Logo Alterations: Morehead State

During last year’s off-season, I started a series on team logos over on my team-specific blog. Over the course of a few weeks, I analyzed the logos of every team in the conference and offered visual suggestions for improvement. Unlike the writers at the amazing identity analysis blog Brand New, I do not have a design background, so my interpretations focused more on the philosophy of logos rather than the proper employment of a serif. Initially, it served as a way to present some rather goofy ideas and to fill space before the season started, but it ended up being a reader favorite. As a result, I’m transitioning the heart and soul of that series to Halcyon Hoops, but this time it’s without the limited focus of a single conference.

The first candidate up for review is Morehead State. As will be the case with all of these pieces, please take whatever is written below with a large grain of salt.

Team: Morehead State comes to us from the Ohio Valley Conference fresh off an NCAA Tournament appearance that included a Round of 64 upset of Louisville. This wasn’t just another 13-seed over 4-seed victory, however. It was a mid-major school from rural Kentucky taking down one of the state’s biggest names and resource-flush behemoths from the nation’s most powerful power-conference. Though the Eagles would fall short in the next game against Richmond, that win over Louisville will be celebrated for a long time.

Philosophical Take: Perhaps we shouldn’t have been so surprised by Morehead State’s recent ascension. The eagle depicted in the logo looks mighty cunning, almost as if it has been plotting its reign of terror for years. Since Donnie Tyndall took over the program in 2006, he’s steadily won more games from one season to the next. He took the team to the promised land in 2009, and after winning a play-in game, his squad lost to Louisville as a 16-seed. The lack of wings on the eagle suggests that this bird wasn’t quite ready to spread its wings at that point. Indeed, it first needed to be knocked down to be reminded that extinction is never a far off possibility.

In 2010, the eagle took one more hit from Kentucky’s other MSU, Murray State, before realizing its potential with a return to the the Big Dance in 2011. This time, however, the classy sophistication of the cardinal of Louisville was no match for the fully matured eagle from Morehead State. With a restored image, the eagle’s tight clasp around the “MSU” lettering serves as a reminder of just how fragile success is at this level. At any time, those talons could rip right through the program. Thus, the eagle’s soul-scaring stare is present to warn that complacency must not be tolerated.

Logo Alteration: None of the team’s recent accomplishments would have been possible without Kenneth Faried. The now-graduated player was the bedrock piece of the Eagles over the past four years, and he just so happened to become the NCAA’s all-time leading rebounder in 2010-11. Guys like that only come around once every decade or so, and they come around even less at places like Morehead State.

While on the court, Faried displayed a tireless motor and willingness to do whatever it took to help his team win. He should be rewarded for that commitment in this year’s NBA Draft, but that doesn’t mean Morehead State can’t honor him as well. The easiest way to spot him while he was wearing blue and yellow was to simply look for the dude with the bouncing dreadlocks. After all, he jumped around so often to chase rebounds that there was almost never a time where his dreads weren’t flailing behind him. In sum, we pay respect to his career by bestowing his defining characteristic on the MSU eagle.


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