Out with the new, in with the old

The logo (left) introduced last fall has been replaced by the iconic athletic logo. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/JOE HICE

The short-lived academic logo has seen its final days.

After two months of deliberation, Vice President of Communications and Marketing Joe Hice announced in an email Monday morning to members of the USF community that the university is surrendering its lime-green Bull design, which was in existence for only eight months.

“We know that the feedback comes from a place of great pride and passion for USF, and we have listened,” Hice said in the email.

The 15-year-old athletic Bull U design will now act as the academic logo as well.

The change will come at a cost — about $1 million to be exact.  

It will cost $8,300 to change the logo in the “A Future Without Limits” marketing campaign, $450,000 to change the signs on the USF Health building downtown and thousands to reverse banners and merchandise elsewhere.

After months of backlash and resistance from a large segment of students, alumni and community members, the USF marketing team, the Board of Trustees (BOT) and President Judy Genshaft made the final decision to scrap the design three weeks ago.

Hice did not speak to President-elect Steve Currall directly, but Genshaft and the BOT informed him of the change and he is fully supportive of the switch.

After spending nearly $500,000 on the Homecoming Week launch, merchandise and advertising, it poses the question: Why the change now?

“We decided to get through graduation so we didn’t take anything away from the 7,500 kids who worked so hard — we decided to announce the change after,” Hice said in an interview with The Oracle.

Based on future expenditures, including painting of the on-campus water tower, Hice said it would have cost the university even more if it decided to wait any longer.

“We wanted to stop spending before we got in too deep,” Hice said.

Students and alumni were not shy in expressing their distaste for the color, as well as the design, since the logo debuted. Many felt that it was a copycat of investment management company Merrill Lynch’s logo.

However, Hice said after speaking with the company's legal team early on, that was not one of the factors involved in scrapping the design.

According to the email announcement, implementation of the Bull U will begin immediately and gradually unfold throughout the summer.

“We’ve always loved the Bull U,” Hice said. “It will be easy to make the change from the new Bull to the iconic Bull U.”