Behind The Marks: Q&A With Designer Of Refreshed UNCG Spirit Marks
After a year of activity that was led by UNCG University Communications and UNCG Athletics, the University this week unveiled new spirit marks to help kick off the 2018-19 academic year.
In determining the University’s new branding, UNCG partnered with Mongoose Sports in the creation of the marks.
UNCGSpartans.com recently caught up with Craig Whitlock, Owner of Mongoose Sports, to explain how these marks were designed with the University’s history and Spartan culture in mind.
UNCGSpartans.com: What was the decision to make the plume larger than the past logos?
Whitlock: “One of our main goals when starting a new sports logo design is to be as authentic as possible. We do our best to weigh the differences between perception and reality, and bring out these elements in our design. With a Spartan, we have the benefit of historical art and evidence from classical antiquity, which really helps us establish authenticity. Pottery, engravings and artwork from the time period of the Spartans often depicted helmets featuring large, decorated crests and plumes. These helmets are an imposing display for a warrior, meant to strike fear in the enemy. The smaller crest and plume seems to be more common in Roman helmets of a later time period. Of course, other Spartan helmets didn't have a plume at all. We just felt making use of the larger, more decorated helmet style was appropriate for this Spartan warrior logo. To personalize it, we decorated the crest with the Greek key pattern of interlocking G's. A tribute to UNCG's Spartan history, this specific Greek key was featured in logos, wordmarks, and some uniforms of the past. It's also engraved on the shield of the Spartan statue on campus.”
UNCGSpartans.com: The helmet appears to cover up more of the face than the previous logo. What is the reasoning behind this?
Whitlock: “From a design standpoint, the helmet style is for authenticity. Spartan helmets often featured cheek plates to protect the eyes and face, with an opening for breathing. Our warrior represents a diverse population of individuals who make up the UNCG community. The athletics logo goes way beyond the student-athlete – from students/alumni to faculty to the local fan, it represents everyone who considers themselves a Spartan.”
UNCGSpartans.com: There's a focus on the “G” in the logo, as it is highlighted in gold opposed to white. What was the idea behind this?
Whitlock: “Throughout our discovery meetings, we heard reference time and time again to "The G.” There is a strong history and connection with the alumni and the students (especially the student-athletes) to ‘The G.’ Obviously, it's a reference to the location in Greensboro, but it's clear there is a deeper meaning, it's a sense of pride for everyone associated with UNCG. We felt we had a unique opportunity within the UNCG graphic to honor ‘The G’ with a simple, subtle color variation to feature and distinguish the ‘G.’”
UNCGSpartans.com: New to the collection is the “G Spear.” What is the historical background behind the Spear and how was this one selected?
Whitlock: “The Spartans perfected the spear during ancient times, it was one of the most effective weapons for centuries. The Spartan spear has a neat look to it, with a distinct spearhead and spiked endcap. When developing a new logo, we go through a large number of concepts and designs, exploring every aspect we can of our subject. Sometimes we hit on an element that doesn't quite work with our primary logo or word mark, but seems to work as a stand-alone alternative graphic. In this case, we wanted to find a secondary graphic that featured the ‘G,’ without literally saying ‘The G.’ The G Spear combo hit the mark, featuring the ‘G’ while bringing an element of the Spartan into it. Secondary graphics like the G Spear are a nice compliment to the primary marks, helping fill out the overall UNCG Spartan brand.”