50 shades of red and gray


Hamline has a long history with our school colors. In 1854, our original school mascot was the Red and Gray. After our mascot changed to the Hamline Piper in the 1920s, our colors stayed the same, red and gray. The question the Oracle has pondered these past couple weeks (and we are sure some of our readers have wondered about this as well) is as follows; what are the official Hamline shades of red and gray?

When you venture through the brand identity guide, you will find that our official color is burgundy, but when you look at what color of shirts Hamline students are wearing it varies from fire truck red to maroon.

We all know there are tons of different shades of red in the world which is clearly displayed when you look at Hamline’s athletics teams. For instance the track team’s jackets are a vivid cardinal red, while both soccer teams have jerseys that are a clear burgundy red. Even when you look at the home jerseys for the football team and compare them to the jerseys of the basketball team, one could almost think the two teams were from different schools.

This is not just an athletic’s problem, we can see it in the bookstore as well. A student can purchase a bright red jacket, but then also purchase a t-shirt with a completely different shade of red.

It’s the same thing with our beloved gray color as well. The Men’s hockey team home jerseys are a silver gray while our basketball teams have a dark gray.

Now take a look at one of our biggest rivals, St. Thomas, just down the road. The school’s official colors are purple and gray, and the colors are unified across the board, making Tommies easy to identify. Of course, St. Thomas has one of the strongest athletic departments in the MIAC and is the largest private, nonprofit university in Minnesota. At 10,000 total students in attendance, St. Thomas’ numbers are high above any of their competitors–but that is an editorial for another time. The main point is, Tommie purple is one standard color, and is a huge, recognizable selling point for their marketing department.

If Hamline’s marketing department wants to be competitive in recruitment of students, we would argue that a singular red color should be decided upon. Brand recognizability fosters a sense of unification throughout the university and builds up a sense of pride in that brand. Although we will admit that the marketing department keeps consistent with small things, such as business cards and letterheads, those are dwarfed by the inconsistency seen in apparel for students and athletes. The scoreboard at Klas field and the HU logo on the floor of Hutton arena are among the biggest issues when it comes to keeping things consistent.

Now that’s probably a lot to ask for from such a small school, but we think it is necessary to keep everyone sane and on the same page.


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