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NYU Violets Unveil New Uniforms and Logos

[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.)



Comments (17)

    While I like the athletic logo, there is some dissonance with the university’s white torch logo. Your thoughts?

    I’m a little confused here. I happy to be a grad student at NYU and this new identity has been around the entire school year. I checked NYU athletics website and Twitter and didn’t see an announcement. So what has been unveiled here?

    If this is a purple amnesty day joke that went over my head I apologize!!

    Your mentioning of the Oakland A’s elephant is apt. I never see dissonance between the team name and the mascot. For instance, the Georgetown Hoyas use a bulldog, the Akron Zips have a kangaroo.

    The Iowa State teams were known as the Cardinals for a some time early in the 20th century. The Cardinals are a common mascot in the upper midwest: Illinois State (Redbirds), Ball State, Louisville. At some point, Iowa State upset a higher rated Northwestern team. The newspaper headline was along the lines of “Northwestern hit by Iowa State Cyclone.” The rest is history.

    Wow! The beveling on the logo definitely makes it Intentionally Foul(TM).

    This librarian loves that at least the old mascot was named for the library on campus.

    I fell in love with uniwatch two years ago, so the archived hyperlinks bring joy. The mke bucks article was so fascinating. Paul you are very good at what you do.

    This is beautiful! I love the thorny monogram and wordmark on the baseball jersey.

    While I have always liked NYU and have been interested in their Uniform History and the like, I think the new interlocking “NYU” logo is a bit too busy of a font and clashes a bit with the non-athletic legacy logo.
    I DO really like the font used to spell out Violets, and find it classy and fitting for the NYU location, history and air of “class” I associate with NYU.
    I also wish they would use a bit lighter or more “violet” shade of purple, as it appears the current purple is closer to LSU or the NFL Vikings than it is actual violet.
    But that’s just my “Subway Alumni-wanabee” opinion from 1600 miles away New Orleans.

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