30 July 2010

[design] The New Look Pac-10: It's Not Just a Logo, it's a Brand

Debuted yesterday: the new Pac-10 Conference's logo. It's kind of a slick production, and quite stylish when placed next to the design it succeeded, a box with big type and the suggestion of the setting sun.

There are appropriate images. The Pacific-10, encompassing the states of Oregon, Washington, California and Arizona (and soon enough to include Colorado and Utah) is the westernmost geographically-located big collegiate conference. the update includes two things you find quite a lot of the the west - the mountains (under the A) and the ocean (with a wave curling about the "10") into a slick, sleek shield.

And, of course, ours being a visual culture, we fixate on what seems, in the context, a daring update (your mileage may vary). But, after a year in which the Pac-10 almost ... almost ... eated the Big 12 to become the Pac-16, the attitude of the Pac-10 (the Pac-12, soon enough) has been shown to be a new, world-beating thing.

At least that's what they really want you to perceive here. The new-look Pac-10 is more than just about a new logo. It's about a new swagger and style, a new attitude.

Much of the credit for this new wide-shouldered confidence is being laid at the feet of the Pac-10's commissioner, Larry Scott. He led the charge to try to annex six more colleges, and has been at the forefront, the public face, of the new bold conference. In a succinct but punchy statement, he lays it all on the line. And the media events this week, with all Pac-10 football coaches in entourage, just really underline this.

This, my friends, is more than a new logo, it's the magic spell they try to cast with the word brand. It's the whole 50 yards on first down. It's probably why it's easier to find Pac-10 press extoling the virtues of the brand than decent graphics of the new logo (I nicked the above from Wikipedia's article). It's a nice logo, but just considering that would be kind of missing the forest for the trees.

But all this ... the "conference of champions", the academic reputations of the member schools, the positive aspects of life in the western USA, all these are contained in not just the logo, but the words and the stories they try to tell with them.

So far, they're doing a pretty good job.

If you like the Pac-10, you're probably liking this. And the new logo is a refreshing change from the old stale one, and cleverly executed too - and ready to turn the "10" into a "12", with little fuss, when the time is right.

We call it a pass completion.

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