Evolution - keeping the best bits
Updated logo is an slighlty conservative evolution of the previous one. The pleasing calligraphy is given a larger role and now accompanied by a well rendered crest. It’s clear that a crest is a common and somewhat obvious choice, but in this case it has been executed well.
The decision to evolve and retain the best of the previous logo is a good one, and one would hope that makes the task of implementing the change a more manageable one.
A Balanced and lively approach
Typographic only approach eschewing the familiar path of shields or crest based logos. Instead they’ve gone for a dual pronged strategy. One half of the logo employs an upright uppercase serif font with large capitals widely spaced. The other element are the words ‘of York’ drawn in a calligraphic style with a medieval feel to it.
Uses Uppercase Palatino for ‘The University’ part of logotype, with larger Initial caps. Quite widely spaced, with the fairly square serifs on Palatino. The life in the logo is given by the calligraphic treatment of the ‘of York’ - combined really nicely by large flowing descender, which is in turn nicely contrasts with the angular bowl of the ‘y’. The next three are joined nicely, and with the k providing and echo of the ‘y’ descender in the opposite direction, finishing the logo in a calligraphic style with a medieval feel.
History without recourse to a shield
Unlike other equally established universities, York have chosen not to make their coat of arms a direct influence on their logo, instead choosing to have an independent rendering of it act in support of the typographic logo. It seems that the intention is to have the option of using the shield without requiring it.
A confident watermark
Interestingly, York seem to actively encourage the use of the logo in a tinted form and on more detailed backgrounds. With caveats about making sure it has sufficient contrast - but one can see that this gives some opportunity for layered compositions, and shows off the boldness of the calligraphy.