Bluefield State College is a division 2 HBCU located in Bluefield, West Virginia and competes as a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. As part of the College’s 2020 vision to reinvent itself after years of financial hardship and tuition decline, the Athletic Department wanted a brand refresh as it would introduce twelve new athletic programs, including football, a sport that hadn’t been associate with the college since the late-1940’s.
The previous athletic department’s branding was of a blue devil, which was never well-liked by its religious community, and didn’t portray the traits that the college saw in itself. As part of the rebrand, the college wanted a mascot which represented teamwork, loyalty, and pride. Several fictional and non-fictional mascots were explored, including the elk, wolf, and American bison, before ultimately deciding upon the gray spotted great dane.
The gray spotted great dane was ultimately selected to represent the school as it showed strength, determination, and had a rooted history to the area when Mountaineers began colonizing West Virginia (western Virginia at the time) and needed companionship against black bear and other mountainous animals.
Both a head and full-body versions were created and position in stance that looked intimidating without need of including sharp teeth nor a growling grin. The ears were pointed backwards, however, to reference to the college’s previous “devil” identity and its horns.
Silver in Branding for Social Change 2022
Patrick Finley, Designer; Robyn Jones, Project Manager
Joba Studios, US
Bluefield State College, US
Art Director: Kevin Jones
Designer: Patrick Finley
Project Manager: Robyn Jones