This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.
Established in 1881, the University of Connecticut is one of the leading public research universities in the U.S., attracting over 30,000 students to its six campuses. Additionally, its athletics team, the Huskies, have won 15 NCAA national team championships in the Division I, mainly through their women’s basketball team. Earlier this month the university first announced a new logo to be adopted organization-wide that would also reflect a marketing name change to UConn and later introduced a revised athletics identity, both designed by — guess who? — the Nike Graphic Identity Group.
But we sometimes have a tendency to look at things which fall into the category of “marketing” and “branding” with a skeptical eye, wondering how much it truly matters.
The truth is that it matters a great deal.
— UConn President’s Note (a must-read actually, for a lesson in preemptively appeasing the mob)
Unlike other Nike/university projects where the athletics identity has been contained to athletics, this one has bubbled all the way to the top to become the official, primary logo for the whole university. Which is kind of a big deal. It’s rare, in large universities, for both the academic and athletics sides to share the same logo, mostly because they serve different needs and audiences. In this case, at the academic level, the change is quite interesting and almost disconcerting when you go to UConn’s main page and are greeted by the simple, five-letter wordmark. It’s almost… cool. That is not to say that the wordmark is the best thing in the world, but it’s a good change of pace from most universities. The wordmark itself is an evolution of a similar wordmark, but more condensed, that had been floating around since 2012.
While in the academic setting the change pikes my interest, on the athletics side it’s another ho-hum effort from Nike that resorts to the usual sports identity malarkey.
“This logo is everything that a Husky is supposed to be - powerful, aggressive, determined,” he says. “It is looking right through you and saying ‘Do not mess with me.’ This is a streamlined, fighting dog, and I cannot wait for it to be on our uniforms and court.”
— Press release
And contrary to speculation, the Husky will not appear to be mean, snarling or capable of frightening small children! Instead, he will be rendered as the sleek, beautiful animal a real husky truly is.
— UConn President’s Note
In contrast to how the UCONN wordmark is used on the academic side, here it is surrounded by strokes. Of course. Making it look cheaper. There is also an undercooked “Huskies” wordmark in the same style that just doesn’t have the same impact. And perhaps more relevant to the fans is the redesign of the “Jonathan” husky logo, who has transformed from a heavily blow-dried, diva-esque husky to an aggressive one full of angular lines and sharp teeth. It’s nothing new or exciting, but at least it does make the husky look like it cares about what’s going on.
The uniforms this time around don’t have the polish of previous Nike uniforms. They are nice and simple with a couple of fun moments like the helmet and the back of the basketball shirts.
Overall, nothing bad but nothing overly exciting.