I’m In Logo Love: The Big Ten Logo Design

“I’m In Logo Love” is a new series on the crowdSPRING blog. Periodically, we’ll pick a logo we’d like to take home from a bar and tell you why. And if you think it’s a bit strange to have a crush on a cleverly designed logo, get in line – my mom has already lectured me on this topic. Today, we’ll look at the logo for the Big Ten Conference.

The Big Ten is an athletic conference that is currently made up of eleven (used to be 10) colleges located mainly in the Midwestern United States.

Background on the Big Ten:

In 1895, the oldest Division 1 athletic conference was established. They called it the Big 10.

For almost 100 years, the Big Ten was comprised of 10 schools. Sometimes the schools would change… but never the number.

Until 1990. That year, the council of presidents voted to admit Pennsylvania State University.

Here’s the latest bit of news – they are about to add one more school. The University of Nebraska was approved to join the conference last month.

Why we think the Big Ten logo design is hot:

The logo shows in a simple, clever way that the Big Ten is actually 11. Its design uses negative space very well. It’s a strong element in Big Ten’s brand identity.

The bold, blocky font has a college feel to it, and the 11 looks like it came right off a sports jersey. The sample posted above is in a circle, (which looks great) but the simplicity of the font-based design makes it flexible enough to work on just about any background.

This logo is hot. It’s a shame that it will soon be obsolete.

The big question is – what will the NEW version look like now that they are going to be the Big Ten with 12 schools? The designer of the current logo, Al Grivetti, is hoping to have a hand in the new design as well. Here is an interview with him about the logo.