Football team “Raven” about its new logo and branding

As the Carleton Ravens football team prepares to return to the field after a 15-year hiatus, one thing is for sure – they’re going to look great.

From its logo to uniforms to locker rooms, the football team recently underwent a branding overhaul.

While head coach Steve Sumarah raves about the new design for its simplicity, the rebranding process was anything but.

According to Sumarah, the idea to redesign the Raven’s logo and brand was spurred by John Ruddy, president of the Old Crows Football Inc. The Old Crows, a not-for-profit corporation composed of community supporters and Carleton football alumni, funds the team’s entire operating budget.

Upon a recommendation from Ruddy, the team entered into a rebranding contract with Portland, Oregon-based creative agency Downstream. The company has also provided services to big-name teams such as the Ottawa Redblacks, the incoming Canadian Football League team, and the Ottawa Fury soccer club.

Downsteam Senior Designer Colin Fowler says the rebranding process began in early 2012 with a “discovery session” between the company and the team’s key decision makers in Ottawa.

“We’re primarily story tellers and when we approach any project, we’re trying to tell our client’s story,” says Fowler.

And for Carleton, that story was about its mascot – the raven.

“We wanted to create energy and excitement around the new football program. One of the ways to do that was to actually talk about the raven itself,” says Fowler. “They’re intelligent, they’re creative, they’re problem solvers, they’re competitors – all of these natural instincts that these birds have.”

During the rebrand, which took more than a year, the design team went through thousands of visuals to find the right one. The team finally settled on a logo – something that continues to impress head coach Sumarah.

“I think the number one thing that I’ve been most impressed with by what they came up with, is how simple yet unique it is. The half eye of the raven looking down the beak, looking a little menacing,” says Sumarah.

Carleton Athletics Marketing and Brand Development Manager Sheryl Hunt adds that the university is thrilled with result.

“The new brand honours the rich Ravens tradition but simply represents it in a new, fresh way.”

Downstream was also responsible for the design of the team’s uniforms, helmets and locker rooms. The uniforms come in four colours – black, red, white and forest grey.

Sumarah admits he is also excited to see the final product of the “spectacular” new locker rooms, which feature a 36-inch-wide locker for every athlete and an embossed Ravens logo on each locker door.

While Sumarah says the team can’t wait to sport their new gear at their first home game in September, the players actually won’t be the first athletes to wear the new logo. A group of junior football players, aged eight to 14, were the first to wear jerseys with the new logo at a recent Ravens football camp.

“They were the first to really wear the logo … I guess we’ll be second,” he says with a laugh.

This entry was written by Michelle Zilio and posted in the issue. Bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

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