May 19. 2013 2:15AM

UNH hires firm to redesign one of its logos

New Hampshire Union Leader

This logo featuring UNH's Thompson Hall will be redesigned. 

DURHAM - The University of New Hampshire has contracted with a New York City firm to redesign one of the school's logos.

"The president's Cabinet identified this project as overdue and crucial to not only recruiting efforts both in and out of the state but to the success of the next comprehensive campaign," university spokeswoman Erika Mantz said.

"We need to compete better nationally and internationally for students, and part of that is marketing," she said.

Mantz said the design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, New York, is handling the redesign. The firm has "created identities for many institutions of higher education, including New York University, Middlebury College and Cornell University," she said.

Mantz said the school is looking to redesign the logo that features Thompson Hall. She said the tower "does not represent an institution with three campuses and many online offerings. It was created for the last comprehensive campaign and was not intended to be the university brand."

She said the university seal will undergo a redrawing to make it easier to produce, but it will not change. The school's athletic logo, featuring a wildcat, the school's mascot, will not change.

Mantz said the redesign is expected to cost between $91,400 and $108,200. She said the cost includes the development of the new logo, the redrawing of the seal and guidelines specifying how the marks can be used.

The dollar amount was the subject of criticism from Americans For Prosperity: New Hampshire, which said in a release that the university's priorities are misplaced.

"We believe the priority of UNH should be to provide a quality education at the lowest possible tuition rate for the hard-working families of New Hampshire. Sadly, it does not seem that is the focus of UNH," Greg Moore, AFP-NH state director, said in a statement. "Instead, UNH seems intent on spending money on frivolous priorities that do not contribute to the quality of education to be received by their students."

The group is the same that criticized the university's spending $65 million over the last 10 years to pay professors on sabbatical and student groups that spent more than $2,000 to bring three current or former prostitutes and strippers to the university for a student forum titled "Sex Workers Rights are Human Rights."

But Mantz said the university is not using school or taxpayer funds for the logo redesign.

"The money comes from a discretionary fund of privately raised dollars," she said.

Mantz said university officials hope to unveil the new logo in the fall. Officials have not yet identified a preferred potential logo, she said.