Plymouth State’s department of athletics unveiled its new logo—a more muscular, stylized panther—during Homecoming festivities Saturday, October 2.
During the carnival on the green, students had a chance to apply new body art at the tattoo booth, which featured temporary tattoos of the new logo. Water bottles with the logo were also distributed. At halftime of the Homecoming football game, the athletics department (with the help of physical plant) rolled out the first sign with the new logo and T-shirts for patrons bearing the new image were tossed into the stands.
Lisa Prince, publications manager for the office of public relations, says this is a second step in the visual identity initiatives that began with the roll-out of the new University logo last year. “To correspond with our new name, the University introduced a new logo that is the official brand of Plymouth State University. Using the new name and logo consistently on publications and artifacts that are distributed on behalf of the University helps to develop our brand and lends credibility to our endeavors. The new athletics logo is part of that development,” Prince explains.
The panther logo has been trademarked, and only the athletics department is allowed to use the image now. All other departments and programs will use the University logo.
Director of Athletics John Clark ’71 says, “It is important for Plymouth State University to present a consistent institutional identity to internal and external audiences. To that end, we have developed and approved a ‘signature’ brand mark to be the graphic representation of PSU athletics. This new mark embodies our pride and the evolution from Plymouth State College to Plymouth State University. We are very excited.”
After researching vendors who have worked with other universities to develop logos for athletics, PSU initiated a competitive bid process, ultimately selecting Phoenix Design Works of New York as the design vendor. Plymouth contracted with Phoenix to develop a primary logo, the one that was revealed October 2, and a secondary logo and a word mark that will be used later in the process. The primary logo contains all those elements and will be used as an intact entity for the first year to solidify the image, according to Prince.
Representatives from Plymouth State athletics, PSU bookstore, public relations and Phoenix Design met with a variety of constituents throughout the process to develop the new look. Students, townspeople, alumni and staff were all represented at focus groups, and after a number of iterations, the new design met with nearly unanimous approval.
Both University logos will be trademarked and licensed for use by retail vendors. Licensing will protect the images from redesign or misapplication. Prince says, “Like the University logo, a style guide will be developed for the athletics logo to help folks know how to use it. That will be important for maintaining the consistency an effective visual identity requires.”
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