A Simple Test: What's Your Visual IQ?

You can try this at home, using various iterations of the University of California seal and logo.

1. Classic version, UC system official seal:
Do you like it? Yes / No

2. Now, to show variations in the UC approach, let's try some for the flagship Berkeley campus. Here's the Script version:


Do you like it? Yes / No.

3. Combo version:


Do you like it? Yes / No.

4. Retro Version:


Do you like it? Yes / No.

5. Stylized version:


Do you like it? Yes / No.

6. Campy/corny version:


Do you like it? Yes / No.

Subtotal: Give yourself 2 points for each Yes answer on questions 1-6. Add them up. Now go to the final test item:

7. New logo version for the UC system as a whole:


Do you hate it? Yes / No. For Yes, give yourself 500 points. For No, subtract 1000 points.

Give yourself an extra 10,000 points if your spontaneous reaction was, "Gee, I heard things were tough for the UCs, but I had no idea."

Now add up your score. Any result in the positive range means: Yes, you have visual taste! A negative score means, congrats on your design commission from UC. Let's hope they put this out for bid again sometime soon.

You can read more about the whole to-do here, here, and here.

Why do I care? I didn't go to any UC branch, but: my brother went to Berkeley, my sister taught at Irvine, for a year I taught at Berkeley, and the Atlantic is a partner with UCSD. I could go on: many of my high school friends went to Riverside, Santa Cruz, UCSB, or UCLA; I've had friends at Davis; and the only serious medical procedure I've ever had done was at UCSF. Also I love the city of Berkeley and the greater East Bay, so overall I've always thought of myself as an honorary Cal guy, specifically a Golden Bear. I have T-shirts and hoodies with variants on designs #1-6. I am never getting anything that looks like #7.