Northern State University unveils new institutional logo

Image of new Northern State University logo: "N" over "Northern"

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University has officially unveiled a brand new institutional logo.

The new logo, which includes a capital “N” and boldfaced “NORTHERN” can already be found on the NSU website, social media accounts and other marketing materials. In addition, Northern now officially owns the trademark for its widely known wolf mark and is actively pursuing the trademark for the new institutional mark (N-Northern).

Work on the new logo began in 2018, with the design created through an internal and collaborative effort by NSU Graphic Design Coordinator Jennifer Vaughn and Graphic Designer Amanda Mahlke.

“Northern has always been included in our institution’s name, even starting in 1901 as Northern Normal and Industrial School,” said Justin Fraase, VP of Enrollment, Communications and Marketing. “We set out to commemorate on our long history, while capitalizing on a mark that brings together current brand elements and makes a bold statement for the institution.”

Bringing together athletic and institutional branding is becoming more common in higher education, explained Fraase. Multiple institutions have worked to capitalize on their most visible and well-known marks, which is oftentimes athletics.

The lowercase NSU mark will be phased out over the next year.

“We’re proud of our history and we’re happy to showcase who we are in a bold way: Northern,” explained NSU President, Dr. Tim Downs.

For decades, Northern’s mascot was "Waldo the Wolf" – until, in 1993, the current mascot, "Thunder," was born. Then in May 1994, Northern announced a public contest to replace the logo rendering. Out of 65 entries, local artist Thomas Gross, a 1982 NSU grad, was selected as the winner. In 2010 another Aberdeen artist, Josh Phillips, updated Gross’ design. Phillips’ design is now used across campus and was subject to NSU’s trademark.

Prior to the logo update, Northern went through a brand refresh in 2017 that included developing a brand guide and revealing a new tagline, which remains intact: “Unleash your potential | Join the pack.”

For more information about Northern’s new logo and other brand elements, visit NSU Brand.

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors. A regional university, Northern offers rigorous academics; diverse civic, social and cultural opportunities; and a commitment to building an inclusive environment for all points of view. Northern also offers a broad-based athletics program, sponsoring 15 NCAA Division II intercollegiate varsity sports that compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC). The university strives to enrich the community through partnerships such as its Educational Impact Campaign, which opened a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; new athletic and recreation fields; and, soon, an on-campus regional sports complex. With the $55 million campaign, NSU has been the recipient of more than $120 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.