Temple University Owl's: Athletic Rebrand
A case study about Temple University logo rebranding
"He remembered this iconic story and decided to work alongside
our senior design workshop class to bring about the new Temple University's owl logo."
Over 30 years ago fellow Tyler School of Art & Architecture students alongside the direction of their professor, designed and presented what is today the iconic Temple University "T" logo. Now more than three decades later that logo is still used to represent our university.
When Joe Bosack, a Tyler School of Art & Architecture alum & renowned athletic branding designer won the bid to redesign Temple University's athletic identity, he remembered this iconic story and decided to work alongside our senior design workshop class to bring about the new Temple University's owl logo.
"Unify alumni, students, student-athletes, coaches, faculty, and staff"
Our challenge was to create an updated owl mark for Temple University Owls that will unify alumni, students, student-athletes, coaches, faculty, and staff. This Logo should exemplify a deep sense of pride and excitement among the Temple community.
In our creative brief, it was stated that the Temple University Owl logo should reflect Temple’s athletic traditions and legacy. Our logo should project the tenacity and pride of the Temple community, and will be leveraged to increase pride across the university; to be used for revenue and marketing opportunities.
Our objective was to create a new logo mark that updated Temple University’s athletic identity. It was stated in our creative brief that the owl mark needs to be responsive and scalable. It should represent the Temple owl with a full-body scale as well as just the head of the owl. This logo should be open and resonate with a variety of age groups and audiences. Our primary target audience was Temple University Alumni and Temple University Athletics. Our secondary target audience was current students, staff, and faculty. Our tertiary target audience was the general public.
When thinking of the application of the new logo mark, it should work in a variety of executions and media, including but not limited to on-campus facilities, fields, and courts as well as merchandising, apparel and gear. This logo should resonate closely with student-athletes, coaches, current students, administrators, and alumni to ensure the graphic can drive athletics and be something students and fans can rally around.
My responsibilities for this project was crafting and presenting my own personal logo direction to be considered for our first stakeholder meeting with Temple University Athletics and Temple University's Strategic Marketing and Communications. We worked alongside Joe Bosack and Bryan Satalino during the semester to submit our own direction which was then narrowed down to multiple directions for the stakeholder meeting.
"The previous Temple Owl did not work for the current market
Before we even had a pencil to paper the students had a meeting with the Strategic Marketing & Communications department at Temple University to discuss the creative brief that happened between Joe Bosack and Temple University. This included more clarification on what the University was looking for in terms of the new logo. We then were presented with an audit of both Temple University’s previous logos & competitor research. This helped us better understand the idea & helped us when we started our design process.
Joe Bosack also explained to us how the previous Temple Owl did not work for the current market work due to the fact that it is an outdated style of design. Over 5 colors and an incredible amount of detail make it an amazing illustration but it doesn’t work for a solid memorable logo mark.
Stella The Owl
Alongside various means of inspiration for this project, none of these stood out more than getting to meet Stella the Owl, Temple University's live mascot since 2013. She visited our Senior Design Workshop class traveling all the way from the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Getting to learn about the species and to visually study the owl helped us make smarter decisions when designing our owl logos.
The Temple "T"
During that time we met Joe Scorsone, the professor and Kris Herrick, one of the students among the team of students who designed the Temple "T". It was such an honor to be able to sit & talk with them about their process. They talked about their story & how the Temple "T" was formed. We even got to see the original designs that we're used in the pitch to Temple University.
After that meeting, it really helped us drive home the fact that we wanted this owl logo to represent the Temple "T" visually.
Designing the logo
"I was struggling with drawing and was unsure of what direction I should focus on"
Each week I was sketching & presenting my best logos to both Joe Bosack and Bryan Satalino to form what our owl logo would eventually be. After some weeks passed we submitted our best logo to be presented at the first pitch to Temple University.
In the early stages of this project, I struggled a lot with the initial concept of this Owl. From trying to design for all audiences to accurately designing the owl proportionally, It felt like nothing I was doing was going right. I exclaimed to Joe Bosack and Bryan Satalino in a critique that I was struggling with drawing and was unsure of what direction I should focus on. They made sure to take the time and listen to my struggles and offered me some advice to expand further than what you would see normally for an athletic logo. This helped me get out of the creative rut that I put myself in and challenge myself as a designer.
"I was determined to create something that could stand out from the crowd"
After taking the advice of Joe Bosack and Bryan Satalino I was determined to create something that could stand out from the crowd, that had all the characteristics Temple University was looking for. I was also inspired by some of my fellow classmate's creative focus on trying to incorporate shapes that symbolize Temple University like the Diamond.
My final version of the logo that I submitted to the first pitch was based on the famous “Acres of Diamonds” speech by Russel Cronwell that inspired the University's mission. Combining the infamous diamond design that is synonymous with Temple University & utilizing basic shapes & lines to help it feel cohesive to the existing Temple "T" felt as if it encompassed everything that the University was looking for in a logo.
While we were continuing our own version of the Temple Owl logo we were also continuing as a team to work each week with Joe Bosack to refine the logo that was selected to be the new athletic identity for Temple Athletics. What I loved about this class was being able to sit in on multiple stakeholder meetings and focus groups held by members of Temple University Athletics & Strategic Marketing & Communications. This was the first time we were able to design with real timely feedback from both stakeholders and members of the Temple University community. Being able to design with real audience feedback helped drive the logo to the finalized version helped us design effectively.
Design In Use
To gain a better understanding of how the logo will effectively work we decided to put our logos on mockups. This helps both the stakeholders and ourselves make decisions based on how this will look practically on items such as clothing, water bottles, and even helmets.
From the parameters of the project, I came to the conclusion that the largest use of this logo would be for merchandising efforts. Since the Temple "T" has been the main athletic logo for the past 10 plus years our project was to create a secondary logo that would supplement the Temple "T". For my logo presentation, I decided to focus on how this can be utilized to bring the temple owls to the fans and supporters of the team.
Athletics / Campus
Though the parameters of the project were to focus on the merchandising efforts since this will be considered the secondary logo to the Temple "T." I wanted to explore what it would look like if Temple University Athletics decided to pursue using this logo for their primary logo instead of their secondary logo. I wanted to see how this logo would support both the University and how it can be an effective logo to represent the Temple Owl's.
This was hands down one of my favorite projects in all my time here at Tyler School of Art & Architecture. Being able to be a part of the University's history is something that left a lasting impact as both a designer and a student at Temple University.
I learned so much beyond just design through this project. Being able to collaborate with a working designer each week helped me gain a better understanding of the design process from a logical standpoint. Being invited to sit in on stakeholder meetings got me to hear real feedback from potential clients and how to handle it in an effective manner.
Designer: Brett Sweeney
Lead Designer: Joe Bosack
Art Direction: Bryan Satalino
Class: Senior Design Workshop
Institution: Tyler School of Art and Architecture — Graphic and Interactive Design