Alternate Logo? (Unofficial)

Submitted by Six Zero on September 24th, 2008 at 2:18 PM

As a professional in the design field, I have often been told (aka
thrown in my face) that my team has no true logo, only a block M and a
really REALLY cool helmet.

This has happened on more than one occasion, and I am quick to point
out the various 'alternate' graphics we've seen over the years,
including the crouching wolverine on the block M, the new helmet wing
logo we've seen the athletic department use, and even the old sailor
hat-wearing wolverine from the days of Bump Elliot.

SO... without further ado this is my first attempt at a new UofM WOLVERINE alternate logo
This was actually conceived from an actual photograph of said vicious
mammal, though of course I took certain freedoms with aesthetic license
and of course adding the wings.  I guess I am looking for criticism, feedback,
what the collective MGOBLOG community might like to see, etc. in this
little pet freelance project.  I'll likely continue with this idea as
free time permits, so look for more in the conceivable future.

If in the future there seems to be a true consensus design agreed or otherwise non-hated upon by the MgoBlog community, who knows what we'd do with it?  I would be more than willing to talk to Brian about  tee shirts, or perhaps even using it on the site.  That would only be fair after all of the free information I've perused here over the past few months.  But that, of course, is another story.



Electron Erectshon

September 24th, 2008 at 2:26 PM ^

I like your design a lot. I also don't think we need a logo but the design you've created is very cool. Seems to me there was some old school Michigan logos that had a full Wolverine pictured. Perhaps I'm just imagining them but seems to me I had a blanket or shirt or something that had a full-bodied Wolverine pictured.


September 24th, 2008 at 2:27 PM ^

It's not that I don't like the wolverine, I do, but Michigan is defined by the Block M. I'm pretty open to change, but for some reason I don't believe I'll ever see a Wolverine logo or mascot that I'd support.

I do think the response would be more positive if the logo was less cartoony. Well, I guess most people couldn't identify a wolverine anyway, they'd think it's a racoon. I like the head stripes a lot though.


September 24th, 2008 at 2:31 PM ^

This would be cool if we ever referred to ourselves as Wolverines. It's always Michigan or the block M, no representations of actual wolverines allowed. There are the vintage shirts (now on sale at mden) that have basically a wolverine wearing a sailor hat, which are alright because they're old.

Also, it looks a little too much like Penn State's logo.

The "unofficial" logo seems to be the profile view winged helmet abstraction that was on the 2003 student tshirt. Hey you in the design field, can you get me a vector file of that? :)


September 24th, 2008 at 3:12 PM ^

A few questions for you.

Is the wolverine art of yours a profile shot?
Or is the wolverine looking slightly toward us?

It looks like you want the wolverine to be in profile, but when you introduced the wings, perspective derailed the final product.
Notice the center of the wings are placed above one eye. If the wings are to be centered on your wolverine, they should be centered on the entire face as well, at the ridge between the eyes. Otherwise, I would assume the wolverine has some sort of tie-dye swirl of wings on his forehead.

Also, you'll notice on some animals, wolves as an example, there are distinctive areas of another color near the mouth or on the face. Looking at a series of google images, it appears the liberties you took to add the wings wasn't all that far off from the real animal (there appears to be a band of lighter color around the eyebrows), so congrats.

I would then ask what the other maize splotches in the artwork refer to. Are those also discolored fur, or are those areas highlighted as if light were shining from the front? If it's referencing shadows and light, why isn't it present anywhere else on the wolverine?

I would also consider removing the white glare on the eyeball and then choose between keeping a yellow eye or moving to a white eye. Using white would allow the eye to stand out and justify its use as a third color in your palette. Otherwise I might just keep a yellow eye and yellow teeth.


September 24th, 2008 at 3:05 PM ^

I remember those too. I think the design is pretty good. Wouldn't mind seeing that on a t-shirt. I wouldn't want anything like that to become an official symbol of the University though. No offense. Also, off topic, but for god sakes we should never have a student dress up in a crappy wolverine costume and dance around on the sideline. Maybe if we got a real wolverine in there and had it fight (or eat) our opponent's mascot. For instance, this week it would be a live badger vs. a wolverine. On second thought, no.


September 24th, 2008 at 3:47 PM ^

I think it's pretty cool, and I tend to put myself in the "HOLY CRAP CHANGE WTF REVOLUTION TO STOP THE REVOLUTION" camp. Plus, I hated the old, old "photograph of a wolverine on the block M" logo. I think this is pretty sweet -- as long as it doesn't end up on the 50-yard line.


