LOS ANGELES — The University of California on Friday suspended a new, modern looking logo after receiving widespread criticism about the contemporary design replacing the venerable institutional seal.

University Senior Vice President for External Relations Daniel Dooley said in a statement that although he believed the new logo would eventually gain acceptance, he wanted to respect the "significant negative response from students, alumni and other members of our community."

More than 46,000 people signed an online petition calling for the university to scrap the new logo, which features a yellow, fading "C'' inside a blue, shield-shaped "U."

Critics called it cheap, corporate-looking and unworthy of a prestigious university.

Dooley said many people misconstrued the new monogram as totally replacing the traditional "Let there be light" seal.

The new logo, which was introduced about a year ago, was meant to distinguish systemwide documents from those of individual campuses, while leaving the seal on diplomas, acceptance letters and similar documents.

The details on the seal were hard to reproduce on websites, smartphones and tablet computers, officials said.

The new logo was designed by the university's presidential office and won praise from outside design experts, Dooley said.

Dooley called the controversy over the image "a major distraction" for the university's communications office. He said the office would look at the issue at some time in the future.

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