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Connections and a More Wild ‘Cat: Davidson College Expresses Its Identity in New, Exciting Ways

by | Aug 24, 2023

A group of upper class students show off t-shirts with the new logo. The shirts were handed out to all first year students after their class photo.

Starting today, Davidson College’s distinctiveness will show in one of the most obvious places: its logo.

New designs and images that express Davidson’s identity debuted today and showcase the college’s strong community. They reflect the dynamic qualities that help define the Davidson experience.

“Davidson performs at the highest levels,” said Davidson College President Doug Hicks, “in academics, in athletics, in the arts—in every way. The images we use to represent Davidson should consistently reflect that quality, that level of excellence.”

The college’s visual identity, its brand, also should be distinctive, Hicks said: “It should be unmistakably Davidson.”

Davidson, primarily identified by that single word since the 1980s, launched a new logo that links the letters D and C, reflecting the combined strength of the community. They are paired with the words Davidson College and all in the same style of exclusively designed text, derived from chiseled engraving. The look is both bold and classic, reflecting the influence of Davidson’s innovation and tradition.

The combined logomark highlights one of Davidson’s key differentiators: our uncompromising emphasis on both academics and athletics.

That single logo will serve all aspects of Davidson: academics, athletics, arts—one community.

A redesigned wildcat image features edges and angles reflective of the lettering in the new logo, as well as the familiar wildcat statue across from the Baker Sports Complex.

A refreshed wildcat rendering stands out among competitor schools in the A-10 and in NCAA DI athletics as a whole.

Davidson has expressed its identity in many ways over the years, including school colors that once were pink and blue, and a variety of logos and wildcat images that have spanned the cartoonish to the fierce. Dozens of other colleges and universities also display a D logo, including the red Ds of Davidson, Dayton and Duquesne, just within the Atlantic 10 conference.

Davidson partnered over the past eight months with an expert design firm. A diverse group of students, faculty, staff and alumni helped research, design and refine the key elements of the college’s visual identity.

Many were surprised to find the intertwined D and C sitting above them the whole time. Versions of the combined letters are etched on the second story exterior above the main entrance to the Chambers Building and near the apex of the Alvarez College Union from its previous life as the Johnston Gym.

The interlocking D and C over what was Johnston Gym, constructed in 1948, now the Alvarez College Union.


The college’s design group guided the creative phase to reflect Davidson’s dynamic strengths that, while potentially at odds, instead help pull the community together:

New logo computer stickers.

  • The humility of honoring each other and the confidence to solve big problems.
  • A grounding in tradition that undergirds a spirit of innovation.
  • A competitive drive but to win together.
  • Fierce individualism within a supportive culture.

A student who joined one of the research conversations during the visual identity work synopsized one of those dynamics.

“I like the idea of walking in [to a competition with another school] looking academic, because that is our identity,” the student said. “We’re going to come here. And we’re going to beat you by using our skills, smarts, and determination.”

Davidson will transition to the new logo and wildcat in the coming months, and prominent venues and gear will quickly showcase the new images. Crews finishing the new stadium already are planning the oversized, red DC for the 50-yard line, and all students and employees will receive t-shirts emblazoned with the new logo this month. The Davidson College store won’t miss the opportunity. They soon will have at least a few items with the new images with more gear to arrive soon.

Editor’s note: follow the link to see all the combinations and variations of the new logo and new wildcat.

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