UH Branding Project

On this page you will find the latest updates on the UH Branding Project, as well as background on the project and the timeline of the branding process.

For more information, contact the Director of Marketing and Brand Management at uhdesign@hawaii.edu.

Latest update

Aug. 11, 2004

No Design Concept Chosen

The evaluation committee overseeing the graphic identity mark selection process decides that none of the design concepts submitted will be recommended for use. Read the press release.


In spring 2002, the Office of the Vice President for External Affairs and University Relations launched a project to create the University of Hawaiʻi brand in order to pursue a new, cohesive graphic identity for the UH system. Hired to assist the university through the process, The Brand Strategy Group held open listening sessions on every UH campus and conducted interviews with UH leadership and constituent groups.

Research showed that UH’s brand image was fractured with over 150 logos in use system-wide. They also found that the university had no distinct message or theme and that many programs failed to mention their affiliation with UH. Without a consistent brand image, it was nearly impossible for audiences to recognize the values of the university identified by the strategic plan such as access, affordability, excellence, diversity, fairness and equity.

In April 2003, two designs resulting from the initial process to establish a new system-wide identity for the University of Hawaiʻi were withdrawn from consideration in response to community concern. The UH Board of Regents then formed a Task Group on Graphic Identity to develop an action plan for proceeding with the graphic identity project and a process for development of a new UH system logo.

UH’s brand values and brand promise (1.1 MB PDF).

Timeline of the Branding Process

Aug. 6, 2004

The community responds

UH received more than 650 e-mails and letters from the community in response to the six design concepts under consideration as the new graphic identity mark for the university. Favorable responses as a percentage of total respondents are indicated under the designs. Read the news release.

July 30, 2004

Designs posted for viewing
Six UH graphic identity design concepts have been posted for viewing and public comment through Aug. 5. Read the news release.

July 12, 2004

Prospective Designs Received
Six prospective logo designs were received from three Hawaiʻi graphics firms on July 9. The designs will be placed online for public viewing once a review is completed to preclude potential trademark conflicts.

May 28, 2004

Three Design Firms Selected
The evaluation committee overseeing the process for selection of a new logo for the UH System has chosen three design firms to create and submit concepts for consideration. Graphic House of Honolulu, Clarence Lee Design & Associates of Honolulu and Sae design of Maui each will be paid $5,000 to submit up to two concepts by July 2. The concepts will be made available for public comment. Read the news release.

Apr. 23, 2004

Selection Committee Announced
A 15-member evaluation committee has been formed, representing the UH System and business community as well as individuals with experience in the arts and identity marketing. The committee will select three professional designers or graphic design firms to submit design concepts, from which one will be forwarded to the Board of Regents for approval. Read the news release.

Apr. 2, 2004

Call for Designers
A notice to bidders requesting submission of graphic design qualifications was advertised in Hawaiʻi newspapers on April 2. The notice appears in the Star-Bulletin, or can be viewed on the State and County Procurement Notices site.

The latter site also links to the specifications document, or request No. 04-039 and Form 115 from the Office of Procurement and Real Property Management, 1400 Lower Campus Road Room 15, Honolulu 96822. Vendors outside of Oʻahu may request official copies by calling 808 956-8674. The bid deadline is 2:30 p.m., April 30, 2004.

Mar. 19, 2004

Regents Task Force Recommends Process for Selecting a Designer
At the Board of Regents’ March meeting, the board’s Task Group on Graphic Identity for the University of Hawaiʻi recommended a process for the selection of a professional designer and/or firm to design a graphic identity for the University of Hawaiʻi.

The process will include a special 15-member evaluation and advisory panel made up of respected residents of Hawaiʻi who are knowledgeable in the arts; UH students, faculty and staff, and representatives of the business community with experience in identity marketing and merchandising.

Sept. 15, 2003

Work Continues on Logo Development Process
The logo project was not on the agenda for the UH Regents September meeting, so no action was taken. Work is continuing to finalize the recommendation on how to proceed.

July 11, 2003

Logo Development Process Proposed
Board of Regents subcommittee has recommended a process for development of a new UH System logo. The regents are expected to vote on the proposal in September. If approved, the process would include the following steps:

Project funding will come from royalties collected by the university from the sale of logo merchandise. For more, read the news release.

May 19, 2003

Board of Regents Appoints Logo Subcommittee
The Board of Regents at its regular May meeting appointed a subcommittee of the Committee on External Affairs to work with the university’s Office of External Affairs and University Relations to develop an action plan for proceeding with the branding project. The subcommittee will report its recommendations to the board at its next regular meeting, June 19–20. Serving on the subcommittee are Regents Kathleen Thurston, Kitty Lagareta and Patricia Lee.

April 30, 2003

Final Designs for UH Logo Withdrawn
Responding to community concern, UH has pulled the two final logos from consideration. President Evan S. Dobelle announced that pursuing the logos doesn’t meet his "common sense test" given the extent of the negative feedback from the public. Read the press release.

April 23, 2003

Final Designs Posted
The final two logo designs in consideration for the new UH graphic identity were posted. Public comment is invited through May 2. E-mail comments to uhbrand@hawaii.edu.

Read the press release.

Jan. 13, 2003

Feedback Sessions on Designs Read about it in the Jan. 13, 2003 News@UH.

Meetings are scheduled on each campus for anyone interested in viewing the two final designs for a new UH logo.

Dec. 2, 2002

System-wide meetings are scheduled for the latter part of January to present concepts and collect feedback on design alternatives. Read more in News@UH.

Nov. 22, 2002

Graphic design and advertising contracts. Read the press release.

Q&A with Robert Rytter (314 KB PDF), graphic artist, on visual identity, our key values and the university’s new advertising agency.