Student dissent following the unveiling of the University of Warwick’s new logo last week at the Students’ Union (SU) Societies’ Convention led to the development of an online petition.
Hiran Adhia, second-year PPE student, started an online petition following student anger at the University not consulting the students over the new Warwick branding and logo.
The petition calls for the University to halt progress on current branding proposals and open a full consultation for the student body, including an online opinion survey and an open student meeting.
This comes after the Warwick’s new logo was shown last week to members of Warwick’s society executive teams at the SU’’s Societies Convention by the University’s Head of Marketing. The revealing of the logo was met with groans around the room from the 300 students in attendance.
Warwick’s new branding will mark a visual change to the University’s brand, including a move away from Warwick’s current blue colouring, to a new shade of ‘Warwick aubergine’.
It was also revealed that the University had spent a total of £80,000 on developing the new brand.
The logo was supposedly designed as a “bold approach to its communications” and to avoid similarities with other universities. At the convention, the University’s representative cited the similar logos of the Universities of York and Exeter as part of the reason they decided to rebrand Warwick.
A document which has been released by the University, states: “The new brand tone of voice introduces the language of possibility into our written communication.”
However, the new logo was met with concerns from the student community. Many were annoyed by the cost, the design and the fact that the full student body was not informed of the rebrand.
Alex Shaw, a second-year Economics and Politics student, commented: “I hate it.”
He added: “It looks like a child has designed it. I fail to see how this represents Warwick at all. How is this an improvement on the last logo? How? It looks like it could be a logo for some mountaineering warehouse.”
Aneesha Mahil, second-year MORSE student, stated: “What is bold and inspiring about putting two triangles together?”
Miguel Costa Matos was disappointed especially with the cost he said: “Many of us think that the logo is awful. But it’s not about taste. It’s about spending £80,000 on a new logo when the last one served fine. This brand redesign shows reckless disregard for how money is spent. From scholarships to fair pay, I’d spend the £80,000 at least ten times over before even thinking of a rebrand.”
Particular concerns have also been raised that the University did not fully consult the student body.
However, the University’s report on the new branding states: “Especially our students have helped shape the new brand.”
It was stated at the Societies convention that 160 students were consulted regarding the development.
In response to this, Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy at the University, commented: “The 160 figure you quote was actually the total number of students, staff and alumni, in the initial focus groups which over of at third were current students. Students, alumni and staff together worked with the marketing team and designers to shape and select the designs to be used in the new brand.”
Mr Dunn claimed: “Student input has in fact been extensive and has gone far beyond simply being presented with a new logo to comment on. Students were the very first people asked to take part in focus groups to help create the new branding.
“There was also a special presentation to sports societies on the 3rd of March on how the logo would work with their kit in future as they come to renew it. That was attended by over 300 students.”
“There have also been to date 11 expo events held across the university open to staff and students which we estimated have engaged with between 250 and 300 people.”
These figures still represent less than one percent of the total university population.
Many have also taken to the ‘Overheard at Warwick’ Facebook group to voice concerns that the new logo does not match the reputation of the University.
On the group, many have taken the opportunity to design their own alternatives to the new Warwick logo.
These alternative designs include combinations of the logo with the Koan, insertions of the illuminati symbol and the use of triangular road work signs in homage to the University’s extensive construction projects.
The petition, supported by the Boar, has currently received over 4,900 signatures. The plight has received national coverage from the Guardian, the BBC, The Times and the Telegraph.
It also garnered support from students at King’s College London who also mounted a petition against their University to prevent a similar rebranding exercise in December last year.