UND unveils Fighting Hawks graphic identity
The University of North Dakota has unveiled a logo and wordmark for the Fighting Hawks nickname.
"This is an outstanding day for the University of North Dakota and UND Athletics," said UND President Ed Schafer. "We are thrilled to introduce a champion logo and wordmark for North Dakota's teams, our champion Fighting Hawks athletics program."
Created by SME Branding after a significant amount of up-front input and a number of waves of concept testing that included members from stakeholder groups, the logo features a determined hawk embedded in a Kelly green ND and a distinctive wordmark that proclaims "North Dakota Fighting Hawks."
"SME spent time on campus and on the phone at the beginning of the semester, listening to what a lot of people ― students, student athletes, coaches and others in Athletics, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, representatives of UND's American Indian programs ― had to say about our university, our athletics programs, our region and our state. They did an excellent job of translating what they heard ― that we have a long and proud championship tradition, that we are determined and persevere on the playing field, that we are proud of our state and our heritage, that we are progressive and moving forward ― and using that input to shape the newest logo and wordmark for the future of UND Athletics," said Schafer.
"We are excited to start using this logo and wordmark. We will begin using it immediately, but it will take a while to transition everything to the new logo. Many of the uniforms are already ordered, so it will take some time to change it out. But you'll begin seeing it this fall on the football helmets, for example, as we usher in this new era in UND Athletics," said UND Athletic Director Brian Faison.
It will also take some time for Fighting Hawks merchandise to be produced with the new logo and wordmark. UND is planning an Aug. 13 merchandise launch event.
SME Branding on the Fighting Hawks Logo and Wordmark
“This is a defining moment for both the University of North Dakota and SME,” said Ed O’Hara, President and Chief Creative Officer at SME. “We approached the project with great care and respect to reflect the brand’s significance within the community. The deep love for UND athletics was truly palpable amongst every constituent of the UND family that we met with and listened to. This collaborative process was essential to create an identity that embodies the great state of North Dakota and the profound passion of UND’s fan base.”
Through a collaborative process with the University and its closest stakeholders, SME created a future-forward identity that is sleek, elegant and wholly unique. The primary logo features a stoic hawk head icon emphasized by a resolute hawk eye to personify the persistence, hard work and determination of UND student-athletes. The icon rests within an “ND” ligature to place UND Athletics at the heart of North Dakota.
Accompanying the primary mark is a complete suite of wordmarks for the UND Fighting Hawks. These have been constructed in a manner that is streamlined and expressive to reflect the power and speed of UND student-athletes. The serifed ‘N’ and the angular cuts of the font are inspired by the wings of a soaring hawk.
About SME, Inc.
SME is a strategic branding agency, specializing in connecting with audiences through powerful identity development. Founded in 1989, SME enjoys a stellar worldwide reputation of creative excellence, thought leadership and client service. SME’s client list includes some of the leading brands in global and collegiate sports including the Atlanta Braves, Atlantic Coast Conference, Churchill Downs, University of Connecticut Athletics, Miami Marlins and many more.
SME Branding contact: Conor O' Flaherty, Director, Brand Strategy & Development, O: 212.924.5700, C: 917.689.9631, email@example.com
Fighting Hawks Logo ― Q&A
How was the final logo selected?
The final decision was made by President Ed Schafer, based on his own experience in marketing and design, input from and consultation with members of a number of shareholder groups, as well as the recommendation of SME Branding.
Where will we start to see it used in facilities, uniforms, and equipment?
Some changes will begin to happen right away while other changes will take time depending on rotation and cost. For example, the north wall decals at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center will be updated depending upon price, while some uniforms will not see the application of the new mark until the 2017-18 season or beyond due to cost and the need to place orders so far in advance. UND Athletics hopes to be using the new logo on the football helmets in this upcoming season. So we can expect the adoption of the mark to be a phased approach. Other facilities, such as the Alerus Center, will not see any change at this time.
The last Fighting Sioux logo was very colorful. Why are there not more colors in the new logo?
Logos tend to be a little simpler in their design due to the need to reproduce the image from very large scale down to very small thumbnail size. The previous logo was originally designed as a piece of art which was subsequently adopted as a logo. Some modifications were necessary in order to make reproduction possible. More colors also mean it is also more expensive to reproduce. The new Fighting Hawks logo is designed in such a way that it allows for a very high quality and consistent reproduction across all applications.
Will this replace the UND flame logo?
No, the UND flame logo remains the University’s academic and institutional mark.
Will the school colors stay the same?
Yes, our colors remain the same. To view UND’s official primary and secondary color palettes visit UND Identity website.
Will this replace the interlocking ND athletics logo?
The interlocking ND mark will continue through the next academic year before it is moved to the Dacotah Legacy Collection. Fans will continue to see this in some current applications until such time as updates to facilities and the like are needed.
What is included in the graphics suite?
SME has created both a Primary logo and a word mark. They have also provided a set of brand identity guidelines to help UND manage the brand and maintain appropriate and consistent use.
Will the UND Fighting Hawks have a mascot?
There are no plans for a mascot at this time.
When will merchandise be available for purchase?
The retail release date is Saturday, August 13, 2016. Nothing will be available for sale until that day. Watch for more details in the near future.
Why the delay?
This allows retailers and licensees ample time to produce a great selection of merchandise including apparel and non-apparel items.
Will Fighting Sioux merchandise still be sold?
This merchandise will continue to be sold as part of the Dacotah Legacy Collection. Click here for more information about DLC.
Are there agreements with any apparel brands?
There is not an exclusive agreement at this time.
What were the criteria for development?
SME’s research with UND’s constituencies informed the design direction. The result of the listening sessions and research phase shows a future-forward, resolute and determined hawk that is unique to North Dakota.
How can I use the new Fighting Hawks logo for my department/event? Why can’t I download the new mark?
Distribution of the logo will be determined on a case by case basis, and requests must be submitted for approval. This is to ensure that the new logo is properly managed. There will be information shortly on an event in which campus groups can learn more about the brand usage guide. If you have questions please contact the UND licensing office at 701.777.2237.
Peter B. Johnson
Interim Vice President for University & Public Affairs
701.777.4317 | 701.740.5398 cell | 701.777.4616 fax
UND.edu | UND.edu/news
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