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FOR CHICAGO BRAND OVERVIEW /// University of Illinois Chicago Athletics

The University of Illinois Chicago stands alone as Chicago's largest institution and its only public research university. The 50,000+ members of our campus community and our 285,000 living alumni embody the pride and spirit of our great city. We are, and will always remain, FOR CHICAGO.

The Chicago Fire of 1871, also called the Great Chicago Fire, burned from October 8-10, and left an area four miles long and a mile wide of the Windy City in ruins. Following the blaze the city rebuilt, and reemerged as a cultural and economic hub, allowing its visitors and residents to prosper and move forward. We are the UIC Flames, named in reference to the Great Chicago Fire as well as the progress, transformation, innovation and resurgence that came afterwards.

The brand renewal project was led by Senior Associate Athletics Director Dan Yopchick and Director of Brand Strategy Kyle Decker of Flames Athletics, together with graphic designer Laura White and Doron Tamari, Senior Manager for Innovation, Darius Thomas, graphic designer, and the team at 4FRONT. Months of research and hours of focus group discussion with current UIC students and student-athletes, former letterwinners and UIC alumni, coaches and athletics staff, university colleagues, our partners at adidas and other stakeholders, generated the ideas and insights that resulted in this branding work.

PRIMARY IDENTITY - Logos:

Revitalized with brightened colors, this is the primary logo for the UIC Flames.
The script Flames logo is an alternate mark, primarily on uniforms and apparel.

PRIMARY IDENTITY - COLORS:

FIRE ENGINE RED - Drawing from the history of the Great Chicago Fire, our red is bright and burns with energy, passion and strength.
NAVY PIER BLUE - UIC's first campus was located on Navy Pier, and this shade of blue serves as a symbol of stability, loyalty and intelligence.
CHICAGO BLUE - No city loves its flag quite like Chicago, and with UIC being Chicago's Public University, this blue binds our campus and teams with the city we call home.
STEEL GRAY - With its industrial past, elevated rail and soaring skyscrapers, Chicago has a history of innovation. This gray serves as a reminder of the city's wisdom, hard work and poise.
EXPO WHITE - In 1893, Chicago hosted the World's Columbian Exposition, a transformational opportunity to showcase the reborn city to the world, featuring grand buildings covered in white facades, giving the area its "White City" nickname.
CHAMPIONS GOLD - UIC has won over 75 league championships, creating a culture of success on and off the field of play.

PRIMARY IDENTITY - MARQUEE TYPEFACE: VTF REDZONE

VTF Redzone is a modern and bold font that features strong, sharp lines, mirroring the power and growth of UIC Athletics. The spur-serif look was chosen as an embodiment of the Flames spirit, reflecting the passion to persevere and win. We use VTF Redzone to enhance the brand of UIC Athletics on marquee visual items, including headings, banners, posters, advertisements and our team uniforms.

SECONDARY IDENTITY - ICONS:

We have developed a series of icons that compliment and contextualize our main brand and logos. In order to create visual interest and refer back to our Chicago roots, we have pulled imagery from our municipal flag, skyline and athletics brand.

STARS: Always used four in row (vertical or horizontal) in either Fire Engine Red or Expo White.

FLAME: This one-color Flame can used for design accents.

SKYLINE: UIC's unique perspective of the City, and the only approved skyline mark.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING:

Michael Lipitz, UIC Director of Athletics:

"I appreciate so much the contributions of our students, staff, alumni and other stakeholders who invested their time and energy in this initiative. The results fully reflect the pride the Flames Family has for UIC and for Chicago. Special thanks to Dan, Kyle, and the 4Front team for their great work."

Doron Tamari, 4FRONT Senior Manager - Innovation:

“We set out to create a visual identity that truly reflects the UIC student body, greater community, and iconic city that we all call home. When we interviewed students, coaches, and staff, it was clear that Chicago needed to be an integral element of the brand, along with an emphasis on growth, innovation, and strong academics. We are extremely proud of the final product and are excited to have played a small role in enhancing UIC’s already proud brand.”

KYLE DECKER, UIC Director of Brand Strategy:

“In refreshing the UIC Athletics brand, we really tapped into the common themes that emerged from our discussions with student-athletes, coaches, alumni, and campus. Energy, enthusiasm, optimism, progress, and of course the university’s place within the heart of Chicago are just some of these themes that we wanted to convey. We truly feel like we have created an energetic brand that conveys the forward progress of not only the athletics department, but the university as a whole. We are excited about all the ways that we will be able to bring this new brand identity to life through our teams, apparel, and facilities moving forward.”

KAYLA POCIEJEWSKI, Softball Student-Athlete & SAAC President:

“The efforts made by the athletic department to refresh our brand are really bringing everyone together. It unifies the department, while using new progressive ideas combined with classic and clean look. The Chicago themes show everyone who we are and where our roots come from. The skyline is unique because that specific view is directly from our UIC campus. The classic six-pointed Chicago stars and the Chicago blue color that is synonymous with the city flag show everyone that we aren’t just another school in Illinois, but that we take pride in being from a city with such a rich history and diverse background.”

Sean Phillips, Head Men's Soccer Coach

“The brand refresh is great for UIC. We have always taken a tremendous amount of pride in being located in Chicago and it is our hope to reflect some of the unique characteristics of Chicago, whether it is the makeup of our teams or how we play on the field. The integration of our skyline, red stars and light blue into the refined traditional marks enhances our story.

The implementation of UIC's refreshed brand identity is well underway. Elements have been incorporated into uniform designs where possible this year and for all team apparel orders for future seasons. The department’s social media accounts were updated earlier this fall and the branding is fully integrated in the new UICFlames.com. Flames fans will be able to purchase apparel and merchandise featuring the refreshed brand in 2021.

For an in-depth look, click BELOW to view the UIC Flames Brand & IDENTITY Guide: