University of Hawaii President Evan S. Dobelle Says Two Logos "Fail the Common Sense Test"

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Apr 30, 2003

University of Hawai'i President Evan S. Dobelle today announced that the two final designs for the new system-wide identity will be withdrawn from consideration due to overwhelming concern from the community.

"Quite simply the two logo designs do not meet the test that common sense requires. We have received a lot of negative feedback from a wide range of individuals," said UH President Evan S. Dobelle. "We heard loud and clear from the university community and citizens of the state that the designs do not characterize the spirit and uniqueness of the islands or the University of Hawai'i System. We are a public institution that exists by and with the trust of the citizenry. It's clear that we have to ensure that those who love UH will embrace the final design."

The university released two final designs for the new system-wide identity campaign on April 23, 2003. The UH webpage featuring the two logos received over 4,000 hits and over 1,200 emails were submitted with feedback. Approximately 40 percent were positive while 60 percent were negative. The next steps in the logo process will be discussed at the May Board of Regents meeting.

In the 2002 strategic plan, the university was charged with advancing the unique identities of each individual college while communicating the benefits of one integrated system. The Office of External Affairs and University Relations immediately began examining how each campus and the university system was perceived both internally and externally.

Research showed that UH‘s brand image was fractured with over 150 logos in use system-wide. They also found that the university had no distinct message or theme and that many programs failed to mention their affiliation with the University of Hawai'i. Without a consistent brand image, it was nearly impossible for audiences to recognize the values of the university identified by the strategic plan such as access, affordability, excellence, diversity, fairness and equity.