DURHAM - The University of New Hampshire will pay a New York City design firm $65,000 for work already done that resulted in three proposals for a new logo.
UNH spokeswoman Erika Mantz said the amount would cover "services that have already been provided," including "market research; many, many hours of meeting with faculty, staff, students, alums, and others; initial design work and transfer of ownership of that work."
UNH had budgeted about $100,000 from private donations to pay for the redesign. But the designs, proposed by the New York firm of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, sparked what university officials called a "passionate and mixed reaction" from students, alumni and others.
Three blue-and-white designs created by the New York firm are featured on the UNH website, and members of the UNH community have been weighing in on their choice among those three.
"The first was lame and boring, and I wouldn't have known what I was looking at if someone hadn't said 'UNH.' The second was unintelligible. The third is garish and really just looks awful," was one comment submitted to UNH.
Further, the amount the university chose to spend, elicited a negative reaction, particularly from the New Hampshire branch of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.
UNH President Mark Huddleston said the decision to redesign the current logo, which features the clock tower at Thompson Hall, has sparked "considerable creative input" from students, faculty, staff, alumni and others in the UNH community.
Huddleston announced the creation of an advisory panel of all such stakeholders to offer guidance on the issue. He said he hopes a decision on the logo change can be announced in early fall.
Mantz said the rest of the money committed to the project will not be paid "if the full scope of branding work is not done."
The university seal and its athletic logo, which features a wildcat, will not change.