University of Southampton - Dolphin heads for extinction

February 14, 2008

The famous 15-year-old dolphin logo has been scrapped by the University of Southampton after a rebranding exercise costing £160,000. "Although the attributes of friendliness and intelligence as represented by the dolphin are still core to the university's identity, the dolphin logo can give a misleadingly narrow view of the breadth of disciplines offered by the university,"Adam Wheeler, senior deputy vice-chancellor, said.

The new brand uses the university's name only, printed in "marine blue". "We believe we have created a strong new visual identity that accurately reflects Southampton's position as one of the UK's top ten research universities and one of the top 80 universities in the world," he said.

The change has provoked lively debate among students on Facebook, with three petitions currently running: "Save the Southampton University dolphin", "Get rid of the Southampton University dolphin logo" and "Keep the dolphin but change the font of the logo".

One student noted that while most of the university's website had been updated with the new logo, the jobs page was still branded with a "squashed dolphin".

The university is soliciting comments on the new logo and website via its own web forum. Most posts so far have been negative. One noted: "It makes us look more like a company selling liposuction rather than a cutting-edge, free-thinking and nurturing community." Another said: "I know that colour! It's the hue of the stagnant pond in my garden!"

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