School Logo History/Backstory

OUcats82

Well-known member
After following the Ohio Helmet competition, it affirmed what I have long known-many schools reuse a version of a collegiate or professional logo-usually changing colors, tweaking details etc. I know both my alma mater (University of Louisville Cardinal knockoff) and my kids' school (LA/Colorado State Rams knockoff) do this.

But there are several others who have unique nicknames and/or logos.

If you think your school has their own unique logo or helmet, please share the backstory/history.

What piqued my curiosity on this was I recently saw the Zanesville Blue Devil logo that features elements of the American flag within the silhouette of a devil head.

Is this just a way to show patriotism/American pride or is there more to this?

Looking forward to your stories!
 

Scipio

Active member
The old Warren Harding Panther logo was fantastic. Maybe Worm can post it. It was the logo and on scoreboard for decades but only later put on the helmet for a short time before Harding and Reserve combined.
Edit: Found it. Remember, the logo was done in the 1960's and so the graphics are obviously dated. They just kept it for this video it and never updated, which I'm fine with.
The "H" on the helmet was used in the 70's including the '71 and '74 State Championship teams. We went to the Panther logo on one side in '80.
 
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OUcats82

Well-known member
The old Warren Harding Panther logo was fantastic. Maybe Worm can post it. It was the logo and on scoreboard for decades but only later put on the helmet for a short time before Harding and Reserve combined.
Edit: Found it. Remember, the logo was done in the 1960's and so the graphics are obviously dated. They just kept it for this video it and never updated, which I'm fine with.
The "H" on the helmet was used in the 70's including the '71 and '74 State Championship teams. We went to the Panther logo on one side in '80.
That is a good logo! Would be awesome if the red eyes could have lit up on a scoreboard.
 

dograt

Active member
MUHS.pngMilton Union. The volleyball coach had a logo commissioned early 2000's of the MU with a bulldog collar surrounding the letters. It has been tweaked twice, but mostly the same for 15+ years. Maybe not a super interesting backstory, but a unique logo.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
One of the more unique logos in Cleveland, the Benedictine flying "B" logo, was 1st used in 1962 and has been on their helmet ever since. The “Flying B” was inspired by the Green Bay Packers oval G logo and actually designed by athletic director Joe Rufus, assistant coach Ed Kubancik ’47 and by then-coach and present Cleveland Auxiliary Bishop Roger Gries O.S.B. ’54. Back in 2003 cleveland.com had a similar helmet poll and the Benny helmet beat out Massillon's to win the title.


Also of note, the first year that the Bengals used white helmets was in 1955 in Augie Bossu’s first year as head coach. Previously the helmets were blue.
In 1957, the Bengals were the first Cleveland area team to wear numbers on their helmets to make it easier to identify players for fans, newspaper photographers and for coaches watching the game films. Most college teams and many NFL teams had been using this style with the numbers on helmets. The facemask has always been gray; there was originally just the one light blue strip on the helmet, the 2 navy blue stripes were added in 1981 which was the last update to this helmet.
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
This is a cool thread! Unfortunately, most schools have done an abysmal job of keeping records of how and when their logos came to be along with their mascots.
 

John Lee Pettimore

Well-known member
I have always liked the Benedictine logo. I love unique logos and hate copycats. Take Glenville, with a cool name like tarblooders they should have a unique logo to go along with a unique name.

Matter of fact, I think I heard somewhere that Massillon was the first team to put a logo on their helmet, under coach Leo Strang. Seriously not 100% sure about this but I think I heard that somewhere. Maybe someone from Massillon can confirm this.
 

Maxie

Well-known member
I have always liked the Benedictine logo. I love unique logos and hate copycats. Take Glenville, with a cool name like tarblooders they should have a unique logo to go along with a unique name.

Matter of fact, I think I heard somewhere that Massillon was the first team to put a logo on their helmet, under coach Leo Strang. Seriously not 100% sure about this but I think I heard that somewhere. Maybe someone from Massillon can confirm this.
Yes, you are correct. Coach Strang, one of our great head coaches, put a leaping tiger on the helmets. That occurred in the late 1950’s.🐅
 

perry14

Member
I'm a perry guy obviously. The leaping panther on the helmets should be brought back. Not a huge fan of the block "P". Go back to white helmets and the black ,gold, black stripes down the center of helmet and the stars you earn on special plays. Massillon ,McKinley, and mentor have the best logos (imo) of the schools ive seen in ohio.
 

John Lee Pettimore

Well-known member
I'm a perry guy obviously. The leaping panther on the helmets should be brought back. Not a huge fan of the block "P". Go back to white helmets and the black ,gold, black stripes down the center of helmet and the stars you earn on special plays. Massillon ,McKinley, and mentor have the best logos (imo) of the schools ive seen in ohio.
One of my favorite logos the the red D in Olde English against the gray helmets for Dover.
 

