UK unveils new logo

UK spokesman Jay Blanton announced that UK would retire the logo featuring the silhouette of Memorial Hall at the December Meeting of the Human Resources and University Relations Committee on Tuesday.

Blanton said the decision to rebrand the university was directed by President Eli Capilouto and Provost Tim Tracy about two years ago.

UK’s Lexington-based branding partner, Cornett, worked with a design firm, Pentagram, to develop the brand. Blanton said UK HealthCare and UK Central Administration paid about $80,000 for the service.

The new logo resembles the interlocked U and K used by UK Athletics, and would be used by faculty, administration, colleges and departments on their letterheads, in emails and in other instances of using the UK brand.

“There is awareness and equity in that brand,” Blanton said before the board on the recognition of the interlocked UK logo. Blanton said the goal of the project was to  “more consistently represent the university’s brand.”

The proposed changes will go into place Spring semester of 2016, but it will be not be an overnight change, Blanton said. There are spots on campus where the old logo is etched into stone or concrete, or is on permanent signage. Those logos will not be removed, Blanton said, because they are part of the university’s history.

Some examples of the logo around campus:

“For example, next semester when a college or unit orders new letterhead, because they have run out of their current supply, they will order as they always do from a printer and we will have supplied them with the new logo,” Blanton said in an email to the Kernel.

Because of this gradual approach, there will be no additional costs to the departments.

David Coomer, the chief creative officer at Cornett, said the new logo acts as another part of the ongoing campus transformation, with new dorms and new classroom buildings.

Nike created the interlocking U and K, Coomer said, but said the logo is more than just a design, it is a way to unify three important parts of campus: HealthCare, athletics and academia.

“It’s about how that design can impact everything,” Coomer said. “That’s what’s incredibly special here, is the administration and their ability to work together and make great things. The logo is a part of it, but they’re transforming so much on campus. This is just one vessel that can help articulate that visually.”

The interlocking U and K strongly resembles that current athletics logo, which Coomer said can act as a recognizable and timeless symbol of the university as a whole.

“We talked to students, we talked to deans and we have been talking to what I call the campus communicators people on the staff level in colleges and departments who deal with graphic design and logos,” Blanton said. “We’ve had conversations throughout the process with a whole host of the constituencies on our campus.”

Blanton said students that were consulted reacted positively to the new logo. When asked about the response of the deans of the individual colleges, Blanton said that while they appreciated the creativity of individual logos, the consensus was for a uniform logo.