[This post is part of Uni Watch’s 2023 Purple Amnesty Day content. For additional background and details, look here.]
It’s one thing for your primary school color to be purple; it’s another to go the extra mile and call your teams the Violets! That’s the situation at New York University, whose teams compete in the NCAA’s Division III.
But NYU’s athletic identity has been a bit muddled over the years. Although the team has always officially been known as the Violets, the school adopted the bobcat as its mascot — but not as the team name — at some point in the 1980s (sort of like how the Oakland A’s use the white elephant). The bobcat was based on the nickname for the school’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, and in recent years bobcat imagery had begun to bleed into the school’s branding, creating some “Are they the Violets or are they the Bobcats?” confusion.
Now, just in time for Purple Amnesty Day, the Brooklyn-based branding firm Doubleday & Cartwright (which I wrote about for ESPN when they designed the Milwaukee Bucks’ uniforms and Inter Miami’s crest) has given NYU a brand refresh that is 100% bobcat-free. D&C’s Chris Isenberg told me:
These new marks will show up in facilities, on merchandise, and across NYU’s digital landscape. But the most exciting and evolving use is on uniforms. Individual teams have significant autonomy in designing their own gear, and it’s amazing to see how they use the new elements — from the crest on the fencing mask to the “Violets” lettering on the road baseball jerseys.
We decided not to actually represent the flower, but to have an interesting Violets logotype and use the new crest and the monogram inside of it to occupy the space that a mascot would occupy for other schools. We are very happy with these moves and how things are shaping up.
You can see some of the results here:
I’d like to thank NYU for unveiling its new look to coincide with Purp Walk and I encourage all other purple-clad schools and teams to do likewise!
(All photos courtesy of NYU Athletics.)