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May 25. 2013 12:10AM

Talk of UNH logo change brings out passions


The three logo designs proposed for the University of New Hampshire by a New York design firm. (COURTESY)

DURHAM — A "passionate and mixed reaction" to proposals for a new logo for the University of New Hampshire has prompted university officials to seek out more input from the community.

A statement released Friday from UNH President Mark Huddleston noted that the decision to redesign the current logo, which features the clock tower at Thompson Hall, has sparked "considerable creative input" from students, faculty, staff, alumni and others in the UNH community.

Huddleston announced the creation of an advisory panel of all such "stakeholders" to offer guidance on the issue. He said he hopes a decision on the logo change can be announced in early fall.

The university recently hired the New York design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv to redesign the logo. Three blue-and-white designs are featured on the UNH web site, and members of the UNH community have been weighing in on their choice — or rejection — of those three.

Huddleston said some also have offered their own logo designs, while others "would prefer no change at all."

Because of the impassioned reactions, UNH officials have decided to keep the comments period open through July 1.

Among the recent comments that came in from students and recent alumni about the three proposed designs:

• "Being an alum and current graduate student, I find it hard to pick a new logo because I love the current one. However, if I had to choose, I would pick concept #1. Thanks for allowing input!"

• "Those all look terrible compared to the current iconic logo."

• "My vote would be for the second logo, with the U holding the seal together and the N and H on the inside. It seems, to me, the most professional and collegiate. The third seems a bit too cartoonish?"

• "The first was lame and boring, and I wouldn't have known what I was looking at if someone hadn't said UNH. The second was unintelligible. The third is garish and really just looks awful."

• "I quite liked the third logo from the presentation; I think it is aesthetically pleasing and symbolically representative of, not only the school, but the state as well. I found the first two logos to be visually unappealing and lacking in creativity."

• "Logo #3: I like the fact that it incorporates the three grants that UNH has; however, the lack of the 'U' in the top left corner of the shield makes me feel as if we are advertising for the state of New Hampshire, not the University of New Hampshire. If the top left corner read 'UNH,' that would be a great choice to represent our University."

Huddleston said the reaction shows how deeply folks across New Hampshire care about its flagship public university and the symbols that represent it.

"UNH is a world-class institution competing on a national and international stage. We must present ourselves with real clarity and consistency both to our friends and to those who know little of our mission or aspirations," he said. "Like any serious enterprise in a competitive marketplace, we must invest in and manage our brand identity."

The university seal and athletic logo, which features a wildcat, will not change.

Information about the selection process and images of the proposed designs can be found at: bit.ly/unhgraphics.

Comments can be emailed to: nh.logos@unh.edu.

swickman@unionleader.com


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