Student designs own ‘fighting hawk’

While the UND Graphic RFP Evaluation and Selection Team has made a recommendation to interim UND President Ed Schafer on the firm to design the Fighting Hawks logo, there is another logo that has been creating buzz around campus for the past several weeks.

UND junior Blaine Durward spent the end of last semester designing his version of a new Fighting Hawks logo. Just as 2015 was coming to a close, he posted the image to Facebook, where it was shared more than 600 times.

Initially he, along with some other UND students and faculty, wanted to form a firm so that they could formally apply to be considered by UND to design the Fighting Hawks logo.

However, this did not work out as planned. There were difficulties that arose from the timing as students went home for winter break, and their planned firm would not have met certain requirements that were laid out in request for approval from UND regarding the logo contract, mainly that they had not designed two trademark logos.

“All of our people were split up, and we were reading through the guidelines that UND wanted, and there was stuff we couldn’t do,” Durward said. “We didn’t have the two trademark logos to be presented as an actual firm,”

Over the past several weeks, UND has been in the process of deciding who should design the next logo. Since the adoption of the new nickname, there has been discussion in the community and online regarding having local
artists or alumni design the new logo, but ultimately individuals who weren’t able to meet the RFP standards were unable to apply to design the logo.

More than 1,000 people signed a tition on started to have members of the UND community design the new logo instead of an outside firm.

“There is a lot of stuff that goes into it, but I didn’t like that they just ruled us out,” Durward said. “I think they should have came to us and asked us if we would like to apply, instead of just kind of making the stipulations to be like ‘No, you guys can’t do it at all’.”

Despite not being able to submit an application to create the new logo, Durward still completed his work and shared it online.

“I kind of knew it was a long shot for us to do that. I wanted to show that people like us students can actually make logos, and that we don’t have to go to a big firm,” Durward said.

Below the beak of the hawk is a shape that is similar to North Dakota, with a star located where Grand Forks would be on the map.

“That was a big thing when I made the logo, I was trying to tie Grand Forks into the logo so it wasn’t just a bird,” Durward said.

Durward is studying graphic design technology at UND, and he first took an interest in designing potential UND logos when the nickname process began last fall.

“I was trying to make it as professional as I could so we could use it if we actually put the firm together,” Durward said.

His most recent Fighting Hawks portfolio includes not only the logo, but also custom made fonts, jerseys and playing fields. He used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to design the logos and other images.

Durward also puts his talent to use designing logos for racetracks in western North Dakota and local businesses. He is involved in IMC racing around his hometown of Trenton, ND, which is in the northwest corner of the state.

This recent Fighting Hawks logo is not the only work done by Durward that has been widely shared on social media. A facebook post in August of last year showing a previous logo created by Durward was shared close to 1000 times.

That version of the Fighting Hawk logo was inspired in part by the Chicago Blackhawks logo, according to Durward.

“I made a concept for another Fighting Hawks design before it actually came out, thinking it would be one of the last 8,” Durward said.

Last week, the RFP Evaluation and Selection Team recommended to interim President Schafer that the firm SME Inc., which is based in New York, be selected to design the next logo. While Schafer has not yet made a final decision to accept the recommendation, the contract is scheduled to be issued on February 16.

Durward had some advice for the firm that will design the new logo.

“I think they should come and see our culture over here. Maybe go to a game or two. Ask students, ask faculty, ask alumni, and try to do something to where you can hints and tips to make the logo about us, not some other place.”

Sean Cleary is editor-in-chief for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]