Make It Work

by Rachel Alison on December 10, 2012

There are times when a marketing video is better than the thing it’s promoting. In the case of the new University of California logo, the video is far better than the thing it’s promoting.

The consistent use of a blank book as a backdrop for the content is a great visual for an education entity. The tinny, cutesy music reminds me of an Apple commercial. There are sound effects in all the right places and on trend graphics. Too bad the one graphic this whole video is about – the new UC logo – is terrible.

Now I am not a graphic designer, so I will not comment here extensively about why I dislike it. Instead I will say this – sometimes as video professionals, we are tasked with creating something around a less than inspirational subject. I have recently had that problem myself. I needed to produce an edit quickly, but I could not find the story. I could not find a single angle that spoke to me and thus had immense trouble producing an edit that I found satisfactory.

I had to walk away from it. People in the habit of dishing out advice often say it’s good to take a break from something, then come back to it. When you’re on a pressing deadline, it is hard to do this. But my brain worked out a way to approach my subject differently, take a different route than the one I was used to, grit my teeth, and make it work. And eventually, I did.

Did the people who made the UC logo video have the problems I described? Perhaps not. It’s entirely possible they were all on board with it. The video loosely tells a story of where the logo comes from and where it’s meant to go. Were I tasked with editing it, I’d like to think I would do as effective a job as they did.

As a UCLA alumnus, I will put the link to the Change.org petition against the logo here. I have no idea if it will amount to a hill of beans, but I’d like to think it at least will get the attention of the UC marketing department and have them rethink the graphic design. It’d be nice if the logo was at least as good as the promotional video.

Previous post:

Next post: