Hundreds of students are protesting against a new logo adopted by their university which they say they had no say over and have likened to Soviet propoganda.

Many undergraduates at Epsom’s University of Creative Arts (UCA), in Epsom, were left "deeply disappointed and irritated" last week when they found out the university had rebranded itself and changed its logo from a simple white and green image to a monochrome sign using matchsticks.


UCA, which has four other campuses, has said the project started 18 months ago when student focus groups told it the old logo was "flat" and "safe" and it did not "express the creativity for which we are known".

The university said it had also consulted staff and external organisations.


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Four agencies were invited to create a new design, with Spin - the company behind Channel 4’s famous television logo - selected.

But many have been left horrified at the new logo and a petition - "Revert back to the old UCA logo or provide an alternative" - started by first-year student Kathryn Young, 20, has already amassed 600 signatures.

She said: "People say it looks like a Swastika if you were to move the matches around. Dyslexics can’t read it.

"It doesn’t look like UCA. We want something we can read. It’s quite rigid and ugly.

"The money used to fund this rebranding could have been used for other areas at UCA.

"Management have expressed great pleasure at the stir they have caused, however they have in reality left many students past and present deeply disappointed and irritated.

"They went about it the wrong way and to some extent it could be argued they are still dismissing their students."

In an email sent to all UCA students on Monday, it said it was "happy to have sparked the debate" and has set up a blog for students to leave their views.

It said: "We’re never going back to the old identity.

"In fact, we will be removing it from all our campuses over the next two months or so.

"We’d like to encourage you to voice your opinions and continue talking, tweeting and blogging about it.

"Our students and staff deserve to be part of an institution that will take risks, challenge the conventions of education branding and receive the levels of praise, debate, commentary, criticism and attention that we’ve seen this last week."

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UCA's new brand can be adapted to produce a range of logos  

It said the project has been delivered on a "very modest budget" and the new brand will change as the university develops.

A UCA spokeswoman refused to reveal how much Spin was paid for the rebranding as it is "commercially sensitive" and said the cost of changing all its branding has yet to be agreed.

Simon Ofield-Kerr, UCA vice chancellor, added: "You’ll never have a consensus over what good design looks like.

"I’d be dismayed if there weren’t strong positive and negative views.

"No reaction would have meant we had chosen something dull and safe.

"We’ll certainly never go backwards by reverting to the old brand, that’s just not UCA."

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Spin has previously created designs for Channel 4, Channel 5 and Nike 

What people are saying on Twitter and website Creative Review:

"The new UCA logo looks like it just got pulled from a Soviet propaganda poster." - Matthew Barns

"Really nice branding. I am a 2nd-year graphic design student at UCA and I am very happy with this new style, a massive improvement!" - Jamie Bitmead

"Not overly keen on the new logo doesn't portray the atmosphere at UCA in my opinion." - Ben Bradford

"I like the strong Bauhaus influence - reminds me of their theatre programmes and catalogues. Makes sense to draw on the Bauhaus since it set the template for art schools and was also formed by a merger of institutions." - Decimal

"Terrible! I am a third year graphic student at uca and this logo is an embarrassment, a bit like the uni itself! Why outsource to a design company that have successfully created a worse logo than the old one making it look like something a primary school child designed when the uni has many designers who practice branding and logo design! If this was the best spin could do then they should be disappointed!" - Ryan Webb 

"I honestly don't like the new logo or re-brand for #UCA it looks dated, very 60s/70s, and is hard to read." - Amber Jade

"UCA spent apparently £0.5mill on a rebrand and the logo is so disgusting and they outsourced it." - Zoe

"Its ridiculous and a insult that @UniCreativeArts out source design and adverts, when the uni is built on creativity." - Danny Pallett

"My university has just changed their logo. I go to UCA not UCFI." - Design News

"The new UCA logo looks rather trendy for a change... Get rid of the green." - Jack Francis

"I am a design student from the United States, and I agree that UCA needed to be rebranded because when artists and designers are looking for a place to study, they are going to take the design and logo into consideration, especially since that is what many of them aspire to learn how to do." - Ashley Dooley

"The old logo definitely needed tweaking but I am unsure how I feel about this complete re-design. There are elements that I like such as the uniformity, the creative expression and how it can be developed over time and over different mediums. However, to me personally it still looks a little dated and I am not too keen on the stencil - I think the 'UCA' could be made clearer." - Jess B

"I do not want this as my student identity, it's terrible." - Luke Jane 

What do you think? Leave a comment below and contact Hardeep Matharu with alternative designs by emailing