Official school logos have been and will always be the simplest and most important way for a college program to classify and separate itself from its peers. Some change dramatically over time while others are literally set in stone for decades. Some are edgy, exciting and extremely busy while others are clean, classic and simple.
Every college football program in the nation has an official logo and the goal is to be the most recognizable brand in the nation.
Since Athlon Sports has been designing the best-looking magazines on newsstands for the better part of half a century, we asked our senior graphic design guru to rank college football's best and worst logos.
Here is what Art Director Matt Taliaferro had to say about the ACC's football logos:
There are tons of Tigers, Wildcats and Bulldogs in college sports but none use their mascot quite like Clemson. The Tiger Paw print is synonymous with Clemson athletics and is utterly simple but still edgy and creative.
The interlocked N-C are as famous as any brand logo in the nation. There are simple touches of style — the font and black trim — that make this logo completely unmistakable.
It's as simple as it gets but also brings loads of creativity and history. No other logo turns into a hand signal like "The U" and the two-tone color scheme and pattern is unique.
Major props for taking a tradition-rich logo and tweaking it ever-so-slightly, thus modernizing it without losing any of the recognizable punch. Frankly, the tradition/success of the football team makes the logo in this case.
Virginia Tech has one of the best combination letter logos in the nation. It is hard to make it work but the simplicity and color pattern combines two letters that fit together nicely.
Few teams have a logo that is simply the program's name. With drop shadows and arched font, the Panthers sport one of the cooler looks.
The Cavalier sabres crossed beneath the seraphed "V" is equal parts classic and creative. Few logos can combine these aspects of graphic design.
The Ramblin Wreck's interlocking "G-T" is a historic look that isn't really good or bad. It's got some creativity but not too much.
The block "S" is a popular logo for many college football teams (Michigan State, Stanford) but NC State takes it a step further by adding the N-C. The black trim is a nice touch and the overall package has good symmetry.
Once again, the block "S" is a classic look and feel and is difficult to screw up. It's a simple, classic logo. It's never a bad idea to stick with simple and classic (color scheme aside).
There is too much "Looney Tunes" to this one for my taste but at least it's got an aggressive style. The colors are simple (which is good) but the figure might be a bit antiquated.
The font is bizarre, that is for sure — and that is what keeps it from being one of the league's top logos. However, it is a signature logo that everyone knows all across the nation.
An admirable stab at taking an Old English "L" and giving it a contemporary look. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work well with the cool, stylized "ouisville." That said, the cardinal is looking meaner these days, so they've got that going for them.
The cartoon eagle and italicized/overlapped BC just doesn't exude tradition and excellence like some other logos. The colors aren't bad but it's too busy to be considered a great logo.