Established in the late 1890s, the Georgia Bulldogs are the athletic teams of the University of Georgia (est. 1785) and compete in the NCAA Division I and are members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Bulldogs compete in 19 different sports and have won 39 national championships and 130 conference championships. To learn how serious the “’Dawgs” are about their sports: their football stadium seats 92,746 and is typically full. This week, the Bulldogs introduced a new identity system for the athletics program, designed by by Nike’s Graphic Identity Group.
The Georgia Athletic Association worked in close consultation with Nike over a 15-month period in order to develop an innovative and cohesive athletic brand identity that reflects the unique qualities of Georgia Athletics while promoting a consistent and unified look across all sports.
The updated identity system still prominently features and reaffirms the traditional Power “G” logo as the primary brand identity. The long-standing color palette of red, black, white and silver have been refined in order to allow for instant team identification. A newly-developed customized primary and secondary letter and number font will provide a consistent, distinctive look for all Bulldog athletics teams. The graphic “GEORGIA” and “BULLDOGS” wordmarks will become consistent visual symbols of the Georgia Athletics organization, and the Bulldog logo has been refined in order to reflect the strong, iconic characteristics of the animal itself as well as the spirit of The University of Georgia Athletics.
— Press Release
Type tells a story. The right typeface, used consistently, builds character. The custom font fuses modern foundational forms with universal functionality. To assist in creating a consistent look for a wide variety of athletic communications, a custom display typeface and numeral set has been designed as an enhancement to the overall identity.
The letterforms are sturdy and powerful drawing inspiration from the bulldog’s anatomy as well as perhaps the most notable North Campus fixture-The Arch. The famous cast-iron Arch, has become the symbol of the University of Georgia, and was installed in the 1850s, when the front of the campus was enclosed with an iron fence. The Arch was patterned after the arch on Georgia’s state seal.
— Press Release
Although they are not, for now, officially retiring the previous bulldog “logo” the introduction of a new bulldog should help tremendously as there is no clear consistency on which is the right bulldog — see this Google image search for “georgia bulldogs logo”, it’s a mess. And all those old dogs are terrible. The new one isn’t that great but at least conforms to the standards of contemporary mascot logos: floating head, pissed-off look, exaggerated facial features, bad teeth. It’s definitely an improvement and it will make for awesome merchandise. The new typography is perfectly acceptable if far from original, but I do like the pairing of semi-extended letters with condensed numerals, which look really good on the uniforms. And the uniforms themselves are quite nice, it seems this is where Nike’s GIG excels, designing bold and simple uniforms that manage to look classic and contemporary. Overall, a solid system to establish consistency.