OUcats82

Well-known member
I'm a perry guy obviously. The leaping panther on the helmets should be brought back. Not a huge fan of the block "P". Go back to white helmets and the black ,gold, black stripes down the center of helmet and the stars you earn on special plays. Massillon ,McKinley, and mentor have the best logos (imo) of the schools ive seen in ohio.
The current decal looks a little bit like the Purdue P if I recall correctly?
 

Auggie

Well-known member
[
I have always liked the Benedictine logo. I love unique logos and hate copycats. Take Glenville, with a cool name like tarblooders they should have a unique logo to go along with a unique name.

Matter of fact, I think I heard somewhere that Massillon was the first team to put a logo on their helmet, under coach Leo Strang. Seriously not 100% sure about this but I think I heard that somewhere. Maybe someone from Massillon can confirm this.
Glenville does have a cool old logo, they had a fan that use to post here that used it as his avatar. Kind of a rock'em sock'em robot look.
 

StateChampion2012

Well-known member
Not too certain where it came from but its a combination of the Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears logo and it looks like a shield that a Cavalier would hold. I do not know how long we've had that logo. Before Coldwater was the Cavaliers, we were known as the yellow jackets.

Coldwater-300x200.png
 
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tucson

Active member
Wapakoneta adopted its current logos in 2007. It was an entire brand overhaul that extended beyond athletics. Previously, Wapak used a generic Indian head logo and the Wisconsin motion "W" for its logos. Wapak wasn't the only school using the Wisconsin "W", but Wapak didn't change it at all - it was still red, they didn't flip it like Lakota West does, etc. So anyways, to avoid legal issues and to have a less complicated Indian head logo (to make screenprints, etc., easier), they hired a firm to come up with something new that was unique to them.

They ended up with a --W-> logo which is on their helmets and at the center of their football field. They also have a modern Indian head logo which I believe is the center logo in their gymnasium. And then they have their own font for spelling out Wapak, Wapakoneta, and Redskins. Their brand reveal powerpoint is still online and if folks are interested in seeing all the logos/history beyond what I attached you can view it here: http://www.kurtcruse.com/wapak/index.html
 

Attachments

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
Poster Keith needs to chime in.

He is a Fremont Ross Little Giant fan and amateur historian. The story behind the Little Giants is fairly cool.

1590713104471.png

If I remember right there was a thread a while back on the Akron Zips and Youngstown St. Penguins and how they got their nicknames/logos?
 
I'm a perry guy obviously. The leaping panther on the helmets should be brought back. Not a huge fan of the block "P". Go back to white helmets and the2 black ,gold, black stripes down the center of helmet and the stars you earn on special plays. Massillon ,McKinley, and mentor have the best logos (imo) of the schools ive seen in ohio.
Perry14, I have thought the same for sometime. 2022 will be the 40th anniversary of the last season with that iconic helmet. Maybe??????
 
Perry14, I have thought the same for sometime. 2022 will be the 40th anniversary of the last season with that iconic helmet. Maybe??????
By the way, I would love to get my hands on two of those old leaping Panther stickers. I can think of one guy who might them. I converted an old Steeler helmet to a black Panther helmet around 1980 with the leaping Panthers on both sides. Would love to have that old helmet back. Maybe there could be a fund raiser to purchase those helmets as alternatives for special games? You would also have to bring back those '82 uniforms too......That look was sweet!
 
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Scipio

Active member
By the way, I would love to get my hands on two of those old leaping Panther stickers. I can think of one guy who might them. I converted an old Steeler helmet to a black Panther helmet around 1980 with the leaping Panthers on both sides. Would love to have that old helmet back. Maybe there could be a fund raiser to purchase those special helmets as alternatives for special games? You would also have to bring back those '82 uniforms too......That look was sweet!
That helmet was probably ‘81 or later. The ‘80 helmet had that Panther Head shown above on one side and a crappy looking white “WGH” on the other.
I think someone actually sells those stickers. I’ll check into it for you.
 

Tardis

Well-known member
Colerain once got into a dispute with University of Louisville over the use of the Cardinal head as the primary logo, which resulted in Colerain changing the color of the beak from yellow to its current white. Louisville has since modernized their logo.
 

ohiopup

Well-known member
FWIW

Warren Harding - a cursory search of yearbooks...

1932 Warren Harding "Presidents"


1940 colors Red & White

1944 FB Presidents Red & White

1947 Echoes yearbook
-- 1946 football season ~ Presidents

( No story in either Annual on why the change - I may have missed it )

1948 Echoes yearbook
-- 1947 football season PANTHER PIGSKIN REVIEW
---- text refers to the team as the 'Executives'


1949 Panthers

:>---

SALT
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
Colerain once got into a dispute with University of Louisville over the use of the Cardinal head as the primary logo, which resulted in Colerain changing the color of the beak from yellow to its current white. Louisville has since modernized their logo.
Toledo Whitmer had a similar dispute with Pitt over the use of Pitt's Panther Head which they have since went away from.
1590757365290.png

Whitmer simply had an art student draw something similar (better IMO).
1590757453234.png
 

OUcats82

Well-known member
Toledo Whitmer had a similar dispute with Pitt over the use of Pitt's Panther Head which they have since went away from.
View attachment 7401

Whitmer simply had an art student draw something similar (better IMO).
View attachment 7402
Student one is indeed a lot better. Always thought that Pitt Panther looked like a dinosaur and/or a rottweiler from a little bit of distance.

