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GRAND FORKS Bennett Brien posted his first rough sketch of a hawk logo to his Facebook page recently, and two days later he posted the finished image of a fierce bird looking to its right.
Despite the fact that the design could easily be a logo, Brien told the Grand Forks Herald that he is designing UND Fighting Hawk logos for himself. The university hasn’t asked for input from the man who designed the beloved Fighting Sioux logo.
“It’s just good to keep your game going, keep your brain working, to see if you can come up with something new, you know?” Brien said.
UND played under the Fighting Sioux nickname for about 80 years,
and in 1999 Brien designed the logo that accompanied it that is seen most commonly today.
Brien said he had planned on doing several variations of the Fighting Sioux image and would most likely do that with the university’s new nickname as well. He said has considered selling his hawk images on merchandise without using UND’s name but doesn’t have concrete plans to do so.
“It could be fun,” he said.
The university retired the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo in 2012 after the NCAA threatened sanctions and barred its members from using Native American imagery.
After more than a year of meetings, public input and several votes, Fighting Hawks was announced as UND’s athletic nickname in November.
Earlier this month, UND signed a contract with New York based SME Inc. to develop a new logo, but Brien told the Herald in December he doesn’t think fans will like a logo created by a company without personal ties to UND.
“I can’t believe they picked somebody from out of the state,” he told the Herald recently.
A detailed request for proposal seeking designers was released by UND in December and while 16 companies initially responded, Brien did not.
Lots of logos
Others have created and circulated their own Fighting Hawks logos online, though the university never accepted or asked for logo submissions. One created by UND alumnus Jake Caufield featured a left facing green bird with wings in the shape of a “U,” while another shared by UND football player Mat Cox on Twitter Friday was created by Los Angeles designer Dane Storrusten of Gridiron Labs.
Brien said no one at UND had contacted him aside from former UND Alumni Association and Foundation Director Earl Strinden,
who expressed interest in getting him involved.