longer uses the traditional “The University of Texas at Austin” wording in full. 

The idea to alter the logo came about as the result of requests from different schools and colleges at the University, according to Kathleen Mabley, the director of brand marketing and creative services.

“We have lots of different logos around campus and for the different schools here,” Mabley said. “It doesn’t build the brand of the University as much if everyone looks different, and there’s not one consistent academic symbol. We created a system that symbolizes both the University and its individual schools and organizations.”

The logo’s design was inspired by the University’s official seal, which displays a shield in its center. The new shield has been slightly altered but also features a star, a “book of knowledge” symbol and 18 tree branches that represent the 18 schools and colleges at UT.

The logo will be implemented gradually, according to Mabley. University officials first began using it on brochures, and it is now
featured on University social media profiles and printed merchandise. Nine of the 18 University schools and colleges have adopted it as of Thursday. By the end of this year, Mabley said she expects many of the already-existent old logos around campus will reflect the new design.

Unifying the academic trademark is important for a large-scale University, said Allen Quigley, the assistant director for branding and marketing at the College of Liberal Arts.

“I think that with such a complex organization [like UT], you really need a consistent symbol,” Quigley said. “I see the need for it. Making all of the colleges have the same symbol is greatly beneficial. We’re all part of the same family.”

The new logo is only meant for academic branding and will remain separate from the official school seal and the athletic burnt orange Longhorn symbol. Schools, colleges and organizations do not have to adopt the logo unless they want to.

Some of the student reaction to the new logo has been negative, especially online. Radio-television-film junior Jeanine Hulst, who commented on the logo on Facebook, said she thinks the University has made a mistake in its new logo.

“Our school is a traditional and high-end school, and our original logo represented that well,” Hulst said. “I don’t think the new logo is appealing or sophisticated. I understand what the University is trying to do, but I think they could have done a better job.”