Augustana College printing logo

Augustana's athletics logo gets a new look

Designer used research to keep appearance of Viking gear historically accurate

September  01, 2011

The word Viking refers to Scandinavian explorers, warriors and merchants from the late eighth to the mid-11th century. Today the word — and moreover the Viking image — still holds special meaning to the athletes, scholars and others connected to Augustana College.

On Thursday, Augustana President Steven C. Bahls unveiled a new athletics logo at a reception for the campus community held on the patio of Carlsson Evald Hall.

"Logos are often simplified caricatures," explained Kurt Tucker, design director at Augustana. "But, it was important that the core elements of this new logo be authentic to Viking history and to Augustana."

Scott Cason, assistant vice president of communications and marketing, added, "The design is original and reflects how we want to present our past and present. It has elements that tie directly to our proud Swedish heritage."

To set the Rock Island Augustana College's Viking apart from other college and professional sports identities, Tucker spent hours in the Thomas Tredway Library before beginning his actual design. Based on his findings, Tucker designed the new logo without horns on the helmet.

Rivets, nose and cheek guards all can be seen in the new Augustana Viking logo.

"There is no archeological evidence that Viking helmets had horns," Tucker said. "The design of Viking helmets varied, but they were typically made of several pieces of iron riveted together. And they often included nose and cheek guards."

His research also showed that Vikings carried large wooden shields and bearded axes. The shields were sometimes lightly decorated.

"The shield in our logo includes reference to the cross found on Scandinavian flags. And, of course, our colors reflect the colors of Sweden-the country of Augustana's founders," Tucker said.

Keen eyes will enjoy searching for Augustana architectural icons built within the new athletics logo. The back of the helmet looks similar to the dome on the historic academic building Old Main, and the peak of the helmet was designed to echo trademark arches seen around the campus. Additionally, an A for Augustana can be found within the logo.

Known for their academic and athletic successes, Augustana students participate in 12 men's and 11 women's varsity sports. The new logo captures what it means to be an Augustana Viking in mind, body and spirit.

"Our coaches and student-athletes felt it was important to have an actual Viking in our branding materials," said Mike Zapolski, director of athletics.

Through athletics, Augustana students acquire dynamic skills, knowledge and fitness. Student athletes are encouraged to achieve a sense of self-confidence, pride, team unity, success and cohesiveness through competitive sport. Augustana ranks sixth in the nation among all divisions with 134 academic All-Americans, second among Division III schools behind only MIT.

"The new logo is an exciting brandmark of Augustana athletics," said Dave Wrath, associate director of athletics. "It will serve to create an identity for the student-athletes who proudly wear blue and gold."

Keri Rursch
Director of Public Relations
(309) 794-7721
kerirursch@augustana.edu