Oregon State revealed their new branding on March 4th and much was made of going to OSU vs OS in the months leading up to the Nike reveal on campus. While I feel the new branding scores around an 87 out of 100, one area of small concern is hat options. Logos with pictorial images often appear too much on a hat where keeping it a little less complicated usually can improve the overall look, wearableness and flexibilty with other garments. Playing around with a diagonal OSU I found that to be a pretty striking look where the angle made it look more contemporary. At the same time though, I do like how the flat OSU looks on the helmet right above the eyes. I also feel a flat OSU has great potential for behind the basket on a basketball floor and perhaps in a tartan endzone.
All of this got me thinking that I wish Nike would also make hats with the new OSU font. BDC backtracked within a few days of the rebrand saying OS would continue to be available for store purchases in the next year or more and the reasoning I believe is because the animal logo although nice in certain areas isn’t enough to drive lots of sales for a purchase like a hat. You need multiple options here because people don’t want to all have the same hat and especially the same beaver whose strongest area isn’t on hats to begin with. However, keeping the OS around much longer seems like it would be confusing.
No doubt, over the last several years, having the OS available for certain clothing has boosted sales. The OSU could be used almost as effectively in certain areas where it is strong. A diagonal OSU may have had slightly more potential in my opinion for hats and sweatshirts and still be compelling. The flat OSU is good but needs just a little more life to it. The hat I designed here is far from perfect but I would like to see something like it that will be attractive to alot of people who aren’t ready to wear a beaver on their hat in large doses. There is room for both and I believe Oregon State can only maximize its sales if it also starts to incorporate OSU a little more in the stores if OS is now slowly being phased down and especially for official athletics.