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University introduces new graphic identity for athletics

Princeton NJ -- The University has unveiled a distinctive new graphic identity system for its athletics program, which is intended to provide student-athletes, coaches, alumni and fans with a strong and consistent look for this aspect of campus life.

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The flexible new system provides a ''kit of parts,'' or coordinated set of visual elements that are based on Princeton's traditional iconography. The kit brings together the University shield, a boldly designed varsity ''P,'' a new typeface, the Princeton tiger in a variety of animated silhouettes, and the colors orange and black.

''We had been thinking for some time about creating an identity that would encompass all of our departmental programs, convey the energy and dynamism of our student-athletes and their teams, and also give us something unique to offer our alumni and fans,'' said Gary Walters, director of athletics.

''We feel that this new system reflects both Princeton's colorful athletic heritage and the extraordinary synergies between our classrooms and our playing fields,'' he said, noting that nearly half the University's undergraduates participate in either an intercollegiate varsity or club sport.

The graphic identity system is the result of a process that began in February 2004. A University-wide committee including representatives from athletics, development, public affairs, campus life and communications coordinated the project and engaged Pentagram, an international design firm with offices in New York, to create the identity system. The committee began its work by interviewing groups of student-athletes, alumni, coaches, faculty members and administrators.

painting elements of the new graphic identity system on the field at Princeton Stadium

Athletics facilities crews were busy in the week leading up to the first home football game on Sept. 18 painting elements of the new graphic identity system on the field at Princeton Stadium. Here, from left, Elysee Nicolas, John Cruser and Garfield Brown use a plastic stencil to paint a University shield at the 35-yard line. The crew also planned to create a ''P'' with tiger stripes at the 50-yard line and the word ''tigers'' in the endzones before the 7 p.m. kickoff against Lafayette.

''Working on this project was a great experience, since every member of the committee and everyone we consulted with was so eager to help create something exceptional for Princeton,'' said Judith Friedman, director of development communications, who led the effort. ''The new system is specifically designed to celebrate the intrinsic role that athletics play in the life and spirit of Princeton, to provide a great new look for both our athletes and those who cheer for them.''

Throughout the spring, the committee worked with Pentagram to shape the system and then presented it to President Tilghman, who gave final approval.

Many of the elements in the kit of parts have been used in various ways since the 19th century. For example, the Princeton tiger was adopted some 125 years ago as the first sports mascot in American higher education. Since then, dozens of other colleges have chosen the tiger, making it one of the most popular athletic symbols in use today. However, the University had never established its own consistent tiger image.

To solve this problem, the new system includes four stylized tiger silhouettes derived from campus landmarks, such as the Whig-Clio tigers and the Palmer Square tiger. The new graphic tigers can be used together with the other elements of the kit or on their own -- embroidered on a fan's golf shirt or emblazoned on a varsity lacrosse jersey. ''There are countless ways to use the various symbols, either alone or in combination, and we have put together a guide to provide direction to users,'' said Friedman.

The new identity soon will begin appearing on everything from scoreboards, game tickets and team uniforms to hats, banners, T-shirts and other memorabilia. It is already incorporated into this year's schedule cards, media guides and posters, and in the coming months, will appear on Princeton's football field and beneath the ice in Baker Rink. Later this fall, the new system will be incorporated into a redesign of the athletics Web site <www.goprincetontigers.com> and should be available on merchandise sold at the University Store. New merchandise in other stores will follow.

For more information, contact the Office of Athletic Relations at 258-6695.