September 24th, 2008 at 3:54 PM ^

I am very impressed. I for one would love to see more ideas like this from you and would definitely be interested in a shirt. Is it possible for a future design to have the same wolverine head only more ferocious and mean looking with it snarling and more razor-sharp teeth exposed. I'm all about an intimidating logo.


September 24th, 2008 at 4:36 PM ^

Let me start off that I like the logo. I do think the wolverine should be tied in w/ the image of Michigan more but I am not sure how this could be done while maintaining classy timeless image that the is the Block M.

I do take pride in the fact that Michigan is not represented by a stupid Mascot running around the sidelines (Brutus is a joke w/ his big head). After 300, I thought Spartans have the potential to be a really badass mascot but MSU murdered that one long ago when they came out w/ Sparty. But like previously stated, the Block M is like the Old English D that has never been changed and is equally timeless and classy. Everyone knows what it is and what it represents.

1. Go Blue!
2. Go Gophers
3. Go Hoosiers

Dan Man

September 24th, 2008 at 4:37 PM ^

I really like the simple design and how stripes are reminscent of the winged helmet. If I had one constructive remark, it'd be that I think maybe it could be a little more ferocious-looking, maybe with more of a snarl and more menancing teeth. It looks a little "happy" right now.


September 24th, 2008 at 4:49 PM ^

Pretty damned cool! Could be fiercer, could be a little less Iowa Hawkeye-ish, especially the detail on the neck.

More furrowed brow, angrier eyes, more teeth.


September 24th, 2008 at 4:50 PM ^

I think the logo is very well done, but I just don't like the concept of a wolverine logo. I like the throwback stuff, but something like that makes us seem like we are an expansion arena league team or something. Remember when the Pistons tried to get a cartoonish logo of that horse? That bombed. The block M is awesome, everyone recognizes it. How many colleges use an M of some sort? Millions. Yet ours is the one everyone recognizes.

The old English D was a good comparison, old and classic, but still dope. Yup.


September 24th, 2008 at 5:22 PM ^

I like the winged helmet logo that the athletic department (mainly the football program) uses. I would buy a sticker for my car if they sold that anywhere. I have seen a few flags that are a long vertical flag the encorporates the winged helmet.

J. Lichty

September 24th, 2008 at 5:34 PM ^

I know what I hate, and I don't hate this.

Agree with other posters that the block M cannot be replaced, but there may be a place for a logo like this. I just cant see where yet.


September 24th, 2008 at 6:50 PM ^

I'm no graphics expert, but my reaction as a fan is that this is really cool. I would wear a shirt or a hat with that logo. I think it works perfectly as an "underground" or unofficial logo. I guess I look at it as something that would appeal to a lot of fans, but I don't know if I could see players or coaches wearing it. Also, like any first attempt, I'm sure it could be tweaked some. I don't know that I have any specific suggestions, but honestly, if it didn't change at all it would still be very cool. I am also a fan of the New Mexico Lobos logo, which you may or may not have seen. You can see it here: It's not perfect, but it has some of the "angrier" elements that some of the other posters have suggested might improve the wolverine design. New Mexico actually puts it (just the wolf, not the text) on their helmets and uses it on lots of apparel, both for athletes and fans. Obviously, Michigan would never use it on THE helmet, but anyway...just some random facts for everyone.


September 24th, 2008 at 8:41 PM ^

That's very cool. It almost makes me wish there weren't such tradition involved with the block M so that it could be used in some official capacity. Love the winged-helmet look on the top of the head.


September 24th, 2008 at 8:59 PM ^

This is a 1938 image of a Wolverine taken from the season ticket order form in the Michigan Vault book

As for the above, it's an interesting concept, but I will always be in the camp of greater use of this

And really, if we're going to push for an alternate logo, this would be my ultimate vote, as long as we don't play Mr. Glitch

UofM Snowboarder

September 24th, 2008 at 9:00 PM ^

While the logo is pretty good (being someone with next to no artistic talent) I see no use for it. The Block M and Winged Helmet fit all needs I can see. To those that say that not having some mascot/logo type thing is 'boring' or simplistic, I offer the counterpoint that simple has a class, elegance, and sophistication that I find fitting.

Maybe that's just Michigan Arrogance...

cougar blue

September 25th, 2008 at 9:27 AM ^

to be a stuffed head that I can hang in my M man cave above the big screen! I could see it being a little more agressive and mean! But all in all I think it is very cool! Hat and T-Shirt would be cool also!

Blue Durham

September 25th, 2008 at 9:37 AM ^

and with some tinkering from some of the suggestions above, it could be great.

The block M will never be replaced, but it stands for Michigan (I know, duh). This being an embolem for wolverines, there is a lot of neat stuff that could be done in conjunction with it. Hmmm, like tearing apart a Spartan.

Six Zero

September 26th, 2008 at 11:56 AM ^

For the kind words about the design and talent and all that. Plus not only did I get compliments but some well-intended feedback that I will put to good use. After all, a branding project like this should ALWAYS be tested against the target market, and well, who could possibly be more qualified than the loyal readers of MgoBlog??
Some thoughts:

1. First and foremost, I'd like to reiterate that this design was ALWAYS intended to be a SECONDARY logo, like the Oakland A's elephant, or for that matter the Crimson Tide's elephant, or every mark that's ever appeared on the shoulder of a hockey jersey. I never intended it to be conceived as a replacement of the block M.  Where I come from, that 's what we call SACRILEGE.

 2. Also, I'm in agreement with many of you-- is something like this entirely necessary? No, it's not. Our team's identity is rooted in time-honored tradition and works very well. I just thought that for all of the design work I do, there seemed like an opportunity for me to work with the Wolverine and see what possibilities exist. Whatever I finish with, let it be clearly known that it's not because I dislike anything the team currently uses.

 3. Seems like it's a consensus that everyone wants him to look meaner, with gritting teeth and the angular eyebrow that makes him look properly pissed off. I did try this with the eyes, but there's a very fine line between nailing the brow and screwing up the winged helment look. In fact, my result as seen above is actually a customized version of the wings. But I'll certainly see what I can do with it. I kind of like the look he has-- many of the wolverine pics I studied caught the animal with this expression of not releasing pure and utter carnage, but pretty darn close to letting it out at any given second-- kind of like that look we'd always see on Woodley on a third and 11 in the fourth quarter, hehe. BUT the public has spoken and as Placentasaurus put it, there's certainly a strong argument about making the wolverine 'mad as hell.'

 4. Some of you spoke about about the way that it's drawn-- Tylerrose, there is some disparity between side view and 3/4 that I didn't realize was going on. It is indeed designed to appear more as a 3/4 view, but I think I took a little too much artistic license with the nose and mouth, and it comes off looking too much like a side profile. I think if I made the top of the nose a bit more skewed and not so rounded to the tip it will clear this up quite a bit. The helmet stripes are indeed a bit off as a result of the perspective. As far as the eye and the white highlight, that sort of eye illustration is something of a calling card of mine, and is prevalent in a lot of the sports branding I do. So It'll probably stay to some degree.

Thanks again to everyone for the feedback and I'll certainly get back to the drawing board as time permits. This project has been REALLY challenging because it's so close to my heart and I don't want to create anything that doesn't do justice to MICHIGAN! Maybe I'll just have it devouring those stupid bucknuts...


GO BLUE! Let's see PJ Hill get stuffed tomorrow!


September 26th, 2008 at 9:45 PM ^

Cool concept, the iconic wings are worked in very well.



- lose or fix the teeth, they look like buck teeth or an an overbite.

- too much yellow under the neck, draws the eye away from the main visual of the wings.

- the nose is too much like a puppy dog's, it should be more elongated.

- the eyes and ears are too "round". You'll have to pick between cute or fierce, you can't do both.

- Might be a limitation of the colors available, but the color needs to be more "maize" and less mustard yellow.


I agree that this would look cool on an "It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine" shirt.

If worse comes to worse, it can always be your avatar on Michigan blogs ;-)


September 28th, 2008 at 1:46 PM ^

It's pretty cool. I do think it would be neat - strictly as an alternate logo - to have some sort of wolverine image. It's an awesome animal. (I've always had a soft spot for the old-school one with the wolverine in a sailor hat.)

Six Zero

September 30th, 2008 at 1:19 PM ^

Pleasantly surprised at the traffic, I thought I'd like everyone to know that ROUND 2 will soon be posted to the site.
Taking everyone's feedback into account, as well as a few more studies of anatomy, I think it's an improvement. It will also feature something that will make it unmistakably Michigan.

Still fixing/tinkering with the eye, but look for the updated design very soon.