The collegiate summer-level Asheboro Copperheads, who have played in the Coastal Plain League since 1999, announced today that they are rebranding as the Asheboro Zoo Keepers, an homage to the city’s most prominent institution. The North Carolina Zoo, located in Asheboro, is home to 1,800 animals of 250 species and hosts nearly a million visitors per year.
The new Asheboro Zoo Keepers brand was developed by Skye Design Studios, the firm responsible such other baseball identities as the Tri-City Chili Peppers and the recently unveiled Staten Island Ferry Hawks.
“The club had been reflecting on its identity for about a year or so, thinking about ways to reinvent their brand to maximize their connection to the local community,” said Skye Design Studios founder Skye Dillon. “The North Carolina Zoo is one of the state’s most notable attractions, and is located in Asheboro. The zoo’s family-oriented values and prominence in the local region made it the obvious starting point for the club’s new name.”
The suite of logos features a zoo keeper, complete with traditional zoo keeper hat, swinging a baseball bat and accompanied by a rhino, giraffe, elephant, and snake. According to Dillon, there were a handful of considerations that went into selecting the animals included in the logo.
“To be as authentic as possible, they had to be animals present at the North Carolina Zoo,” he said. “We also picked ones that likely would not ever be the centerpiece of another club identity in the league, staying away from animals such as tigers, lions, and bears.”
Another factor that needed to be considered was the color scheme. Representing five characters (four animals and a zoo keeper) while also keeping the color palette manageable was a challenge.
The type used in the logo suite has a direct connection to the zoo itself—it derives from type used on wooden signage found on the zoo grounds.
“It also needed to feel inviting and family-friendly,” Dillon said, “which led to the upper and lower case combination of rounded, serif characters.”
One creative possibility that a zoo-based theme creates is a nearly endless supply of animals that can be included in alternate marks. While the team plans to use the four animals featured in the primary logo as a group to reinforce the zoo theme, they’re aware of opportunities to expand.
“We would be doing a disservice to the activation of the brand if we were limited to just the elephant, giraffe, rhino, and snake long-term,” Dillon said. “While the core marks will not change, we envision an identity that evolves over time to incorporate a variety of additional animals…. In the event they introduce new animal exhibits in the future, the club can expand its identity accordingly.”
The Zoo Keepers will debut their new look—which will include a few more logos that the team teased but did not unveil at today’s announcement—when Coastal Plain League play begins in the Spring.