HILLSBORO, Ore. - The Northwest Conference (NWC) is proud to launch an updated brand identity, intended to forge strategic connections between enduring qualities of the Pacific Northwest and the core values and mission of the conference. This collaborative venture engaged a full range of NWC stakeholders for input throughout the process. The conference partnered with New Jersey-based Skye Design Studios (SDS - sdsbranding.com), a national leader in sport branding, to develop the new identity.


The identity features three core marks with colors authentic to iconic natural landmarks. Each mark was constructed with sharp, diagonal lines pointing Northwest as a tribute to the conference's location, and the icon utilizes shapes in sets of threes as an acknowledgement of Division III, the NCAA level at which the NWC competes.

"The purpose of this initiative was to take everything we already knew about ourselves as the Northwest Conference and the Pacific Northwest region – an exceptional and unparalleled experience to any other part of the country - and integrate that essence into compelling brand messaging that could be leveraged to a national audience. I'd like to thank Skye and his team for their dedication and leadership throughout the project."

KIMBERLY WENGER \ Northwest Conference Commissioner


Long-associated with the Pacific Northwest, adventure emerged as the central theme from the Discovery Phase of the creative process. This concept was culturally and contextually relevant, symbolizing the collective and individual journeys of all within the conference. As such, the new icon was designed to be an 'adventure badge' inspired by the region.

The three natural landmarks in the icon - evergreens, mountains, and waters - characterize the captivating landscapes of the Northwest and embody specific conference core values.



The concept of many trees standing tall and standing together represents the teamwork, unity, and sportsmanship of the conference community. Evergreen forests are the roots of the Northwest, a fitting parallel to the many generations of NWC alumni and student-athletes.


Mountains form the backbone of the Northwest and epitomize the goals of all who call the conference home. Rugged stone surfaces and distant summits correlate to the hard work, vision, and leadership required to achieve both academic and athletic success.


From relentless ocean waves to stoic inland lakes, whitewater rapids, and crashing waterfalls, the pulse of the Northwest is in its waters. Dynamic and daring to be challenged, they mirror the wide range of emotions experienced in athletics and boldly express the competitive spirit.


The Columbia River Gorge dramatically links Oregon and Washington, the two states where all NWC institutions are located. The adventure badge icon was designed to stylistically depict the Gorge - a timeless, unifying symbol for the conference.


A custom set of icons framed by the adventure badge silhouette were developed as visual identifiers for every Northwest Conference sport and their corresponding applications.

"The research confirmed our instinct - that the Northwest is so much more than a conference. It's a region, a lifestyle, and an imaginative, courageous mindset. The identity needed to align with those qualities through the lens of sport, and the final result is emblematic of that strategy. Thank you to all who participated in and helped shape this endeavor, particularly Kimberly at the conference office and the brand committee."


For more information about the Northwest Conference brand update, contact Commissioner Kimberly Wenger at wenger@nwcsports.com.