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Creating a University from Scratch


drdougfresh

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I myself went to college here in AZ (NAU), and even though it is the smallest of the 3 state colleges, there's a growing issue-- overcrowding. This economic climate is not necessarily conducive to starting any form of business (let alone a college, of all things), but that's why it's a concept. Phoenix itself is a huge city. The suburbs are still growing in spite of the housing market shindig (we were one of the hardest hit), and so one can venture to guess that the colleges are also gaining enrollment. ASU is a behemoth, and so poorly laid out, you can live "on campus" and be miles from the class you have to get to. U of A is a beautiful campus, but it's far away from Phoenix (eliminating commuters). NAU is the furthest from the valley, and is rapidly expanding while refusing to expand its facilities.

Big issue, right?

So, in my own little world, we're going to fix that. We're adding another college to Arizona. You may be amazed to find out that a state so large has only 3 state colleges. Let's balance Phoenix out a bit better.

Since I am creating a college here, I wanted to go over some of the most basic things that every college needs. A story behind the name, a solid color scheme, a good graphic identity, and really the biggest thing to me is that a school should have a relevant mascot. NAU, for example, was built in a logging town. Mascot? The Lumberjacks. Makes sense.

The Aztecs had a word, Arizuma, which means silver-bearing. While hotly contested as to where the name came from (there are several tribes and civilizations that claim to have named it), I thought the Aztec Empire would be some fun to play around with. It's a unique look/feel, and it's not really done at all (with the exception of SDSU). With the origin in mind, I thought about what kind of mascot would represent the state well. There's a ringtail cat, our state mammal, but it's hardly intimidating. I settled on the Coyotes. Sure, we have a hockey team here named that, but this is an entirely different identity, and in my world, people will actually come to the games during the regular season (burn).

So, Coyotes, Aztecs. Color time. State color is turquoise. Why the hell not? It's barely used in the NCAA, and it's very southwestern. I played with some combos, but settled on a two-tone gold secondary and tertiary. The fourth color is rarely used, but is a lighter tan with a gray tint (silver-bearing).

I'll start off by posting the actual site I have chosen for the college, as well as my initial academic logo.

The site is going to be in the rapidly-growing community of Anthem, AZ. It's on the north-end of Phoenix, and located among some smaller mountains near Lake Pleasant. This is where I got the name, North Valley University. Different, and I didn't want to use Arizona something, they're all taken. I realize the site is huge, but you have to plan ahead, right?

SiteMap-1.png

On to the academic logo. This features the most prominent colors, but is solely used to represent the university non-athletically.

Academic.png

Sun, valley, turquoise, Aztec pattern. I think it's a great visual symbol for this new college I'm creating.

I'm currently finishing up the athletics logos, and various uniforms. Look for those in the coming days. In the mean time, C&C is appreciated!

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A few thoughts:

The font has too much of an athletic feel. Typically the academic mark is more traditional, fancy, or official looking, and then there is also an athletic mark.

The gradient on the sun is distracting behind the text. I'd try cropping the horizon line above the top of the text and give more of a landscape feel, maybe throw in some additional scenery?

Great start though, I love concepts that are well thought out.

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A few thoughts:

The font has too much of an athletic feel. Typically the academic mark is more traditional, fancy, or official looking, and then there is also an athletic mark.

The gradient on the sun is distracting behind the text. I'd try cropping the horizon line above the top of the text and give more of a landscape feel, maybe throw in some additional scenery?

Great start though, I love concepts that are well thought out.

I'm going to move the gradient up a little. The only thing with this font is that I wanted to keep an 'Aztec' feel to it, and it's pointy and angled enough to give that vibe. Didn't want to go overboard like SDSU (that's just horrible), so I think this is a happy medium. I may experiment with it a bit, but I think this can work on both fronts.

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Thanks for all the comments guys, I appreciate it. I'm still working on uniforms, but I figured I'd give you guys a look at the main logo for athletics. I pulled the 'itzcuintli' from the Aztec day calendar, which means 'dog'. I think it's an entirely unique look for this state, and it actually has significance to the origins of the state (unlike a devil or wildcat). All 4 colors are present here. I'm working on stadium design, as well as uniforms. This is going to be a fairly large project :grin:

NVUMain.png

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Its a nice logo and a good idea but I live in Arizona and it just doesn't scream AZ to me. Looks like its more from Egypt then Arizona to me. Don't get me wrong it shows you have a lot of talent but just not Arizona. I don't know maybe its cause I'm in the East Side.

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Read the original post, it will make more sense. It's the origin of the state's name, which is derived from Aztec. I can see how it may say Egyptian to you, but you have to think about how many civilizations used glyphs in that era. That will happen. Doesn't matter where you live in the state, the Aztec calendar is the Aztec calendar.

What screams AZ to you that isn't cliché? Which means, no kokopelli, no copper, no "Sedona red", no snakes, etc.

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So I was exploring today, and I found Google SketchUp. Not my intention to design a stadium (I borrowed a lot of this from another designer on Google), but I thought it was pretty awesome. Here's what the stadium looks like as an aerial and from the player's tunnel.

Stadium2.png

Stadium1.png

I should have some uniforms for you guys tomorrow. One sport at a time, I'm thinking.

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I also put together a site map for anyone who wants to see how I'd lay it out. Sports in the middle, all close to on-campus housing. As it should (and really isn't in Arizona) be.

Map.png

You can also infer from the stadiums that those are the uniforms I'll be doing, sans leotards for performing arts ^_^

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