UC’s New Logo

The University of California system recently introduced a new minimalist logo to be used in school media. Many were offended.

Old logo on the left, new on the right

UC’s intention was clear. The bright logo – changed after 144 years – will serve as the first stepping stone of the path towards a more minimalistic and modern look they hope to use in all their media. The old logo will still be used in official documents, which shows that they understand that the new logo:

  1. Does not carry enough authority
  2. Will not be a permanent change

Aesthetic elements aside (for now), I think the logo fails at its most basic purpose of communicating what it stands for. The notion that the fading C is enclosed in a U is not intuitive whatsoever, partially because the shape of the U resembles that of a shield (especially given the context that it’s a university logo, a coat of arms). Color choice doesn’t make it any better, since the contrast of the soft blue and the prominent C makes it seem like the U is meant to be a backdrop. I have an inkling that if the colors were flipped both letters would stand out equally.

On the aesthetic side? Now that I’ve heard the comparison, I can’t stop thinking of the new logo as an illustration of an egg yolk being flushed down a toilet.



Project 3 – Starbucks Express(o)

For project 3, we had to redesign an interactive process on campus with the help of an app. Our redesign, Starbucks Express(o) started out as a preorder app for the Starbucks in the CULC. The idea was to create a way for students to order and pay for a coffee before their classes ended, and pick up their drinks on their way to another class. However, after talking with the employees at the Starbucks we found out a couple of things:

  • This is the busiest Starbucks in all of Atlanta, so a Starbucks preordering system would help out a lot…
  • … if it weren’t for the fact that it would be impossible to implement given regulations (the milk can spoil, they would need twice the equipment, etc)

We ended up modifying our app to be a preordering system for a limited menu and no immediate payment. After the user orders, they receive a QR code which contains their order info. Once at the CULC Starbucks, they go up to a separate counter with a single barista making drinks. The user scans the QR code at the stand, after which they are charged for their drink (in order to prevent the scenario in which a drink is never claimed or paid for, as well as the scenario where a person pays for their drink but can’t pick it up because the line is too long).

Being the sole CS major in my group, I made a basic Windows Phone app that shows the flow of the drink-ordering process. It was my first app ever, so it was really cool to see it on my phone. I’d like to keep on working on it too: eventually I want to have the full menu with a nicer UI, and maybe add a calorie-counting component to it.

Below is the video my group (Team Ratio) made for our presentation. I’m very happy with how it turned out – my teammates did a great job with it! 🙂

Yet Another Tea Bag Design

I promise I’m not actively seeking out tea bag redesigns!!

A friend shared this on his facebook today. They’re tea bags reshaped to look like t-shirts on a hanger, a concept that is carried out to the packaging as well.


Cute little t-shirt tea bags!


The creative packaging – a closet


Hanger on the edge of a cup

Compared to the other two tea bag designs I’ve posted about, this one gets bonus points for integrating the idea across all fields: the object itself, the packaging, and its functionality. Unfortunately, in the last picture it’s obvious that the bag attaches to the cup in a somewhat awkward way. It looks flimsy, and very prone to fail if I attempted to take the cup of tea anywhere else. Even if the hanger is made of a sturdier kind of paper, it doesn’t look like there’s enough material on the other side of the hook to keep the tea bag securely attached.

Bathroom Soap Dispenser

Recently came across this interesting redesign of a soap dispenser. The idea is that less soap is wasted by having a bar that is grated to produce small soap shavings.

While I like the concept, I see a couple of issues with it:

  • Only a certain size of soap could work with these
  • The shaver could get stuck once the soap starts drying out
  • People might steal the soap in a public bathroom

Interesting idea though!

New Wendy’s Logo

Wendy’s recently updated their company logo. It’s the first time they’ve redesigned it since 1983.

Old and new logo

While official reports say that this is ” intended to signal its ongoing transformation into a higher-end hamburger chain”, I think it’s contradicted with the overly casual font and the curved alignment of the letters. Furthermore, the  shading in Wendy’s new hair might make the logo look strange when it’s printed on small objects or put on employee’s clothing.

Maybe it’s just the reluctance to change that’s causing me to say this, but although the old logo wasn’t perfect or exactly up-to-date, the new logo can hardly be considered an improvement. I found it surprising that the old logo was almost 30 years old – I highly doubt that the new one will have that kind of longevity before it’s considered outdated.