Louisiana Tech Unveils New Logos

One of the first things Derek Dooley noticed when he arrived on the Louisiana Tech campus was the university's familiar "State T" logo.

Not in a good way.

Dooley, Tech's second-year football coach and athletics director, loved the idea --- but hated the execution.

Every where he looked, there were slight variations on the school's principal athletic mark.

It was a symptom, said associate athletic director of external affairs Eric Buskirk, of a larger problem: Louisiana Tech's image, too often, was left to happenstance or cookie-cutter graphics packages.

That led the university on a months-long journey toward Wednesday's official announcement of new logos and fonts.

This remarkable reinvention warranted such a deliberative pace, since it was something tangible to fans -- something they can bring home on ballcaps and shirts.

"Even though it's a small piece to the puzzle," Buskirk said, "it's something we're proud of. It's a momentum builder."

The solution of Tech's haphazard positioning problem became a group effort, and the results --- a determined and dynamic collection of eye-catching images --- were stronger for the complex number of voices that contributed.

"It will allow our department to preserve and update some of our great traditions while also showing an institutional commitment to change," said Dooley --- who made special mention of how the process "has been embraced by everyone on campus."

The "State T" logo was slightly modified in an effort to smooth the edges that outline Louisiana and to balance the T in the middle of the mark. The university has also announced a newly created official font.

Perhaps the most notable element of the new designs is an updated mascot logo.

"I'm a big fan of the old bulldog; the problem was it wasn't ours," Buskirk said. "We designed our own mark. It's no longer a piece of clip art from Looney Tunes. Now, we have one that has some class to it. It's not a slobber-jawed cartoon. It fits Louisiana Tech as an esteemed university."

These new logos and wordmarks can be viewed on the Internet at http:// latechsports.cstv.com/ot/latc-new-tech-logos.html. (Tech's familiar scripted logo for the Lady Techsters will remain, as will other non-athletic marks.)

This process began in November, when Dooley, Buskirk and others convened a collection of Tech stakeholders to talk about the proposed changes. This group --- students, university and athletic staff, administrators, university marketing officials, athletes, coaches and interested supporters -- eventually workshopped the evolving ideas into a proposal for Rickenbaugh Graphics, a design company based in Gahanna, Ohio.

"We kept making modifications," Buskirk said. "We just kept fine tuning. It was a team effort to get there."

Every detail, no matter who minute was examined: The extenders in the typography, even the collar on its revamped bulldog.

"We spent a month on the neck," Buskirk said. "We approached it from a hundred different ways. Should there be spikes or the word "Tech"? We took some of the wrinkles out of the face. When you have a lot of people, that's the nice part: Everyone looks at it in different ways, and they see different pieces differently."

The newly created lettering, apparel options, and athletic logos each have a level of sophistication befitting such careful consideration.

"You have to fit into the environment, the tradition and the color scheme," Buskirk said. "At the same time, you want to be creative. I think this does that."

Both Dooley and Buskirk have consistently framed these new designs as but an initial step toward a dramatically improved destination for the athletic department. Still, in a day and age when image is everything, there may not be a more important way to begin that journey.

"The long-term picture is much larger," Buskirk said. "We want to increase budgets and improve facilities. We want to win games and improve our graduation rates. This is a small piece, but it's a start; it's something that could improve the spirit of the alumni base.

"And it's a piece that lasts," Buskirk continued. "This is your brand for years to come. It makes an impact."

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