Montclair State Red Hawks Unveil Refreshed Logo Set, New Wordmark

In an effort to create a cohesive and consistent brand across their athletic department, the Montclair State Red Hawks last month unveiled a refreshed primary logo, new secondary marks and associated typography. 

“The refreshed logo, additional marks and updated fonts will strengthen our ability to grow our brand,” athletic director Rob Chesney said in a statement. “We are very excited to launch our new marks, which we expect to generate excitement for our staff, student-athletes, alumni and fans. We are looking forward to seeing our teams take the field with this new look once the public health emergency is over.”

Rather than a complete overhaul, Montclair State’s branding initiative is actually a natural progression of the primary logo created by Phoenix Design Works in 2005. The updated logo notably features fewer feathers and less shading than its predecessors. 

“There was a consensus to keep the mascot visual as we had it, but clean it up and simplify it a bit,” Phoenix Design Works founder and creative director Jamie Skiles told “They had a pretty strong feeling about what they wanted to change and what they didn’t want to change.” 

The Red Hawks also replaced their claw and fledgling logos with a new secondary mark, which uses the primary logo’s head in standalone fashion. However, the most significant update undoubtedly comes in the form of a bolder, stacked wordmark that takes the place of an italicized font and allows for easier digital and physical application.

“We probably did 30 or 40 different typeface directions, and I think from their standpoint, it was just a question of being cleaner but also finding something that was kind of classic,” Skiles said. 

Located in Montclair, New Jersey, Montclair State is the second-largest university in the state behind only Rutgers. The Red Hawks — who were previously known as the Big Red until the 1930s and the Indians through 1989 — field 18 varsity sports and compete in the NCAA Division III New Jersey Athletic Conference.

Photos via Montclair State University and Phoenix Design Works.