university_arkansas_logoOld Main is getting a makeover – at least in terms of how it represents the university in graphic form to global audiences.

A new University of Arkansas logo was unveiled Tuesday, March 3, by the office of university relations, which has led a nine-month redesign effort. The logo serves as the graphic identity for the university, and for the past 20 years has consisted of an image of the north tower of Old Main with the university’s name inscribed upon it.

The new mark, which officially will be adopted by the university on July 1, 2009, continues use of the familiar north tower, but separates out the words “University of Arkansas” and places more emphasis on “Arkansas,” along with other elements that refer to university traditions.

“When the current logo was created in the late 1980s, video applications were limited and the Internet wasn’t even a remote consideration,” said Tysen Kendig, associate vice chancellor for university relations. “The horizontal line treatment of the old logo, which worked in some print applications, was problematic with some electronic media. Our logo had ceased to be functional and no longer represented us as the nationally competitive flagship university we’ve become.”


In an effort to be sustainable and cost-efficient, the time leading up to official adoption will be used to phase-out existing materials bearing the old logo, including letterhead, business cards, publications and other printed documents.

The new logo will not replace the university seal, which is used on official documents such as diplomas, or the Razorback, the official spirit logo intended exclusively for athletic purposes.

Chancellor G. David Gearhart asked university relations to manage the design change in-house, noting that estimates from outside firms ran as high as $200,000 with no guarantee that the campus community’s opinions would be fully considered.

“Changing a logo is an enormous undertaking,” said Roy Cordell, director of visual and creative services for university relations, whose team led the redesign process. “People have an emotional tie to the university’s logo, so we took great care to make sure we considered as many viewpoints as possible in creating the new look.”

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