(Est. 1912) “William Marsh Rice University, commonly known as Rice University, is a private research university in Houston, Texas. The university is situated on a 300-acre campus near the Houston Museum District and is adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. Rice is now a research university with an undergraduate focus. Its emphasis on education is demonstrated by a small student body and 6:1 student-faculty ratio, and it has been nationally recognized as a leading university for undergraduate teaching. The university has a very high level of research activity, with $140.2 million in sponsored research funding in 2016. Rice is noted for its applied science programs in the fields of artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, signal processing, space science, and nanotechnology. The university has produced numerous prominent alumni, including more than two dozen Marshall Scholars and a dozen Rhodes Scholars. Given the university’s close links to NASA, it has produced a disproportionate number of astronauts and space scientists. In business, Rice graduates have become CEOs and founders of Fortune 500 companies; in politics, alumni have won positions as congressmen, cabinet secretaries, judges, and mayors. Two alumni have won the Nobel Prize, and numerous others are leading researchers in science, technology, and engineering.” (Wikipedia)
Hawkeye (Houston, TX)
Hawkeye designed the new owl to retain the most memorable aspects of the original design, specifically the eyes and feathers around them, the engaged pose and prominent wing. How the owl performed when extremely reduced was a focal point during the process, as the Rice University shield contains three owls and two chevrons.
The system takes a ‘building blocks’ approach, with assets that can be customized and rearranged, giving users a larger breadth of tools so they can focus on the quality of content. This also helped to reduce the primary financial burden typically associated with onboarding schools and departments into a new website – design, production, and development.
Images (opinion after)
While the overall premise of the logo remains the same — shield with owls plus Trajan — by client decree, the evolution of what is a very awkward icon is substantially positive, transforming the owl from a complete eyesore to something that’s interesting and possibly iconic for the university and its constituents. Before, you couldn’t, in a million years, put that previous owl on a t-shirt and think it looks cool but the new one looks quite convincing. The line-work is pretty good, working with the negative spaces to define the various parts of the owl. I think the only element I would question is the moon shape inside the eye; it’s the only element that tapers and it starts to look like a cartoon eye twinkle but I can also imagine how hard it is to try to solve that part of the face. The college logo system and seal are both decent and get the job done while the identity is fairly straightforward and conservative, with a nice touch added through the introduction of Village’s Galaxie Copernicus as the main type family that, in an ideal world, would replace Trajan in the logo. Overowl — ha! Get it? — a modest improvement.