Reveal shows off Pitt’s new school colors and Panther head logo
Pitt revealed a new color scheme and secondary logo on Sunday in a celebration on its Oakland campus, returning to its royal blue and gold roots and introducing a Panther head logo that will be worn on the uniforms of all of its athletic teams.
The university also held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Nike Store at The Pitt Shop on Forbes Avenue with Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke and members of the Nike creative team that came up with the redesign, which restores the Pitt script as the primary logo but also unveiled a new Panthers script on shirts.
Pitt had worn the royal blue and gold colors donned by its 1976 national championship football team in games the past few seasons as a retro alternative to their primary navy blue and gold, which Lyke said too closely resembled fellow ACC schools such as Georgia Tech and Notre Dame and will be discontinued.
“It’s essential and it’s critical to who we are,” Lyke said. “I think there’s a sense of pride in these colors. Kids want to wear retro on a big game because it matters. You look good, you play good. There’s something to that. I also felt it unifies our campus, unifies our alumni base and unifies the students. It’s what people like. Instead of people saying, ‘What are we going to wear today?’ This is the answer. That was to create an identity that will stand the test of time. We believe that we are there.”
The revelation was the culmination of a two-year process in collaboration with the Nike Global Identity Group, which came up with designs for the new color scheme, logos, typeface and jersey numbers.
The importance of the Cathedral of Learning on Pitt’s campus is reflected in the designs, as the Nike design team spent several days on campus for inspiration. The cathedral’s Gothic arches are apparent in the numbers and inversed on the chin of the Panther logo, which was based on the Panther head on the fountain at the entrance of the cathedral.
“We knew immediately that was something we wanted to incorporate,” said Nike art director Sean Butterly. “It’s the perfect cover to the book to tell the story.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .