Tuesday, April 29, 2003

UH logos are a no-go
in Internet petition

An unscientific survey garners votes
against the finalist UH icons

An online petition has garnered more than 600 "signatures" urging the University of Hawaii president and its Board of Regents to reject the choices for a proposed systemwide logo.

Do you like
these logos?

Well, if not, here's your chance to design a better logo for the University of Hawaii. Send us your illustration. We'll run the best of the bunch next Sunday. Readers will be able to vote on which logo they like best --will it be one of the two official finalists (shown above) or one from a reader --and we will run the results on May 11. UH regents vote on their choice May 16.

Everyone who sends in a logo will be entered in a drawing for a $50 certificate for dining out.

To send us your design:

Email: (Please make attachments in JPEG format, less than 500K file size.)
Mail: UH Logos, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813. Color illustrations are preferred, no bigger than on letter-sized paper.

The petition was posted on the Internet Saturday night, and as of 6:30 last night, it had gathered a total of 624 "signatures," according to its creator. However, it was not known how many people were represented since some people could have signed more than once.

The creator, a "Concerned Citizen" whose identity was not revealed, stated in an e-mail that the petition was sent to a few UH students, faculty and community members Saturday night and "has taken a life of its own since then."

The petition states that it represents UH students, faculty, staff and community members who want the school to reject the "new proposed logos and return to the old logo, which is well loved and has served us with dignity and distinction." The "old logo" refers to the school's seal.

Paul Costello, UH vice president for external affairs, questioned the legitimacy of the petition, saying that UH President Evan Dobelle received an e-mail letter yesterday to confirm his signature on it.

Costello reiterated an earlier statement that the UH seal that is used for official documents is not a logo.

"It's sort of morphed into a logo due to the absence of a logo," he said.

Last week, the university unveiled two designs, one called "wave" and the other called "spectrum," for public comment. The Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on the new logo at its meeting next month.

Many petitioners said they are satisfied with the university's seal and that the proposed logos are a waste of money. Other petitioners complained that the money used to contract designers for the logo should have been used for structural improvements on 10 campuses that serve about 46,000 students systemwide.

Student Erin Kunimoto said: "$80,000? We don't pay tuition for it to be wasted on logo changes. Use it to improve our campus."

Some questioned why a mainland firm was awarded the contract instead of a local firm. Robert Rytter & Associates, of Maryland, was awarded an $82,000 contract to design the new logos.

Alumnus Ryan Ozawa asked, "How can a university ostensibly devoted to developing the best and brightest of local talents turn to the mainland for design work intended to convey island soul?"

Costello said, "We're doing this because we need to sell ourselves better, and we need to tell our story better."

He noted that seven of the 14 firms who bid on the contract were from Hawaii.

The decision to select Robert Rytter & Associates was based on the company's expertise, Costello said. The firm has worked with about 100 colleges and universities, he added.

The petition and its signatures are on the Web at


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