Posted July 31, 2023

New mark signals a new era at Temple

With clean, bold lines, the newly introduced Owl mark draws inspiration from the university’s past while looking ahead to the future.

The new OwlMark logo, an Owl beneath the Temple T inside a diamond

There’s a new Owl in town. Bold. Fierce. Majestic and sleek. Don’t worry, Hooter and Stella aren’t going anywhere—you’ll find this rowdy and rambunctious raptor living primarily on T-shirts and baseball caps.

Temple formally introduced this new athletics logo on Aug. 1.

“When we set out to update our previous mark, we were looking for something that would really represent the essence of who Owls are. We wanted something that would be recognizable and that our entire community could rally around,” said acting Temple President JoAnne A. Epps. “This mark is everything we wanted.”

While the well-known Temple “T” remains the university’s primary mark, a secondary mark, acknowledging the university’s mascot, athletic traditions and legacy is critically important for a Division I school.

“Marketing and branding—having a logo that is unique and identifiable—is extremely important for an athletic department,” said Arthur Johnson, vice president and director of athletics. “As our student-athletes play and participate in competitions in our conference and around the country, they are representing Temple.”

“And there are other opportunities that come out of that when you talk about putting the mark on apparel that our fans, our alumni, our students, our donors can wear to display their love for the cherry and white, to show their Owls spirit and pride, and further showcase our great university,” Johnson added.

The former Owl mark was created roughly 30 years ago in a style that was very popular at the time. It was aggressive and, some might say, cartoony, with both a full body version and a head only version. “Those very detailed logos began to fall out of favor about 10 years ago, with the preference moving toward simpler, cleaner lines,” explained Lael Troupe, director of visual strategy in Temple’s Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications.

“We wanted a modern logo because we’re not in the nineties anymore,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director Scott Walcoff. “The university has evolved. North Philadelphia has evolved. Temple Athletics has evolved. We are in a new era and this new mark sends that message.”

How the new Owl mark was created is the best part of the story. Just like Temple’s iconic T, which was created by graphic design students from Tyler School of Art and Architecture in the mid 1980s, this mark is truly Temple Made.

Leading sports branding strategist Joe Bosack, TYL ’94, founder and creative director at Joe Bosack and Co., was tasked with refreshing his alma mater’s athletics logo. “I’ve worked on brand identity for athletics departments at hundreds of colleges and universities across the country, but when Temple reached out, I was thrilled for the opportunity,” Bosack said.

To develop the mark, he set out to recreate the genesis of the T by involving students. Throughout the 2021 fall semester of Associate Professor Bryan Satalino’s senior capstone course in graphic and interactive design, Bosack worked alongside students creating drawings, responding to feedback from focus groups of alumni and stakeholders and presenting final designs to university leadership.

For Brett Sweeney, TYL ’22, the most interesting aspect of the class was being able to test the designs on real people. “One of our most beloved logos didn’t read well with the focus group—they said it was more of just a bird than an Owl,” said Sweeney. “But then we had a chance to adjust it.”

From the get-go, the goal was to create something deeply meaningful.

“What you’ll see in this logo is the diamond shape, an important symbol to Temple—a nod to the famous speech by Temple’s founder Russell Conwell,” explained Bosack. “The other thing that you’ll see is that the Temple T is included. The T is clearly a profound symbol of this institution. It’s everywhere. It’s beyond just a logo at this point. It’s an icon of higher education in the city of Philadelphia and well beyond.”

Mission accomplished.

View the new Owl mark merchandise and make a purchase.


Video Production: Joe Schreiber, Wesley Hagg and Eric Lovett