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July 20, 2018

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Ray Brewer: From the Pressbox

Because the fans love UNLV, they agree: Time to hit reset button with logo design


L.E. Baskow

UNLV unveils its spirit mark refresh at the Thomas & Mack Center on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

UNLV received some unwanted attention Wednesday when it unveiled a new logo that most fans aren’t happy about. No one can seem to figure it out.

Everyone from the football team’s quarterback and other athletes, loyalists and even supporters of opposing schools have questioned the logo. You hate to give San Diego State’s “The Show” student section fodder to ridicule you or a belief from anyone who supports that team up North to think they are doing something better than us.

Let’s be honest: The logo is tough to figure out and looks minor league. There’s an online petition already with 2,100 signatures to change it back to the old version. The hashtag fans are using on Twitter is #notmyreb.

As one fan summarized, “UNLV’s new logo is awful and utterly ridiculous!!! Why fix something that is not broken???.”

This feedback is a good thing. Yes, a good thing.

It means the fans who support the university care about its reputation. It means supporters who each summer buy new UNLV apparel to wear during football and basketball season are concerned with what they will be wearing. You shouldn’t have to explain what the logo you are sporting means or have people question which team you are rooting for. That, unfortunately, is what’s happening.

The redesign has the Hey Reb mustache and hat, mountains, and the red star-burst that looks sharp on the new football uniforms from two years ago but is lost on the new logo. On first glance most need the reference sheet the university distributed to determine what’s what.

It’s not just the $50,000 spent for the logo redesign. It’s the thousands of dollars that still are in the process of being spent to blast the logo around town — ad campaigns on billboards, buses and in grocery stores. Do you want a piece of art that is being greeted with such resistance representing your brand?

University officials have been professional in their assessment of the logo and there hasn’t been a negative word spoken, at least in public. It would be in poor taste to make a quick reaction without getting any feedback, or to take the cue from fans and label the new look as having similarities with Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars.

But now, in only 24 hours after the logo release, they should have plenty of feedback: It’s time to scratch the logo. Take the $50,000 loss and hit the reset button. Don’t spend more money on making shirts or promoting something your fans aren’t on-board with. They, after all, are the ones you are relying on to support the university, and many jumped off the sinking ship last winter during a historic losing basketball season.

The Chargers scratched their initial logo when they moved from San Diego to Los Angeles earlier this year because of the instant poor feedback. UNLV needs to follow suit.

Blow up what was built and hire another firm. This time, share the artist’s work during the process for feedback from supporters. And do more than listen to their feedback; use it in the design.

“@unlv my economics professor showed our class the new logo & no one likes it. The student body should’ve of voted on it. It’s way too busy,” one student posted to Twitter.

They love UNLV. They want it to prosper. They don’t want the university’s athletes and teams to be subjected to ridicule.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at

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