ORTHODOX UNION INTRODUCES NEW LOGO TO REFLECT REALITY THAT OU DOES MUCH MORE THAN CERTIFY KOSHER FOOD; LONGTIME LOGO REMAINS FOR KASHRUT ACTIVITIES
It is one of the most famous and venerable symbols in America, perhaps in the world, ranking up there with the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and similar iconic designs. It is the Orthodox Union logo, the letter U inside the letter O, and not only does it adorn more than 400,000 products certified as kosher by the OU, but in another form, with the Hebrew words Torah U’Mitzvot (Torah and the commandments) added, it appears on OU publications, letterheads, publicity material and everything that the organization disseminates to the outside world.
Now, some 80 years after the OU symbol was established to be placed on a small number of kosher certified Heinz canned goods, an additional new logo has been designed to reflect the reality that the organization does much more than certify food products. “Today, although it is still best-known for kashrut, the OU is celebrated for its work in many other fields – Youth (NCSY); Special Needs (Yachad); College Life (Seif JLIC); Shul Life (Karasick Department of Synagogue Services); Community Life (Department of Community Services); the Public Square and World Jewry (IPA); Israel (Seymour J. Abrams Israel Center) and even more,” wrote David Olivestone, OU national director of planning and communications, in the Spring 2008 issue of the Orthodox Union magazine, Jewish Action. Mr. Olivestone is the OU senior executive who was most prominently involved in the planning and design of the new logo.
“Therefore, while you will still be seeing the OU kosher certification mark on all OU-certified products, we felt the need for another symbol to represent the impact that the OU has on all these areas of Jewish life,” he explained.
After considering a variety of designs, the OU chose the work of Josef Tocker, the graphic artist who has also designed new logos for NCSY, IPA and Yachad. “The creative process of identifying the proper logo for the OU involved numerous designers and consultants. The final look reflects what the OU is all about — a contemporary organization enhancing Jewish life in practically every sphere,” declared Gerald M. Schreck, the Chair of the OU Communications and Marketing Commission.
The new logo has recently begun to appear in OU newspaper ads, program brochures and other materials. A new tagline, “Enhancing Jewish Life,” will also frequently appear with the new logo, according to Mr. Olivestone.