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By Chris Hislop // Published on May 22, 2013

Looking for a new brand identity? Have $100,000 to spend on the launch of a new logo campaign? Great! We’d love to help you out… (Give us a call).

The University of New Hampshire recently hired well-respected New York City design firm, Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv ( to design the University’s new logo. The firm, noted for crafting some of the world’s most iconic brands – such as Mobil, National Geographic, Chase, Xerox, NBC, PBS, and many others – has taken a bit of heat (locally) with the release of an initial set of designs (which did in fact cost UNH an estimated $100,000).

It’s difficult to re-brand a strong personality’s identity. The University of New Hampshire has been in existence since 1866. It’s virtually impossible to appease to such a mass group of individuals that have strong ties to the organization (the same could be said for any established University for that matter).

Did this iconic firm miss the mark? What are your thoughts? How do you effectively re-brand a University? What’s the price of that effort? Would you drop $100,000 for a batch of logos that come across as a tad uninspired? That’s a lot of questions, but they should be asked. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Was the University simply looking for a name to attach itself to in their search of looking for a new identity? Look at the history of the firm’s design prowess. All of their marks are simple in their genetic makeup. Add a bit of color here, a letter (or word) there, maybe frame it… Boom. Done. Case in point is the MBTA logo, which they were hired to create. You know the one – a “T” in a circle – something someone could illustrate within an hour. But you must give credit… The MBTA mark is so basic and so simple that it would always be recognized. The mark became a part of Boston daily life.

There likely wouldn’t be much of a dispute if you put up your call of distaste for what is on display as new options of the University’s new logo. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. The bottom line is, it seems UNH got what they paid for. For better or for worse.

Sound off.


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