UGA’s Rebranding Effort

As a die-hard Auburn fan, you don’t normally find me raving about something that the University of Georgia did. But as a creative director, I’ve got to send kudos to the Bulldogs for UGA’s recent rebranding effort.

While Georgia alumni may want to cling to the familiar look and feel they remember, the old mark had issues. Its delicate lines felt overly thin, even fragile. The old, narrow horizontal rules didn’t reduce well. And UGA’s iconic arch sat on top of the logo, instead of being integrated into the mark as a whole. On top of that, the university’s brand integrity had become disjointed and disorganized. Pieces and parts of the UGA brand (arch, colors, etc.) seemed to be pulled apart and used randomly, with little continuity from one to another – especially when compared with the high-integrity logos of rivals GA Tech and University of Florida.

The new logo is a great improvement.

Look at how that same iconic arch has been kept as a central focus in the new brand, while its silhouette was revised – barely perceptibly – so that it will stand out against the shield behind it. And the typography is, bolder, stronger and more legible than the previous font. The serif still has the classic qualities you’d expect at a more than 200 year-old university, but feels modern and updated.

I’m especially impressed by how attention to small details makes this updated brand so successful. Consider, for instance, how the triangular indentations at the base of the arch columns help project the arch into the foreground. In a sea of university shield logos, UGA’s choice to focus and hone legacy elements from the previous mark while adding a timeless, legible typeface makes this new mark stand apart.