17 July 2012

[logo] Big Sky Branding: Now Bigger, With Extra Added Sky

2857.That other western collegiate athletic conference, the Big Sky Conference, comprising eleven full member schools and two football-only schools in nine Western states, has decided it's time for a makeover. The original logo:

Out with the old, and in with the new:

The new look certainly is more memorable than the old look, which wasn't bad, but isn't all that memorable. Old: there's stock typography, a type outline which is something of a cliche in the sports design world, and the skyward spark coming from the 'I' adds a dash of interest but really doesn't deliver that much in the way of excitement.

Maybe a change here was for the better, and we think it does improve on the old image. The type doesn't look like it came from a font file but rather some design happened to it. The logo also recalls the roots of the conference; while the BSC now fields members from the Pacific coast to North Dakota (Portland State University plays in the Big Sky), the charter members were six schools in the Intermountain West, the fabled "Big Sky" country of America. So there's the ice blue on the mountains and the deep blue of the sky. There's also a theatrical approach to the way the words spread out in a perspective way, although it does rather remind one of a Wheaties box in some way.

In this article in The Oregonian (which is really just a press release released as an article (the last paragraph is the giveaway) one interesting and thoughtful note is that the logo is also designed in a school-color appropriate version for every Big Sky school. The organization behind the actual design work is SME, Inc, which gave the Pac-10 (Now the Pac-12) it's new look and attitude.

Our verdict here is that we don't know if it's going to be up for any design awards or inspire a great deal of passion, but it's a solid and timely redesign that replaces a rather unimaginative design that was a bit tired and due for replacement.

(H/T to the commenter "Unknown" in this posting, who wasn't that wowed with it, but knows a neat subject when he sees one).

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