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Reactions mixed to VCU’s new logos

A side by side comparison of the old and new.
A side by side comparison of the old and new.

VCU unveiled their highly anticipated new logo and visual identity series, and as expected, reactions have been mixed. Not surprisingly, the Rickabaugh Graphics design wasn’t immediately embraced by every VCU fan of all the cities of all the worlds. Many like it (myself included, I love it in fact), many don’t. But this was to be expected. Has anyone ever tried agreeing on a paint color with their spouse? Imagine how hard that is, then include all the other design variables outside of just simply picking a color.

Here’s just a sampling of the positive, the negative and the weird from the wonderful world of Twitter.

















About Mat Shelton-Eide

VCU School of the Arts (BFA '07) and Center for Sport Leadership (M.Ed. '10) alumnus, Mat has followed VCU basketball since the Sunbelt days when he'd attend games with his father. Worked as a graduate assistant in the VCU Sports Information Department for the '09-'10 season, but has covered VCU basketball for since 2007. Like what you're reading and want to know how you can keep alive? Make a donation! While we sell advertising on our site, we aren't the best at it, so your donation helps us take time away from things like "work" to work on FOLLOW THIS LINK to make a secure donation through PayPal.


  1. The new logos are awful.

  2. Here’s my challenge to the folks who hate the logo (especially those with backgrounds in graphic design): try to make one better. It’s one thing to dislike the logos, but instead of just bashing it, tell us…what would you do different? We’re the Rams, we’re black & gold, those two things have to be a part of the logo. If you think you can make a cooler version using those parameters, put your money where your mouth is, and attempt to do it. I’ll post all the designs in an article on this page.

  3. We have one of the top graphic design programs in the country and they paid WHO to design the logo? Not impressed VCU. GDES would have done a better job.

  4. “Here’s my challenge to the folks who hate the logo (especially those with backgrounds in graphic design): try to make one better.”

    Matt, does that person get $50K? How about $10K? Some onion rings at the Village Cafe?

    Look. You will never make everyone happy. But this thing is such a generic, corporate, lazy, Rickabaugh retread, I’m surprised they had the gall to charge VCU $50K.

    This is a difficult design problem to be sure and the athletic department did need an upgrade and more consistency to be sure. But the guys in Ohio were not up to the challenge.

    Surprised you like it. Your vids have a better design signal than this stuff.

  5. It is the logo going forward, sadly, so as I love VCU, I will learn to tolerate it.

    The disgrace in all of it, an Ohio company is responsible for this. What do they know about VCU, perhaps VCU should have used their undeniably awesome talent through the various VCU resources.

    Overall, the new VCU logo gets a C-, which is to say below average. Sad, first time in my life I thought anything at or about VCU is not well above average.

  6. twitter_spongebrick

    As an alum from the Graphic Design Department of this prestigious school, I am baffled as to why they chose this option. The logo is outdated and missed a big opportunity to utilizes its resources internally.

  7. I just posted this elsewhere:

    As a VCU alumn, and a graduate of the AdCenter (now brandcenter), I don’t mind the new look. These things are always controversial. Students always think they can do it better (usually they can’t – and they’ll have their opportunity to mess it up plenty with inhouse projects.) It’s the process that is generally to blame. 16 directions initially, a committee, and passionate fan base makes it almost impossible for it to be done without controversy. And most of the brand isn’t in the logo – it’s how it’s used. A year from now, you’ll all be proudly wearing it and nobody will remember there was ever a controversy. That being said, I wish the type was a bit better but it’s not bad. (Not a fan of the strokes you see on all the athletic logoforms). I would like for the horn and the V to fit better together, but I really like the secondary marks for the most part. I have news for people that think this ram looks like a goat – RAMS LOOK LIKE GOATS. I do think they should have gone with either a local supplier, or at least an alumni designer with chops. (Maybe they did – I haven’t researched it.) But for all the naysayers, you have no idea how hard, long, and bureaucratic this process can be – to get something that is this good is a rarity. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty solid.

    (My team just wrapped up a similar project and I can tell you – nothing about this is easy.)

  8. At noon yesterday I liked it. By evening I really liked it & this morning I love it! Can’t wait to visit the bookstore.

  9. No. Just plain no. No. The logo has somehow lost it’s pizzazz. And I agree that the horn on the V in the primary marks doesn’t seem to mean anything. I know you tried, but I will continue to wear the old logo.

  10. Listen. Obviously, changing a logo and pleasing thousands of grads is a huge challenge. But here’s the difference. VCU is KNOWN for their design school and for the Ad school. So, I think the first mistake was not publicly opening up and taking those folks on the journey and allowing some sort of competition or something. (If this happened, I didn’t know about it and I’m a Graphic Design grad). If you are going to unveil something that affects others so deeply online, why not take them on the entire journey? This is social media. That’s what you do. Include people and interact with them. But this outsourced logo was “unveiled”. Mistake #2 was outsourcing it. Mistake #3 was outsourcing it to someone who does Sports logo’s for a living. We are VCU. Our design school and our Ad School does not strive for more of the same. We constantly push ourselves and strive for different, unique, one of a kind. This is what we were taught as art students. This logo is not being accepted because it does not represent VCU in that light. It looks like other Sports logos. And in it’s treatment, it does look soft, rounded, tamed. And why are we only seeing it on a black background. What happens to it on a white background? Does it get lost. The white on the logo is what give it punch. Without the black background, it’s even more meh. Look at the way our Basketball team plays, round up some adjectives for their style and note that the logo’s description does NOT match what we represent. I think it’s a fine logo. Some call it meh. I think the real point is that is was supposed to be AWESOME. It was supposed to be UNIQUE. It was supposed to capture the spirit of what is now happening in Richmond. The Richmond community (and all others watching the VCU sports on TV) are PASSIONATE about the changes that are happening. You cannot tame passion. And this logo is tamed in more ways than one. I feel for the Art Director. Because it’s a tough job and so many eyes are on the work. At the same time, whoever pitched for this job HAD to know what it meant to us at VCU.