The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has long been known for its distinct logos and unique shade of blue. In partnership with Nike, UNC Athletics refreshed its marks and colors to create a consistent look to one of the most recognized brands in college sports.
UNC and Nike collaborated on the brand evolution program over 18 months, consulting with student-athletes, coaches, administrators and alumni to gather insights on key attributes of the institution.
“We are excited to once again partner with Nike, one of the most recognizable brands in the world, to help us refresh and refine our marks and logos,” said University of North Carolina Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham. “The changes are subtle, but they celebrate our history and create consistency as we further seek to distinguish our brand. This is our blue and we’re proud of it.”
As part of the updated identity, all 28 North Carolina varsity sports, beginning in fall 2015, will showcase consistent colors, logos, lettering and numerals. The change will expand to all sports in the upcoming seasons. To ensure consistency across all applications, North Carolina will introduce a refreshed primary logo, which will be adopted by all sports teams. The interlocking NC logo dates from the 1800s and has been rebuilt to balance its size and scale.
In addition, the argyle pattern – which has been used primarily on the men’s basketball uniform since 1991 – will be adopted as a secondary identity for use by all teams.
The use of Carolina Blue at UNC dates from 1795, when the dialectic (blue) and philanthropic (white) debating societies of the university chose their representative colors. When football became a popular sport in the 1890s, the North Carolina football team adopted Carolina Blue and white as the school’s colors.
“Nike has a long-standing relationship with the University of North Carolina and it’s been a remarkable experience to capture the essence of their rich history,” said Todd Van Horne, Vice President and Creative Director for Nike Football and Baseball. “The subtle updates honor the brand equity their athletic identity has built over decades and further reinforces the brand for the next generation of Tar Heels.”
To complement the primary colors of Carolina Blue and white, all 28 sports will have Navy blue, black and metallic silver included in a secondary color palette.