35-year-old logo makes way for new

Brittany Westerberg

Brittany Westerberg

The new SDSU Jackrabbit logo design was unveiled at 10 a.m. on Feb. 19 at the Student Union.

“We on the selection committee are very excited about the tradition that begins today with this new logo,” Students’ Association (SA) Vice President Chris Schaefer, who emceed the unveiling event, said.

The old mascot design has served SDSU for 35 years. “How many other things have served us well that long?” President David Chicoine said. “We have to give respect to the contributions that that logo has given this institution for those 35 years.”

During those years, Chicoine continued, the institution has changed. Student enrollment has increased, new buildings have been built and new programs have come online. “It certainly makes sense then for this group of dedicated people to have undertaken the task to refresh the visual image of South Dakota State University.”

“We have come to this decision using your input as a guide,” SA President Alex Brown said, referencing the many surveys and focus groups the selection committee put on during the months leading up this unveiling, “and we hope you are as happy with the new mascot as we are.”

The new design was met with a mixture of responses from students. Some thought it looks “mean” and angry. Other students like the new logo.

Emily Kuecker, a junior speech communications major, said that this design was the best they have had yet, especially looking at the fact that they did not have the easiest animal to work with. “I think it’s really creative how they made the Jacks logo,” she said about the word-mark.

“You’re always going to have people who prefer the old rabbit,” University Relations Director Jenny Crickard said, “but it won’t completely disappear.”

Brothers Craig Whitlock and Cory Whitlock of Mongoose Graphics in Denver, Colo. – both Spearfish, S.D., natives – created the new mascot design. When they were presented with the $1,000 reward for creating the new design at the unveiling, they donated it back to the school, saying it should go toward the Jackrabbit Guarantee scholarship.

Tony Horning of Chanhassen, Minn., produced the word-mark design of the Jacks with the distinctive ears and tail. He was unable to attend the unveiling.

Crickard said that during the redesign process, they learned a lot about jackrabbits in general, both good and bad. One thing they learned is that a Jackrabbit is “incredibly hard to illustrate.”

The committee received over 260 submissions, with designers ranging in age from four years old to 87 years old, Crickard said. “It’s brought a lot of passion ? [and] interest out,” she said, “and we’re very happy that that’s happened. I think the one recurring theme in this whole process ? has been the passion that people have shown for this institution and for what represents this institution, and I think that is an incredible ? thing to be proud of.”

Matt Fuks, a 1989 graduate of SDSU and the Executive Director of the Alumni Association, called this design the latest in a long line of Jackrabbit manifestations. He mentioned that the SDSU Jackrabbit is the only Jackrabbit mascot representing a major university in the NCAA. “The forms and shapes have changed over the years,” he said, “but the one thing that’s always been constant has been the affection ? that our students, alumni, faculty and friends have for our beloved mascot ? So when it becomes necessary to make a change to something that so many people feel so passionate about, we want to make sure we did it right. ? I’m confident that our alumni, students, faculty and friends are going to embrace our new Jackrabbit,” Fuks said.

Crickard explained that, while they did not ultimately end up choosing one of Phoenix Design Works’ designs, the committee owes a great deal to the design firm, as they played a role in helping the selection committee set a foundation for the new Jackrabbit design.

#1.882807:3247911995.jpg:unveiling.jpg:SDSU President David Chicoine reacts to the crowd’s response after the unveiling of the new Jackrabbit logo.: