Printer Joins Student Designer in Making Noncommissioned College Apparel
After changing it's nickname from the Fighting Sioux to the Fighting Hawks, the University of North Dakota (UND) has unveiled its new logo. However, it hasn't exactly been a big hit with the UND faithful. One East Grand Forks, Minnesota-based print shop owner teamed up with a UND student to make noncommissioned Fighting Hawks merchandise.
According to Inforum, Matt Stengl, owner of Stengl's Signature Graphics, is using UND student Blaine Durward's version of the Fighting Hawks logo for items, like T-shirts and other apparel. Stengl insisted that since Durward's version is different than the officially used logo, and the apparel has no direct UND branding, he can legally compete with the school for merchandise sales.
"The difference is we don't put anything UND," Stengl told Inforum. "We're not putting anything that says 'Fighting Hawks' on it. This is just a green hawk."
University officials weren't buying the coincidence rationale, but they have not made any comment on the design.
Stengl said he did it to show pride in UND, and to present other fans with an alternative to the logo the school selected. The new logo has received negative feedback, including a petition to change it, which has nearly 6,000 signatures.
The university paid New York-based design firm SME Inc. $50,000 to create the new logo.
"I think Blaine did a superior job on his logo," Stengl added. "And that he should be more recognized on it. And, hopefully, that's something they will take a hard look at."
Meanwhile, the university also has to sell "Fighting Sioux" merchandise in order to maintain its trademark. Otherwise, third parties, like Stengl, could use the Fighting Sioux trademark to sell merchandise.