A second cut at a new UC logo

No one is ever going to confuse me with a graphic designer, even in very dim light. But starting with Mike’s suggestion of a Fresnel pattern to pun on “Let There Be Light” and switching to a Moire, I came up with this. No, it doesn’t say “University of California.” It doesn’t have to, because we’re the farking University of California, and if we make this our logo people will recognize it.



Of course anyone with superior skills and tools – that is to say, nearly anyone – could easily do better. This thing is too dark and too contrasty. But I claim that this does, as the other thing does not, look as if it might be the logo of someplace whose logo you’d care about.


  1. Ferd says

    An androgynous, brainiac surfer, reading a book while hanging ten inside a perfectly curling “C” wave, man.

    There’s gotta be a surfer inside the “C”!

  2. Michael O'Hare says

    Crop a third off all four sides and render it in campus colors, and I think this has legs

    • Mark Kleiman says

      Why crop it? I’m not disagreeing, just asking.

      Do we really want this in color rather than what seems to me the more elegant b&w, which is also easily adaptable across media and cheap to make letterhead out of?

      A volunteer to work on this?

  3. Mrs Tilton says

    I think I saw that poster on a collectibles site. From the Fillmore, right? Let There Be Light were opening for Moby Grape, as I recall.

    • Andrew Sabl says

      James, you’re mistaken: the new unofficial slogan of UC is not “donations gratefully received” (we tried that already) but “let there be light–customized to corporate specifications on request.” But a matrix barcode is certainly an apt symbol for the latter as well.

    • Altoid says

      Not just any matrix barcode, but QR code with auto donation forwarding. It’s about the right shape, it’s modern and forward-looking, it’s social-media friendly, cheap to reproduce in all media, everybody knows what it is. And it’s highly symbolic.

      • Warren Terra says

        I suppose it stands to reason some QR codes will look like recognizable objects and letters (or they will if you stare at them long enough, or if you stare into yourself long enough). I wonder if there’s a special mechanism to get assigned one of those.

        • says

          Come on, geek readers! The actual message only takes up a small portion of the Aztec matrix. The rest you can fill with black-or-white bits that don´t have a barcode meaning but create your pretty Californian pattern. Even the hagfish upload icon if you insist.

          • Warren Terra says

            Speaking of the “hagfish upload icon” – don’t miss the animated GIF made from it that Justin linked (and possibly he made?) in a comment to the previous thread.

            Also, RE QR codes: what are the rules about overlaying a black-and-white QR code over another color? I bet you could make the code still work fairly well using yellow or a light shade of grey, while achieving an artistic effect.

            On the other hand, QR codes probably aren’t necessary. Google Goggles or similar competing products should be able to identify any prominent logo.