Thursday, February 13, 2014

Behold the New Logo


Behold the New Logo. 

The new Logo will be a screen 
upon which UU's will project all of their frustrations
 about how we think 
we are perceived in the wider world. 

It will also be the symbol of everything 
UU's think is wrong 
with the way the association is governed. 

It will be seen as symbol of everything UU to everybody UU. 

If you think we are too fuddy-duddy, then you see it as fuddy-duddy. 
If you think we try too hard to be hip, then that is what you will see. 

Does it look vaginal? Phallic? 
Depends on what you think we have too many of.  

Shouldn't something this important go to the General Assembly? 

Behold the New Logo
You Read It -- It Reads You.


14 comments:

Jamie H-R said...

Where was this announced?

Revolutionary Spirits said...

What's the history? Who designed it? Who decided we needed a new one?

Edmund Robinson said...

I guess I'll prove your point, Tom,by projecting my own feelings. I just posted this on Ron Stevens' Faith of the Free Site: I was kind of attached to the old one, before the birdbath. What I like about the old one is that the eccentric circles neatly show that Unitarianism and Universalism combined, but did not merge in 1961, for they were two different theological systems, one based on free will and the other based on determinism, and the theological differences have never been reconciled. This may be flashy and eye-catching, the flame looks vaguely Islamic,and there are two "U" s discernible, but I don't see how it speaks to who we are as a movement.

Suzanne said...

Ironically, I think it looks like both a penis and a vagina. And a missle.

Paul Dodenhoff said...

Having grown up in The Salvation Army, it reminds me of the young peoples group they had (maybe still do) called Torchbearers. And many fundamentalist and evangelical Christian groups of the '40s and '50s used a torch as a logo. Some still do. It doesn't look like the flaming chalice. I know it's supposed to have been an attempt to update and appeal to "millennials" and the sbnr crowd, but it doesn't scream, "Look, we're young and hip and you should check us out" to me. Then again, I'm way past the "millennial" stage...
I just showed it tomy 23 year old graphic artist / tattoo designer daughter who likes it from a graphics point of view but doesn't think it has so much of a youth appeal.

Steve Cook said...

I think this has even less power than any of the earlier iterations of the F.C. It's still a complete mystery to anyone not already in the club, but now not even recognizable as a flame in a bowl, which we already had to explain to the world. Now we first have to explain that it's supposed to be flame in a bowl, before we then go on to explain why a flame in a bowl should have any particular significance. Oh, and the big curvy things that look like--what? They're the letter "U," see? I suspect we've just made ourselves even a little more obscure than we already were.

However, any logo or "branding" is far, far less important than what people who are wearing it are doing. The UCC logo has been criticized as obscure from day one, but they have largely worn it well. We'll just have to work that much harder at it.

Joel Monka said...

Here's my projection: it doesn't matter what it looks like, it's still the perfect symbol of the UUA today. With all the issues facing us today, what do we spend time and money on? Branding and superficials.

Jeff said...

Oh my stars and garters.

Having gone through a number of redesigns and rebranding processes, from businesses to large organizations to universities, you never, ever take a new logo to a vote. It will be impossible to get a consensus behind any logo, and you'll end up with something way too watered down to be effective.

Andrew Young said...

I agree, the logo reflects back, showing you what you are worried about. And my worry is that our children and youth don't feel connected to the larger religious community of which they are a part. I've had families tell me that they bring their children to a UU church so that they'll know about all the world's religions and can pick the one they want when they get older. Over the past several years I've worked hard to help our children and youth realize that UUism is its own faith tradition with its own values and traditions. We are a religion, not just an interfaith organization, and the symbol of our religion is the flaming chalice. A symbol equal in weight, at least to me and to many other young UUs, with the cross, the crescent, the wheel of dharma, the star of David, and the pentacle. It is the symbol placed on military tombstones when UUs die fighting for their country. It's the symbol used by our sister denominations in Canada and the UK. It's the symbol people have tattooed on their bodies to show their devotion to their religious beliefs.

Now I don't really care which chalice we use. There are two or three available for UUs in the military. We can use the chalice with the circles, we can use the YRUU chalice, we can use the chalice with the starburst behind it, we can use the chalice that is made of two hands. But this new logo is NOT a chalice. At least it is unlike any chalice I have ever seen. As Steve said, it's not even obvious that it's a flame in a bowl (which I don't really consider a chalice, since it has no stem.) It is a torch in the middle of two Us (one of which is hard to even see).

I agree, the last logo redesign wasn't perfect and many folks didn't like it. I came to UUism in my 20s as an unchurched young adult, one of the "nones", the EXACT people that this new logo is supposed to be targeting, although I'm from the high school class of '99 so I'm not technically a millennial. When I came along the logo change had just happened, so I don't really feel strongly about the starburst chalice vs the chalice with the rings, but at least the starburst chalice was a chalice. It's not that people loved the last logo, it's that they want a chalice in their logo. The UCC logo might be criticized as obscure, but it still has a cross in it.

I want a symbol that I can recognize anywhere in the world and say "that is the symbol of my religion", and for me that is the flaming chalice.

Rev Sparky said...

Thank you Tom for your thoughtful post. This will be a nice addition to our iconography. I am sure people will use whatever of our logos speak to them most. Unlike some in our churches and in our ministry, I never thought anyone had to ask my permission to do the work they're called to do … I'm not that important. It is how we serve the holy that matters, not clinging to crusty notions of some romanticized past. I am sure we will have another new logo in the next five years or so, so if you hate this one, just be patient … As always, trying to honor our past while loving the dawning future more … in faith and support

Kate R said...

Put me down for don't really care and don't remember the last one so I don't know if I like this one better. Now can we talk about something else?

Mark Perloe, M.D. said...

From a flaming chalice to a flaming clitoris. A logo is irrelevant and I've never heard someone express I want to join your church, cause you've got a great logo.

John A Arkansawyer said...

I just now realized what this made me think of.

A few years back, our congregation went through the process of moving to policy governance. On looking back, I think we spent a lot of time and energy on that change which might well have been spent better differently, but we were growing and thought policy governance would serve us. That might have been, but then we shrank. Possibly we wouldn't had we been doing other things.

Now, it seems to me that policy governance is not serving us well. But spending the amount of time and energy we spent on getting it to get rid of it would be making the same mistake twice.

A logo isn't as important as a form of governance, but there's something here to think about. I liked the old logo well enough, and there's a lot to be said for continuity, visual and otherwise. Possibly it would have been better to spend that time and energy on something else. But spending time and energy on changing it back doesn't make any more sense than changing it in the first place.

Victor U said...

Very sensible comments on the new logo. For me the salient thought was that the logo is primarily for those outside our circle, not those already in. The new one is aesthetically OK, certainly better than that chalice with spikes, or, as I've called it, The Flaming Chalice of Guadalupe.