Purdue Fort Wayne branding revealed with a noticeable nod to school tradition

The new court design at Hilliard Gates Center on the campus of Purdue Fort Wayne incorporating the new logo unveiled at a press conference on Monday. (Photo by Dan Vance of news-sentinel.com)
The new logo for Purdue Fort Wayne athletics.
Purdue Fort Wayne chancellor Ron Elsenbaumer speaks at a press conference Monday to unveil the new logo and branding for the university's athletic programs. (Photo by Dan Vance of news-sentinel.com)
News-Sentinel.com's Reggie Hayes interviews Purdue Fort Wayne mens basketball coach Jon Coffman Monday during a press conference on campus to unveil new athletic department branding and logo. (Photo by Dan Vance of news-sentinel.com)
Purdue Fort Wayne chancellor Ron Elsenbaumer speaks at a press conference Monday to unveil the new logo and branding for the university's athletic programs. (Photo by Dan Vance of news-sentinel.com)

The unveiling of a new logo has left those involved in the Purdue Fort Wayne branding feeling a little blue.

It’s a good kind of blue, though.

There’s a touch of blue – the previous dominant color for the soon-to-be-former IPFW – in the new branding for Purdue University Fort Wayne, along with the new traditional black and gold of Purdue.

Purdue Fort Wayne Chancellor Ronald L. Elsenbaumer says it’s not overstating it to say preserving the blue color was a vital part of the rebranding process.

The new logo, which is on center court on the Gates Center basketball floor, shows the traditional Mastodons logo with blue trim, surrounded by the Purdue colors.

“When we did our focus group, it was very clear from all the logos and different designs, this is the one that clearly came to the top over and over and over again in all of those sessions,” Elsenbaumer said.

Elsenbaumer, who introduced the new branding with Purdue Fort Wayne Athletic Director Kelley Hartley Hutton at a Monday news conference at the Gates Center, said the university placed a premium on seeking the input of the community for the changes.

He pointed to three areas of distinct importance:

1. Keep Mastodons as the athletic teams’ nickname and sports mascot.

2. Keep “Fort Wayne” in the school’s name.

3. Preserve some blue.

“We want to make sure we continue the legacy over and over as a demonstration of our value of and our commitment to Fort Wayne and Northeastern Indiana,” Elsenbaumer said.

The school will officially change from IPFW (Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne) to Purdue Fort Wayne on July 1 to reflect the realignment and rebranding of the university. All sports teams will be referred to as the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons.

Men’s basketball coach Jon Coffman said the relationships built by the coaching staff over the years make the transition to Purdue Fort Wayne a relatively easy one.

“Obviously, the Purdue brand is very strong,” Coffman said. “Going away from an acronym can really help you in terms of your initial phone call with recruits.

“Our new chancellor has done a phenomenal job with his energy and work in the community and we’re looking forward to all the new changes,” Coffman said. “There are always difficulties with change, but there’s been a lot of change over the last 50 years with IPFW, so I think there’s going to be growth as we move ahead in the next 10, 15 years.”

The incorporation of blue into the logos also helps solve a potential issue with so much blue on campus, and in particular in the basketball/volleyball arena. The seats are all blue, so there will be no need to change those.

Although blue wasn’t always part of the university’s color scheme, it has been tied to the sports teams for so long people are emotionally invested.

“Their voices have been heard,” Elsenbaumer said.

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