paynomind Posted March 24, 2006 Share Posted March 24, 2006 http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/loca...license24m.htmlWho let that dog out? UW replaces logo on its platesBy Stuart Eskenazi Seattle Times staff reporterThe University of Washington's specialty license plates have been a real bow wow.The design featured the current Huskies dog logo, a swoopy insignia that alumni denigrate as looking more like a weasel or ferret than an Alaskan malamute or Siberian.Washington State University's equivalent plate, featuring its way cooler snarling-cougar logo, has outsold the U-Dub's nearly 3 to 1 ? a source of irritation for the Passionately Purple.On Wednesday, vehicle-licensing offices across the state began selling UW plates with a new design, ditching the dog for the traditional purple block "W.""Everybody loves the block 'W,' " said Rick Osterhout, a third-generation Husky and treasurer of the UW Alumni Association board. "That's really our main logo. The dog logo is just ugly. I call it 'Techno Dawg.' "Osterhout refuses to buy any Huskies merchandise with the dog on it. But he did break down once and put the weasel plates on his vehicle."When I sold that car, I was quite relieved that I didn't have to have that plate anymore," said Osterhout, who is purchasing the new UW plate for the vehicle he drives now.With little promotion, the Department of Licensing sold 117 new "W" plates on the first day.The state began selling collegiate license plates in 1994, with seven schools now represented. The plates cost $40 to buy initially and $30 to annually renew (plus local fees), with $28 of that going to each school's general scholarship fund.The biggest seller is WSU's plate, registered to 11,649 vehicles as of March 1. The UW limped in a distant second, with 4,307.Efforts to redesign the UW plate began 17 months ago, with graphic-arts students creating the new look. In August, a small group of campus insiders were surveyed on what they thought of the students' "W" design concept, compared with the dog plate."Please, for the love of all that is good and decent, get rid of the weasel-looking Husky logo," one respondent said.Around the same time, the Alumni Association was polling about 3,000 graduates and 770 current students about which of 15 Huskies insignias dating back to 1920 they liked best.Only 7.5 percent of the alums chose the current dog logo as their favorite, while students picked it tops. The older the alumni, the more they hated the weasel.Introduced in 2001, the logo was designed by Nike, a fact that has rankled Huskies who associate Nike with rival University of Oregon because Nike Chairman Phil Knight is a big booster in Eugene.Although rumors are persistent that the weasel's days are numbered at Montlake, the UW athletic department has yet to announce it is chucking the logo.Kathy Hoggan, UW assistant director of publications services who coordinated the redesign effort, said she expects the gap between WSU and UW plates to quickly narrow once alumni learn about the new dog-less design."We have a long way to go, but it's highly possible we will match Wazzu's 11,000," said Hoggan, who has her own theory on why so many WSU plates are sold. "They have a lot of agricultural equipment to put plates on. Just kidding!"Huskies concede that the Cougars logo ? the head of a cougar formed by the letters W, S and U ? is one of the groovier collegiate insignias around. But the popularity of WSU plates may have little to do with the logo."We're a big, major research university in a small community," said Trevor Durham, communications director for the WSU Foundation. "It's that sense of belonging as an alum that probably drives the license-plate sales. It's all about Cougar Pride."WSU is redesigning its license plate to spur more sales, which means WSU grads may get to keep goading their westside rivals about being No. 1 in plate sales.But the plate race isn't that big of a deal to all Cougs, said Matt Baker, owner of Village Pub in Magnolia, a popular hangout for Cougars fans."I mean, really, who cares? I'll just tell the kids who play on my baseball team that they'll have more cars to egg that have U-Dub plates on them." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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