Today (Tuesday) is the first day of daytime classes for the UNC Charlotte 2019-20 academic calendar and coincidentally, my business partners and I had a dinner meeting with one of my favorite UNC Charlotte staff members and the topic came up to do a Fact Friday on the meaning of UNC Charlotte's crown. Didn't know UNC Charlotte has its own crown, separate from the city's crown? Well... as we say... you gon' learn today!!
The original logo mark was designed in 1972 as a reaction to the public's impression of UNC Charlotte. With little recognition and much competition, the school needed to stand apart from other larger Universities in the area. By creating a customized block form, UNC Charlotte stood apart and gave the college regional recognition.
A logo redesign was done more than 10 years later in 1987. As Charlotte grew, other colleges popped up and adapted similar acronyms like CPCC (Central Piedmont Community College), which once gave UNC Charlotte (as Charlotte College) its first building, and GTCC (Guilford Technical Community College) in Greensboro, NC. To alleviate confusion and to promote the recognition of UNC Charlotte in a more national spotlight, the University redesigned the logo. This is where the familiar crown was introduced. This mark gave UNC Charlotte a distinctive graphic element that gave the school instant recognition.
The UNC Charlotte crown is a well-balanced, energetic and timeless icon. Dimension is emphasized by using a heavy top and smaller, angled bottom. The angles and negative space guide your eye through the mark from top to bottom and back through again. The crown emphasizes UNC Charlotte's relationship with the Queen City, alludes to academics with shapes that resemble an open book and exudes excellence with a torch-like shape at the top which can also be interpreted as the top of a graduation cap. The University's official color is Pantone® (PMS) 349; this is the only color the logo should appear in (excluding black and white versions.)
Today's mark is a tight composition that displays complete harmony between the shapes of the letter forms and the updated crown. The logo-mark grows directly from the customized Utopia type treatment. This compelling concept truly associates the crown with UNC Charlotte. The customized logotype utilizes a bolder font with chiseled serifs.
Addition versions include the Combination logo, where the bottom is removed and the type becomes a solid base for the mark to rest on, and the formal / out of market version.
Because UNC is a regionally recognized acronym, the logo shown below is the official out-of-state logo, aimed at making the location of the University clear.
Until next week!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have interesting Charlotte facts you’d like to share or just to provide feedback!
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Identity Standards Guide
“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass