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April 11, 2014

Florida State Athletics Unveils Brand Identity

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FSU and Nike partner to enhance FSU marks and unify Seminole brand across sports.

Nearly two years ago, Florida State approached longtime partner Nike for assistance to evaluate, enhance and express the celebrated marks of its athletics programs and set a visual direction that respects the history of the program for the next generation of Seminoles.

FSU’s first directive related to creating color consistency for the primary garnet color across uniforms, sideline gear, coaching gear and fan apparel. FSU expressed the desire to return to a truer garnet that would be as consistent as possible across all sports and all materials. 

Florida State Athletics and Seminole Boosters have recognized that the Seminole Head primary logo, while as recognizable and iconic as any in all of sports, does not reproduce well in a number of mediums. FSU asked Nike for help in refining the logo so that consistency can be achieved without diminishing the identity of the iconic image.  FSU consulted with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the effort arrived at a design that can take FSU Athletics into the future.

FSU Athletics wanted its teams and student-athletes to wear uniforms that are as technically advanced as any in college athletics.  Nike’s state-of-the-art uniform materials are significantly lighter, more aerodynamic, more durable and superior in every respect to the uniforms FSU teams currently wear.  The possibility of a competitive disadvantage continuing in this area was unacceptable. 

FSU worked closely with Nike designers to develop a look that accurately represents the excitement and tradition of today’s Seminole football.  In commissioning the creative changes, Florida State welcomed Nike’s concept of making the uniforms even more symbolic of its relationship with the Seminole Tribe of Florida while maintaining its iconic look. The Seminole patchwork on the football jersey sleeves contain the Tribe’s symbols for Arrow, Man on Horse, and Fire, with the helmet spears crossing in the back representative of the crossed bars of the state flag.

While Florida State’s football coaches have worn garnet sideline shirts over the past several years, Florida State athletics was looking to use the color consistently across all sports and applications.  Florida State will be the only Nike partner, pro or college, using this as its primary color.  In addition, a unique font called UNCONQUERED has been created, along with uniform insignias and numbers that will be adopted across all sports.     

FSU debuts today a refined Seminole Head logo that has been approved by Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman James Billie and retains the iconic image with renewed spark and energy.

In addition, Florida State’s student-athletes will practice and compete next year in materials engineered to provide a competitive advantage

Finally, all FSU teams will have a new look that maintains the tradition of the past while reflecting a strong, youthful and bold attitude that will take Florida State Athletics into the future and has resulted in a collection called….IGNITION – TRADITION.

“We unveil today the state-of-the-art uniforms and the look that is the future of Florida State Athletics,” said FSU Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox. “Florida State will now be the only Nike team, college or professional, wearing our garnet color. FSU now has a unique font called Unconquered that has already helped define our program, and we have added a consistent numerical font that will be applied across all our uniforms," Wilcox added. "The Seminole Head logo has been modified to raise the prominence of the iconic symbol throughout our athletics programs. Today’s release of these dynamic, cutting-edge uniforms will keep Florida State at the forefront of college athletics and will further amplify our great tradition.”

As part of the new program, all of Florida State’s intercollegiate sports teams will showcase consistent colors, logos, lettering and numerals.

“Florida State University has one of the most iconic athletic programs in college sports,” said Todd Van Horne, VP and Creative Director for Nike Football and Baseball. “ We wanted to celebrate the past while adding some fresh enhancements that are consistent with the university’s direction moving forward.”

Fans can go to either the official Seminoles online store at Seminoles.com or the FSU Bookstores on campus for immediate purchases or pre-sale ordering of product featuring the new branding as well as Nike.com. Most retail outlets that sell Florida State University merchandise will have products with the new marks by the end of April.

NEW FLORIDA STATE BRAND IDENTITY STANDARDS

  • New Seminole logo with the head held high, expressing purpose and conviction.

  • Updated version of Seminole Spear with color and sleek lines to be used consistently by all intercollegiate athletic teams.

  • Custom wordmarks and numeral set.

  • Primary and secondary color palettes.

  • Patchwork

Primary Identity – Seminole Logo

The Seminole logo is the primary representation of the brand and is used as the main identifying device for Florida State Athletics. Reinforcement of the primary identity will build equity in the brand. In primary or secondary colors, the Seminole logo works well across all media. With a more graphic application and flexible approach to palettes and logo staging, the Seminole logo is positioned well for the future.

Secondary Identity –Seminole Spear

Florida State's trademark helmet with the Seminole Spear is well known throughout all of college football. This design was first introduced during Bobby Bowden's first year as head coach in 1976.  The Spear has been refined and will be an even more important element of the brand hierarchy moving forward, primarily for application on uniforms and helmets.

Color Palette

When it comes to communicating the Florida State Athletics brand, color is quintessential.  Garnet and Gold remain the primary colors for the Seminoles, with White and Black serving as a secondary palette.  Garnet symbolizes passion and strength, and gold traditionally evokes a sense of quality and pride.  The color black is authoritative and powerful, and white represents confidence and honesty.

Typography – Primary – “UNCONQUERED”

Type tells a story. The right typeface, used consistently, builds character. The Seminoles of Florida call themselves the “Unconquered People,” descendants of just 300 Native Americans who managed to elude capture by the U.S. army in the 19th century. The custom display alphabet is a powerful element within Florida State's brand identity. The typography incorporates distinctive inline styling, unique serifs and structural characteristics that are exclusive to Florida State Athletics. These elements create a powerful, exclusive look that distinguishes the wordmarks from other institutions. This custom alphabet, appropriately named “Unconquered” is unmistakably Seminole. 

A custom numeral set has been included as an enhancement to the primary typeface.

Typography  – Wordmarks – “FLORIDA STATE,” “SEMINOLES,” AND “FSU”

To assist in creating a consistent look for a wide variety of athletics communications, custom wordmarks for “Florida State,” “Seminoles,” and “FSU” have been designed.  The wordmarks work closely in support of the primary identity and are derived from the primary typography.

Typography – Wordmark – Seminoles Script

The Seminoles script was designed as a nod to the heritage of the sports of baseball and softball at Florida State.  Script typography is based upon the varied and often fluid stroke created by handwriting. The letterforms in the Seminoles script are consistent with the design language in the primary typography and word marks.

Typography - Secondary

The secondary sans-serif typeface United was selected to complement the primary typeface and directly tie back to the Florida State Athletics Brand Identity.  United is part of a family that offers an exceptionally wide range of weights, providing great versatility and legibility. United is one of the most extensive font families available anywhere, boasting three unique styles, each with seven weights and five widths for a total of 105 fonts in the entire collection.

Quotes from FSU Coaches

“I really believe that the traditions of Florida State are as deeply rooted and important as any in college football and perhaps even more because of our relationship with the Seminole Tribe and I wouldn’t have approved anything that I felt detracted from that.  The elements that went into the design changes are all based on our unique history and that’s an important part of the story.  In fact, we went to the Tribe right away and got their opinion and permission before we took the first step. 

“We are making the change in the football uniforms for a couple of reasons.  The first is that it puts us in the very top of the line in terms of technical innovation where we had been trailing some over the last few years.  The second is to take advantage of the chance for a much needed update of our uniforms that better suits the future of our program. 

 “I heard a quote from Buck Showalter last month that is a pretty good message related to this.  He said, “Never confuse change for a lack of respect for tradition.”  We have kept tradition at the forefront throughout this process.

“And there is no doubt in my mind about the excitement level that our players are going to have being able to wear these uniforms.” Jimbo Fisher, FSU Head Football Coach

“Our players are going to love playing in the new uniforms.  They are lightweight, they absorb perspiration much better, and our players love the more brilliant colors.  The reaction of each of our players was the same – they all love the improved design, feel that they will give them more freedom of movement and that the colors say Florida State to them because the garnet and the gold are much more outstanding than our previous uniforms. “Leonard Hamilton, FSU Head Men’s Basketball Coach

 “I really like the style of our new jerseys. Nike continues to be on the cutting edge with designing new material that is both appealing and comfortable to wear. We expect these new jerseys to be very eye-catching to recruits, and the modified design and updated Seminole head logo continue to reaffirm FSU’s traditions and values. The breathable fabric and overall look of our brand new jersey’s generates even more excitement as we look toward the 2014-15 season and beyond.” Sue Semrau, FSU Head Women’s Basketball Coach

“Our new uniforms do a wonderful job of preserving the tradition of Florida State baseball with updated technology and materials. Nike found the perfect balance between the history of Seminole baseball and the future. We wanted to ensure we continued to utilize our interlocking FS, which is so deeply associated with our program. The preserved that tradition while incorporating the Seminole head into our uniforms. Our players are extremely excited to be playing in a uniform that is one of the most advanced in all of college baseball.” Mike Martin, FSU Head Baseball Coach