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Northwest Nazarene University Nighthawks Branding

It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of the process. Designing a college sports identity system has been on my list of goals for a while, so I was very excited when I was asked to be apart of the team. As a designer I love help others express their ideas in visual forms.

We followed our design process of research, sketch, review, and revise until we were ready to finalize. After researching the visual appearance of a nighthawk, we looked at its behavior and characteristics then coupled those with who we are as an institution. The last part of the development process was rendering sketches on the computer, gathering feedback, and making adjustments. After the primary and alternate logos were decided on, we finalized the lettering for Nighthawks.

We looked at as many other sports teams logos as we could to get an idea of what would fit for us, what had been done before, and what our visual language of this new mark might be. Longevity was one of our goals for the visual look of this new branding. To the best of our ability, we tried to create something that would be unique and stand over time. Then we looked at basic shapes, flight patterns, and poses. The right flying nighthawk ended up flowing with text underneath, showing motion, strength, and speed. One thing we tried to do was think about how athletes would feel wearing this. If our logo can visually inspire our athletic teams before they step into competition, we already have a leg up.

What was the most challenging part of the process? Creating the alternate logo. Korte and I initially did not create a forward facing option, because we had seen it done so much before. After several people suggested that view, we created some different options for that pose, and it ended up fitting well with our existing athletic shield.

What do you hope to convey through the design? In a short answer, direction. I hope we move forward. I hope this logo inspires our athletes to compete at a high level. I hope this logo directs us to see things from others point of view. I hope we show compassion as quickly as strength. I hope we all move to work together, not seperate, to spread the love of Jesus. In the logo, we focused on the white markings on the wing, speed, and focus. These things needs to work together in the same direction; if so, they can accomplish a greater goal.