rooted in heritage. inspired by revolution. BEHIND THE DUQUESNE ATHLETICS REBRAND

"do you want evolution or revolution?"

Agency partner Change Up asked every stakeholder involved in the initial focus groups that simple question. Internally and externally, the universal response was "revolution." However, as important as it was to create a distinct, bold and "revolutionary" brand, it was also essential to incorporate key University and Pittsburgh elements into the new system. Additionally, to elevate our brand, not only had to identify those components that were unique to Duquesne but also competitively benchmark against the larger collegiate and professional sports industries.

And so, throughout the process we were guided by the mindset to pay tribute but transform.

modern gothic

Our new monogram is simple yet bold. It was designed to convey a sense of pride, strength and ferocity as well as pay homage to our heritage.

The narrow, angular features gives the monogram a gothic aesthetic and echoes our Spiritan flame. These subtle nods provide a connectedness to the larger, University brand while also establishing a clear and distinct identity for athletics.

The monogram forms a strong basis for the rest of the design system.

alternate color combinations

it's all in a name

The Duquesne wordmark shares a complementary design language with the monogram. Strong, vertical letters with angled accents create a very confident mark that has a bit of fierceness to it.

The first ‘U’ is shorter to provide a subtle visual cue of the verbal pronunciation of ‘Duquesne’. The arching of the base line forms a visual tie back to the many bridges of Pittsburgh.

the bluff

This typeface is named as a nod to Duquesne's unique geographic location in Pittsburgh.

Strong and condensed, with an aggressive appearance that comes through angled terminals, spiked serifs and wedge-shaped counter forms, this is a custom typeface built to complement our monogram and wordmarks.

The numerals were designed to appear on uniforms for complete customization.

function meets fashion

The DUQ shorthand fulfills both a functional and fashionable role. Functionally, this lockup helps aid the proper pronunciation of "Duquesne."

Fashionably, the truncated lockup is on-trend across collegiate and professional sports, providing additional design options for uniform and apparel design.

the supporting design system

Beyond monograms and wordmarks, the comprehensive design system helps add visual creativity for uniforms, apparel and collateral. Our primary brand colors (navy and red) are a core part of our University heritage and remain unchanged. The brand is built on navy blue, another connection to our Spiritan faith. The inclusion of 'electric blue' and 'silver' have been added to the palette to allow for fashion-forward design on apparel and uniforms as well as appeal to younger generations of fans.

The added graphic elements and patterns pull inspiration from the City of Pittsburgh and its environmental terrain.

the range

Inspired by the rolling hills of Pittsburgh, 'The Range' is an array of stripes stacked to create a more aggressive 'mountain range' motif.

the ripple

The confluence of the three rivers is reflected in 'The Ripple'. Contrary to 'The Range' the stripes are stacked to create a softer water, or 'ripple', motif.

we are the duquesne dukes

From the monogram and wordmarks to the color palette and graphic devices, the whole system comes together to provide Duquesne Athletics a modern, bold, revitalized identity that pays tribute to our University and Pittsburgh while also remaining distinct to athletics. This first phase of rebranding sought to:

  • Eliminate brand confusion by creating a system that is clear and distinct from the University as well as other athletics marks.
  • Re-envision the brand by modernizing the identity system to appeal to key audiences.
  • Create a timeless yet forward-thinking identity system that honors our history but can evolve with emerging trends.

design & photography

In addition to a comprehensive identity system, Duquesne Athletics and partner Change Up have also unveiled design and photography branding to be featured across all print, social, digital and advertising media. Together, these themes capture the essence of being an athlete and serve to elevate our visual branding.

The navy-based photography is gritty and moody to capture the drive and commitment of our athletes.
The white-based photography is about creating a dynamic visual that focuses on action and energy.

we're just getting started!

This is the first phase of a multi-year process to elevate the Duquesne Athletics brand. Additional steps in the rebranding process include facility graphics, video and digital elements, in-market merchandising, and reimagining of the Duke mascot.

limited-time nike team shop


Visit the Nike Team Shop to get your new Duquesne Athletics gear! ACCESS CODE: DUQ19. More gear will become available throughout the summer online and in the fall at the Duquesne University Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

go dukes!


Photo credits to Change Up.

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