SFA Uni – Out with the old… in with the old –
Image taken by student of the new design
Image taken by student of the new design

Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) is a public university located in Nacogdoches, Texas, United States. Founded as a teachers’ college in 1923, the university was named after one of Texas’ founding fathers, Stephen F. Austin. (thanks Wikipedia)

Tales of University rebranding woes persist (see the AMS logo or very high profile University of California for recent references) in the US with SFA being the latest.

Working with agency Richards/Carlberg, the Uni was due to unveil it’s new logo last Wednesday (26th March) with some fanfare but it had already made it into a print ad on the 20th. Things really came to a head when a student spotted the logo being hung in preparation for the unveiling event the night before the launch.

Cue Twitter rage from the students…


And today (1st April, no joke) they’ve announced the will ditch the new design in response to feedback from students.

Man Up SFA!

Which is a shame you’ve got to feel because the new one is oh so much better.

Existing/Old/Current logo in blue (they removed red from the design 2 years ago)
Existing/Old/Current logo in blue (they removed red from the design 2 years ago)


For one, it doesn’t read “9FA” like the old one, which wouldn’t look out of place in a University in the film American Pie, overall looks like something from the late 90’s, which I imagine it is.

Much of the hate seems to stem towards the shape of Texas, which vs the old (current??) logo does look a little stretched, but I feel that’s more to do with the old one being too compressed from the real outline of the state rather than the new being expanded.

The placement of the star in the “A” is really smart (even if stars in “A’s” are a little over used) and it does away with that slanted extra detail from the old/new stacked SFA design.

new logo imposed on map
new logo imposed on map

You could criticise the new for following the trend of being “flat”, but I wouldn’t, this is simply the environment we live in now. Logo’s with excessive bevels and gradients or other effects add nothing but gloss to the logo, which always needed an alternative “flat” variation anyway, and thinking digital and mobile first, over complex designs tend to get lost on small screens as icons and app buttons.

I think that SFA should have had more spine and pushed this through. These whinging students won’t be students for long, and when they’re alumni I really don’t imagine they will think twice about their old uni logo. But they’ve dropped it:

“Dear SFA Stakeholders,

For the past two days, we have listened to input from SFA constituents and evaluated the messages received.  We heard your comments and understand your concerns.  Because we value your opinion, we are suspending the new logo effective immediately.

We will continue as planned with the launch of the marketing campaign on Monday, March 31; however, our current logo will be used rather than the new logo.  Although use of the new logo has been suspended, please bear with us as we make this logo change throughout the ad campaign materials as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your continued support of SFA.

Baker Pattillo


Big shame.

via The Pine Log


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