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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Logos and Tigers and Brands, oh my

As Trinity University continues to develop its brand, the University has recently revealed a new spirit logo. This one replaces the tiger on the TU symbol that has become popular with our athletic teams. Unfortunately the latter can't be trademarked because it kind of already is - by the Detroit Tigers baseball team. Though really, how many ways can a tiger menacingly crawl around a "T."

Logos are tricky because they are used in different ways. At Trinity we want some consistency, but we have the official seal for the more high brow uses, such as on diplomas. We have the tower logo for the more day-to-day business uses. And we have the Trinity over Texas football helmet and the aforementioned tiger spirit logos, old and new.

But maybe it is time we reconsider the tiger altogether. I am sure it would be blasphemy because the tiger has a long Trinity tradition and the alliteration works. But it really isn't THAT unique, or for that matter, descriptive. After all, we are in an athletic conference with the Tigers of Colorado College and former conference Tigers included DePauw and Sewanee. And there is LSU, Clemson, Missouri...

Names matter, especially to alumni. Southwestern considered changing away from Southwestern because well, it isn't really Southwestern. That discussion did not go well. Texas State used to be Southwest Texas State but changed that, maybe because of the confusion with Southwestern. But Southwest Texas State was once called SWTS Normal school, so name changes seem normal to them. No one would ever suggest that Trinity change its name, though its roots and religious under and overtones cause some confusion related to its identity.

But I think mascots can be more easily changed. The Incarnate Word Crusaders became the Cardinals, the Marquette Warriors became the Golden Eagles, the Syracuse Orangemen simply became the Orange, and the Washington Redskins... Oh. Bad example. To me, the best mascots reflect time and place. New Orleans Jazz was good. Utah Jazz, not so good. My Milwaukee Brewers, in the land of beer and brats is perfect. Other good names include Bucks (deer hunting), Trailblazers, Steelers, Longhorns, Spurs, Padres, and Yankees. Note that none of those are birds or random animals. So I propose we consider changing the name Tigers to something that is more Trinity.

10. TU TTLES
Hmmm, that just seems TOO obvious. But the logo would be cool.

9. Trinity Onesies
As in Number One in the West since the West was One.

8. The Feral Cats
This is the only animal entry, but given the popularity of the Trinity cats and the fine work of the CAT Alliance, it does deserve consideration. And we can say we will neuter the opposition - but at least we will feed them.

7. The Trinity Taco Tacos
We are hot! And how easy is the cheer "Go Tacos Go!"

6. The Primarily Undergraduate Liberal Arts and Sciences Residential Institution with Professional and Pre-Professional Programs TIGERS
We seem fond of that...

5. The Grissoms
Beloved English teacher, famous Dean of 30 years, straight-talking, quick-witted, sharp-tongued, extremely brilliant, organized, pet-loving, polarizing, and hilarious East Texas Girl... We get her and love her. She is we. That's all that matters.

4. The Trinity Quarry Rockers
How tough is that. Even though, technically we just live and work on an old quarry, dammit, we are still Quarry Tough!

3. The Trinity Towers
We tower over the city, the competition, the, well, everything...

2. Trinity Ampersands
This is the perfect tie-in to our marketing campaign. Our students are athletes & engineers; actors & senators... And when it comes to athletics we will win & pummel & route & destroy. And most importantly, we can call the Stand Band the AmperStand Band.

1. TRINITyONIONS
Yes, that's right. The Onions! A play on the word "Trinitonian." You can't cut us! We make the opposition cry. We have many layers. We're bad man. We're really bad. Go Onions Go. Slice 'em up, Dive 'em up, Peel 'em back, GO!

On second thought, Tigers works too...

6 comments:

Michelle Bartonico said...

This is hilarious! Love it.

erin marie said...

I have always had a hard time rallying around "Tigers." Other than the fierceness or prowess the name implies, it lacks locational relevance and it is not special. I think we need special, because, well, we are. For the record, my New Mexico high school mascot was also the tiger and I questioned that, too. This correspondent has no answers but I like the idea of thinking about it.

erin marie said...

Also, I agree with Michelle: this is hilarious.

Amy said...

My favorite mascot is the University of
California, Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. Now there is a unique and locally significant mascot.

David Tuttle said...

This from the daily publication LeeRoy on 1.22.15. NOW I get it:
During the early years in Waxahachie, Trinity athletic teams were referred to as “the Trinitonians” or “the Presbyterians.” In 1916, the Detroit Tigers baseball team held spring training in Waxahachie and befriended the Trinity baseball team. In appreciation of their friendship, the Trinity student body adopted Tigers as the mascot for all the University’s athletic teams and began using a tiger logo in student publications.

Phil said...

Once a tiger, always a tiger! Tigers are beautiful animals that everybody likes. The new logo looks nice, but please, don't ever change the name.