The earliest form of the logo of Universitas Indonesia was created in 1952 by Sumaxtono (born as Sumartono), a student from 1951 Art Department Class, Faculty of Engineering which was at the time known as Fakulteit Teknik Universiteit Indonesia, located in Bandung.
The basic idea underlining the logo is the kala-makara, a symbol of two sources of energy in the nature. Kala is the energy from above (the power of the sun), while makara represents the energy from below (the power of the earth) . The two powers are combined and stylized into a symbol that represents the function of Universitas Indonesia as a source of knowledge and the works resulting from it which is disseminated wide and far.
The Logo of Universitas Indonesia comprises of 2 elements: a tree with its branches and the makara symbol :
The logo of Universitas Indonesia carries the following interpretation:
The tree, which includes the buds and the branches represent science and its branches, implying as well that the buds will soon flourish and turn into new branches of science. The buds will continue to blossom as long as the main tree is alive. By this, Sumaxtono intends to state that branches of sciences will continuously grow according to the need and development of civilization.
Makara that pours down water signifies the works of science which are disemminated wide and far. Sumaxtono hereby implies that Universitas Indonesia is a source of knowledge which produces intelligent graduates who are highly skilled and pious, who have high morals and an open attitude, who are responsive to the changes and advancement of science and technology, as well as emphatic to the problems faced by the society. They are also the people who have the capacity to solve the problems occuring wherever they are, using the academic principles.
The logo design and the meaning it carried was presented to Srihadi (a student from the 1952 class from the same department)in 1952. Prof. KRHT H. Srihadi Soedarsono Adhikoesoemo, M.A. who also created the logo of Bandung Techology Institute- was not sure of when or who authenticated this logo. What he was sure of was that on the cover of the book titled Universiteit Indonesia, Fakulteit Teknik, Bandung: Rentjana Untuk Tahun Peladjaran 1952-1953 (Universitas Indonesia, Faculty of Engineering, Bandung: Course Plans for Academic Years 1952-1953), published by AID, Bandung, 120 pages, this logo was printed, using the original design by Sumaxtono (without the pentagonal border).