All the University of California wanted to do was re-brand its school with a fresh and contemporary logo. Instead, it has inspired a social media revolt.
The new logo features a small "C" nesting inside a shield-shaped "U." Formerly, the logo was a traditional-looking seal with an illustration of an open book. Although it was quietly introduced six months ago, the explosion of outrage is recent.
Students and alumni worry the new symbol will hurt the university system's reputation. The Los Angeles Times reports UC officials have been caught off-guard by the onslaught of negative responses and say the logo is being taken entirely out of context.
Among other things, critics say the simple and contemporary design looks like the loading symbol for a computer operating system.
"Upset that UC decided to ditch our 144-year-old Victorian seal to adopt a logo that looks like a toilet," wrote Teresa Tenfelter on her Twitter account, @TeresaRose10.
One critic suggested tattooing the logo image on its creators' foreheads as punishment. Another said it looks like an upset stomach.
Besides Twitter insults and a petition to restore the old logo , students and alumni have taken to Facebook and posted photoshopped toilet-flushing images of the symbol.
Jason Simon, the University of California Director of Marketing and Communications, said in a statement the new logo doesn't replace the traditional seal.
"The new mark was created as a part of our broader efforts to build awareness and support for all the things that UC does to make California (and by extension the world) better," Simon said in a statement published on the Change.org petition. "What we have tried to do is to create a mark that is iconic, flexible, and solid enough that it works to represent the UC system as a whole."