Friday, February 14, 2014

... and the UUA has a new logo!

Some big news was revealed yesterday: the Unitarian Universalist Association has a new logo.  You can see it pictured to the left.

The announcement "The UUA Brand Story" came out as well.

There was also an episode of "The VUU" that discussed some of the story behind the new logo; watch the last 30 minutes of the video for that conversation.

There was quite a bit of talk about this in the social networking media yesterday among UUs (and some of our non-UU friends who joined in).  It would seem (as many pointed out) that how you see this new, airy, abstract logo is a bit of a Rorschach test.  What do you see?

Rev. Tom Schade had a few posts on his blog that (along with the comments) might give you a feel of how the discussions went.  The first post he wrote was "Behold the New Logo".  This was followed by "UU Ministers discuss new logo".  The most recent of his posts on the topic (where I left a humble comment) is "Painful".  It has been interesting to read such strong reactions, leading some to speculate that maybe the tension/emotion isn't really about the logo... but more about feelings about the UUA, or authority (including ministerial authority), or what have you.

No logo is going to please everyone, ever.  I can say that this new one has grown on me over the past 24 hours. In the end, it's just a logo.  I believe that how people see Unitarian Universalism will have much more to do with how we are in our communities and in the world; then others might notice us and (eventually) the logo.

On the other hand, this is apparently "part one" of a re-branding effort, so I'm waiting with hope on what is to come.

Meanwhile, Rev. Cynthia Landrum has written "An Open Letter to the UUA", which is a very thoughtful response to all of this. I like many of her suggestions about ways that the UUA can help congregations, particularly smaller ones.

I am mindful that it took much longer than 24 hours for the last logo (shown here to the right) to grow on me.  When it was revealed in 2006 it was critiqued as looking "too corporate", and it was ridiculed with names like "the bear trap logo", "the Venus fly trap logo", and (my personal favorite) "the logo of Guadalupe".  But it did grow on me, and on many of us.

It is human nature to have an immediate reaction to a new image, maybe particularly a new logo for something that we hold dear.  Some of you will immediately like or even love the new logo (at the top of this post). Some of you will feel ambivalent or not strongly about it. And some of you will immediately dislike it. I suppose that's inevitable.  But like the great Taoist and Zen story (that I shared in my recent sermon "Beautiful Losers") puts it, "We'll see".

I remain hopeful.