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The student newspaper of Imperial College London

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Issue 1843 (PDF)
The student newspaper of Imperial College London

Keep the Cat Free

Calls for new Imperial logo to be replaced as petition exceeds 2,700 signatures

College says it will “take any opportunity to hear what people think, to listen, and to answer questions.”

Imperial Logo Walt 1 Photo: Walt Gao for Felix


in Issue 1843

Imperial has found itself in the spotlight after more than 2,700 people signed a petition calling on the university to replace its new logo, unveiled around campus this week.

When asked whether it would acquiesce to the demands, a spokesperson for the Imperial brand project said: “The team will take any opportunity to hear what people think, to listen, and to answer questions.”

The petition, which was created on Sunday, says that ‘many (if not most) students dislike the new logo; the new colour and font look almost cartoonish and it is not a good representation of the College’.

Its creator set an initial goal of 350 signatures – to match the number of responses Imperial received in its own surveys on the new branding – but surpassed that target at noon on Monday.

Change Org Petition
The petition has gained over 2,700 signatures as of the evening of Thursday 22nd February

Imperial was “absolutely determined to develop a brand identity that serves the whole community,” said the brand project spokesperson.

The College provided project updates in a video, on its website, and its monthly ‘Inside Imperial’ newsletter. In June 2023, it sent an email to all students inviting them to complete a survey and attend focus groups.

In addition, the Provost and the President referenced the project in their emails to students at the beginning and end of term.

Those who viewed the video, the website, or attended focus groups had an opportunity to see the new branding, but none of the emails the College sent out contained images of the logo.

Many students took to social media to express their shock upon seeing new signage for the first time on campus this week.

Meme accounts on Instagram have revelled in the furore, producing satirical posts mocking the redesign and highlighting issues they feel are more worthy of funding, such as renovations to student accommodation.

Memes on the new design have gained traction on social media

“I wasn’t sure if it was real at first,” says Anaya Jaffer, the second-year Mechanical Engineering student who created the petition after seeing the new logo in Instagram memes.

“I was speaking to more and more people about it and realised that everyone shared this strong dislike. When I saw Imperial was already starting to put it up, I realised it’s actually happening – if we don’t want it to happen, we’d better do something now.

“On the website, it said they had 350 survey responses and over 1,600 video views, which really isn’t that much considering there are around 30,000 staff and students here.”

Old Logo Vs New
The old logo (left) has been replaced by the new logo (right) around campus

Some students have taken issue with the fact that the new logo only features the word ‘Imperial’, with the words ‘College London’ removed.

In 2020, amid increased scrutiny of its links to the British Empire, Imperial removed its motto (‘Scientific knowledge, the crowning glory and the safeguard of the empire’) from the College crest.

“Remember how in 2020 they were shitting bricks about ‘the history of imperialism’, so much so they dropped the motto?” said one former student. “But in a rebrand they’ve decided to drop all the words apart from ‘Imperial’.”

Others say the logo is too corporate for a university. “Who needs Imperial College London when you can have Imperial Logistics, Imperial Manufacturing and Imperial Gummy Bears?” joked a medical student.

Jaffer feels that Imperial “needs to go back to the drawing board.”

“There are some people who think rebranding is needed, and there are some who don’t. But I don’t think that’s the issue, it’s more the way in which they publicised it.

“They can redesign the logo, but they need to get a lot more feedback in the process.”

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