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The University of Illinois Logo Roundtable

The Champaign Room’s staff debates on its favorite — and least favorite — Illinois logos.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Northwestern at Illinois Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Academic logo

Pillar I

Michael Berns: My favorite academic logo without question is the largely unpopular — and now retired — Greek pillar “I”. Yeah, it’s a bit tacky, but I associate it with strong academics and the undergraduate application/admission letter from when I was a high school upperclassman. The English Building on the main quad has the same Ionic order columns, as do many other buildings. It sort of ties it all together for me from a visual perspective.

Brad Repplinger: The announcement of that logo being retired was amazing (in a funny way). Of all the things fans honestly didn’t care about, they went and tinkered with the “academic” logo. Would LOVE to know who thought that logo needed to go...

Athletic logos


Matt O’Neall: Let’s talk about the shield. I’m not in love with the shield, it looks cool on shirts and as that secondary logo on ESPN. I know a lot of people are not huge fans of it, so I often find myself defending the shield. Maybe because I like to think Nike drew inspiration from this older, better shield:

Obviously that UI looks far too similar to IU, so that logo is hardly ever seen. I think the new shield has some historical ties, and kind of works with "Fighting Illini", so I’m very neutral on it. If they want to use it to sell apparel and merch, that’s fine, but I would prefer it stays off the uniforms and playing surfaces.

Michael Berns: Yeah, I agree with Matt on the shield. It looks like it was made in a Nike laboratory sometime between yesterday and 15 years ago, and I can’t decide which. It’s not classic and doesn’t conjure up any feelings/emotions of the athletic program.

Brad Repplinger: TEAM SHIELD ALL THE WAY. Honestly, though, the biggest issue with the new shield is that DIA doesn’t really use it in any of the revenue generating sports. It’s nowhere to be found on the playing surfaces and it’s only used in very small places on jerseys. The non-revenue teams take advantage of it the most (biased to golf over here), and I think it offers some much needed variety from the Block I.

2016 East Lake Cup - Day 3
Nice balance between shield and Block I
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Big ‘ol shield on the baseball jerseys

State Outline at Centercourt/Midfield

Matt O’Neall: I can’t stand this. With uniforms and design I typically think less is more. I think midfield of Memorial Stadium looks atrocious. The field has a white outline of the state of Illinois behind the Block I. The state of Illinois isn’t very pleasing to look at. It is asymmetrical with two sides bordered by rivers and two flat straight lines. Therefore, the Block I looks kind of awkward sitting on top of it. However, if it must be used to signify that we are the premier university in the state, that’s fine, but it needs changes. It cannot just be an outline the same color and width as the yard lines and hashmarks. It makes everything look too busy and incomplete. The state either needs to be filled in with color or be a dark blue outline. Centercourt of the basketball arena is not as bad as midfield, but I still believe the court would look cleaner if the state’s silhouette was removed.