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Margin Notes

Waterloo logo – back to the drawing board?

The bold W symbol does "not resonate with enough or our stakeholders at this point," says the University of Waterloo's VP external.


According to an article yesterday in a local newspaper, University of Waterloo is reconsidering its new logo following widespread criticism of the new design (which I discussed in a previous blog post).

The reviews from students and some alumni and faculty were strongly negative, and prompted them to create a Facebook group for those against the new logo, which quickly gathered more than 5,000 members.

Now, Meg Beckel, vice-president, external relations, for the university, says in a statement in the university’s Daily Bulletin of Aug. 28 that “it is unlikely we can bring enough people on board to be successful” with the new logo. She continues:

“We understand that the bold coloured lines within the W symbol do not resonate with enough of our stakeholders at this point in our process. … We believe we should reconsider the symbol and engage our stakeholders in the process more broadly, since they have made it clear they are keenly interested in how we market this institution.”

I actually liked the new logo, but I’m not a Waterloo alumnus and have no emotional stake in the decision.

For the record, I asked our graphic artist on staff here what he thought. He said the new logo broke two cardinal rules for logos. First, a good logo should not have more than three colours. Second, he said, you should be able to shrink it way down, photocopy it and then send it by fax and it will still hold up and be easily identifiable. I think, based at least on those criteria, it did fail.

Léo Charbonneau
Léo Charbonneau is the editor of University Affairs.
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  1. Annie / September 18, 2009 at 22:51

    The first attempt at a new logo was quite miserable. The newer submission is more pleasant, but the student and alumni body should have been more involved right from the beginning. Unofficial polls like the one below are showing that the newer logo is being better received than the “laserbeam” logo:
    (this site is still open to votes regarding the logos)

Click to fill out a quick survey