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No One Likes The New USF Branding. Why Didn’t Anyone Stop It?

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For once, we need to discuss the elephant in the room.

Last month USF decided to introduce an entirely new brand for the university. It went over very badly.

The first problem was that there was nothing that needed fixing with the old academic logo. It’s the same kind of logo most universities have.

Plus, the new colors are ugly, the bull logo is ugly, the font is ugly... no one likes it.

Well now the new logo is here, and it’s everywhere. It’s on flags...

And T-shirts...

And sweater vests that are about four sizes too big...

And advertisements at Lightning games...

And all over this new USF United website.

Check out some of the responses (more like all of the responses) to the social media posts that have gone out about the new branding:

Stepping into a new era at #USF usf.edu/united

Posted by University of South Florida on Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Uhhh, does anyone remember the last time USF called something a New Era?

Look at this! USF is getting borderline ratioed! When does that ever happen?

And rolling the new brand out at Homecoming? Inviting everyone to come back to campus to see this awful new logo splattered everywhere? Using the new “Ambition Over Tradition” tagline on a week that specifically exists to celebrate tradition? Telling the alumni that all our work and all our accomplishments in the world don’t mean anything, and our alma mater only cares about what’s next, and oh by the way please donate? The brand is insulting, and the timing is even more insulting.

How did this happen? How did USF end up moving forward with this new branding that, again, no one likes? Well, two reasons:

  • Judy wanted it.
  • Everyone at USF is scared to tell Judy no when she has a bad idea.

Why is everyone scared? Because Judy’s been here almost two decades, she’s accumulated a lot of power, she’s used to getting her way, and she’s proven she will retaliate and get rid of people who challenge her on things. There are plenty of people in a position to push back on this brand who won’t do it because they’re fearful of being Judy’s next victim. Even now, after she’s announced her retirement, they won’t do anything.

Oh, and if you think replacing the school’s academic brand with this Merrill Lynch looking-ass logo is bad, it could have been even worse. When the brand was introduced, sources told our Nathan Bond that originally this logo and these colors were going to be imposed on Athletics, too. Can you imagine if they had been made to throw away the iconic U, a logo that’s been around for 15 years, a logo easily identified with USF, a logo everyone really likes, and replace it with... this? That’s how far out of control this got, until Athletics finally drew a line. They were the only ones, but they shouldn’t have been. Everyone at USF and everyone who has seen this brand knows how terrible it is.

The entire plan with this rollout is to beat you down, you know. Present this hideous trash-pile logo and let everyone get really mad about it. (Of course, all your feedback and outrage will be ignored.) Then they wait a little while and then start flooding the zone with this stupid logo. Slap it all over everything. Make it seem inevitable. Make people give up caring and stop fighting. Then they win.

We all love USF like a member of our own families, and we’re not going to stop because of this. But this new brand is a terrible representation of our university. Are we going to have to wait until July 1 to get it out of here, or maybe not get it out of here at all? I’m not going to tell you to commit vandalism, or build your own Deathmobile and ruin the Homecoming parade over this logo. But if you hate this new logo and this new brand, keep doing what you’re doing. Ratio every tweet, every Instagram, every Facebook post with the logo in it. Don’t buy any merch with the new logo on it. Push back every chance you get. Be polite, but be loud and be persistent. Because USF belongs to all of us. Not just one person.