Never Say Never: UM-Flint Logo Revision


Me and my big blog mouth. Not too long ago, I staunchly defended my belief that the UM-Flint logo should never be changed.

In a blog post from August 2010 entitled “Old School Lessons from the Pepsi Generation.” It was a piece about Pepsi redesigning their logo, and consequently, sales plummeted. I have never been a fan of logo changes because I believe that in order for logos to really work, they need to build up brand equity over time. In my post, I wrote:

Time has strengthened the courage of my convictions. I am proud of our UM-Flint logo. I want to find and thank the people who designed and approved that logo. To those who want to see a changed logo, it won’t happen as long as I am the guardian of it. I have an abiding respect and admiration for the icon that has come to mean so much to so many.

Yeah, well…as they say, never say never.

Stubby Leg & Crazy Font

UM-Flint logo circa 2002

UM-Flint logo in use for longest period of time since 1956

UM-Flint logo in use for longest period of time since 1956

Official UM-Flint logo from 2008 to 2013

Official UM-Flint logo from 2008 to 2013

Current UM-Flint Logo

Current UM-Flint Logo

The UM-Flint logo is going to change. But it is a change I can believe in. Here’s why:

This change is part of a larger effort to unify all three University of Michigan campuses. When people would ask about changing our logo, I truly felt it was change for the sake of change, and it was something that only our campus would do. This is different.

This is a subtle, smart evolution that is happening for all U-M campuses, unifying the three while highlighting the important, distinct contributions each make to the overall University of Michigan brand. It always makes sense to be identified with the tradition of excellence that is the University of Michigan.

The changes that are occurring are:

  • a slight deepening of the traditional maize and blue colors
  • a new font for the word “Flint”
  • the loss of the line that separated the Block M from our home city
  • and the loss of the tiny register symbol—the “R-Ball” if you will

What this means for university departments is that the logo and some other graphics, including the wordmark and department logos, will also be getting a new, unified treatment to match those of Ann Arbor and Dearborn. All of this is going to be officially rolled out by Ann Arbor on March 28, 2013, and made available to all UM-Flint campus marketers, designers, and communicators on that date.

However! If your university department is planning to place any large print orders or invest in items that will have the UM-Flint logo on it prior March 28, please contact University Relations! We know how expensive it is to change logos, and we want to help departments be as cost effective as possible. If you have a huge stock of things with the soon-to-be-outdated logo, don’t worry. Don’t toss it, use it, and by the time you’re ready to re-order, the new logo will be available.

If you would like, our staff is happy to set up a meeting with you and your colleagues to discuss all the changes. Just let us know, and we’ll help you make the change.

Thanks and go (new) blue!