A New Look for SPS Athletics

St. Paul’s School has developed a cohesive athletics brand identity that reflects the energy and spirit of its student athletes, coaches, and the community that supports them.
As the 2021-22 academic year begins, it does so with an exciting new look for the School’s athletics teams. After more than a year of collaborative, cross-departmental work, St. Paul’s School has developed a cohesive athletics brand identity that reflects the energy and spirit of its student athletes, coaches, and the community that supports them.
 
Watch our brand in action in the video below.
Associate Director of Athletics Chris Smith, who led the branding effort, says the goal “was to provide a coordinated visual identity and enable us to implement it in a manner that presents a consistent graphic depiction of our teams, our Big Red nickname, and our pelican mascot while connecting Athletics with the School’s overall visual identity.
 
“With this new look,” Smith adds, “students, faculty, staff, SPS families, and alumni can show their spirit and their pride in St. Paul’s School continuing its tradition of athletic excellence.”
 
The visual brand uses the School’s official colors of red, black, white, and yellow but expresses them in a custom font with a fresh new take on the pelican mascot. Central to the identity is the differentiation between the nickname and mascot, a structural decision that was reached after polling of students, captains, coaches, staff, faculty, and a cohort of alumni. Are the SPS teams the Pelicans or Big Red? The answer has varied over the years. Community feedback solidified around the moniker of “Big Red” for the athletics teams, and the visual brand reflects that shift.
 
The pelican remains an important symbol of the athletics program, conveying, as Smith says, “the mission of the School and its athletes. It suggests aspiration, service, and sacrifice. It represents who we strive to be as people — thoughtful, unselfish, and compassionate — always striving forward and upward.” The pelican mirrors that ideal in the new visual brand; drawn in vibrant School colors, it flies boldly forward, just like the School’s Big Red student-athletes.

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