Worst case I've heard of regarding a logo infringement (and kind of a weak copyright as it is) is the Rutgers R.

If I scanned through fonts in my graphic design software I could probably come up with a dozen or more of block fonts that would look similar. I'm sure they paid out the nose for it, too.

But hey, if you have the resources, there is a lot you can pursue intellectual property rights for.

Always thought they missed the boat by not making the negative space at the bottom (the part that kind of looks like a shovel), look more like a sword.

3999_rutgers_scarlet_knights-alternate-2001.png
 

OUcats82

Well-known member
Colerain once got into a dispute with University of Louisville over the use of the Cardinal head as the primary logo, which resulted in Colerain changing the color of the beak from yellow to its current white. Louisville has since modernized their logo.
I remember that. A lot of the sporting goods stores like Yeager or All-Star would still make things with the yellow beak but at least that was on them and not the school district. It was most prevalent with the cardinal patches that were on letterman jackets.

When I was there both the "stomping" full body cardinal and the cardinal head were being used on the left chest area.
 

*67

Active member
Wapakoneta adopted its current logos in 2007. It was an entire brand overhaul that extended beyond athletics. Previously, Wapak used a generic Indian head logo and the Wisconsin motion "W" for its logos. Wapak wasn't the only school using the Wisconsin "W", but Wapak didn't change it at all - it was still red, they didn't flip it like Lakota West does, etc. So anyways, to avoid legal issues and to have a less complicated Indian head logo (to make screenprints, etc., easier), they hired a firm to come up with something new that was unique to them.

They ended up with a --W-> logo which is on their helmets and at the center of their football field. They also have a modern Indian head logo which I believe is the center logo in their gymnasium. And then they have their own font for spelling out Wapak, Wapakoneta, and Redskins. Their brand reveal powerpoint is still online and if folks are interested in seeing all the logos/history beyond what I attached you can view it here: http://www.kurtcruse.com/wapak/index.html
Technically, Wapak could have fought their case against Wisconsin, because their motion W was slightly different. But it was cheaper to create a whole new set of logos, and what they did is what every school in the state should do. Hire someone to make something specific for you, and use it across the board.
 

firewatch

Well-known member
This Obie the Tiger logo appeared in a souvenir program in the late 1930’s. This iconic mascot is recognized nationwide.
Here is where the name OBIE came from.


O.B.I.E.'s Origins

Where did the famous Massillon mascot, O.B.I.E., get his name?

That's exactly what one patron was pondering one fall afternoon when he called our Reference Desk for some help. A proud member of Washington High School's class of 1930 (!), he recalled a contest in which his fellow students were invited to suggest ideas for their new mascot's name; the most clever submission of the bunch would be the one bestowed upon the tiger cub. One of his female classmates won the contest with her entry for O.B.I.E. (which stands for Orange and Black Is Excellent, of course!). However, after all these years, our patron seemed to have forgotten the winner's name and asked that we provide him with it, if possible.

So we got to work! We scoured all of the old Washington High School yearbooks from 1926-1930 for any mention of a contest or a winner. We combed through old newspaper clippings from The Massillon Independent. We sifted through pages upon pages of materials from our collection dedicated to the history of Massillon football, like Massillon Memories: The Inside Story of the Greatest Show in High School Football and The Massillon Tigers Story: The First Hundred Years. Alas, despite our best efforts, we found no mention of the mystery girl behind O.B.I.E.'s namesake.

Enter Junie Studer, Massillon Booster Club historian and former president. When we called Mr. Studer at home the next day, his initial response to our query was a familiar laugh; this question had obviously been posed to him many times in the past. He told us that the winner of the naming contest, held in 1926, was Viola Black, a member of the WHS graduating class of 1927. Success!

We were happy to wrap up this reference question by sending our patron a letter with the information he requested, along with a copy of a page of the 1927 edition of a Washington High School yearbook that included Ms. Black's senior picture. Now our patron can put a face to a name that was attached to a fond recollection from his past. We hope he enjoyed that trip down memory lane!

Posted by Massillon Public Library Reference Department at 3:28 PM

Labels: local history, Massillon football, WHS
 

ELKSONE

GO ELKS!
Centerville, the city was founded in 1796. The high school was founded in 1885 and at some point took on the mascot ELKS. Years ago, the Dayton Daily News ran a similar article, going around to the various schools to find out the history of their mascot and colors. Unfortunately nobody in Centerville knows how they came up with the mascot ELKS. As far as I know, there isn't a college older than Centerville with the mascot ELKS. Therefore, they have an original mascot compared to most schools.
 
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