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New Point Park Pioneers Logo

Point Park University Athletics Announces Launch of New Logo Identity

Aug. 24, 2011

Pioneers Logo 2PMS+K TM 72dpi (2)


PITTSBURGH – The Point Park University athletic department has announced the launch of a new logo to represent the school’s sports teams. The logo, which showcases Point Park’s longtime mascot as well as the Downtown Pittsburgh skyline, will serve as the brand identity for the Pioneers’ 11 varsity teams and the athletic department as a whole.

“The process to identify our athletic brand has been exciting,” Point Park Director of Athletics Dan Swalga said. “Over the last 18 months, we consulted with many parts of the University including students, student-athletes, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the executive team. A to Z Communications did great work in encapsulating the image of the Point Park Pioneers, and we have a final product which makes this effort worthwhile.

“With this new athletic brand identity, I feel we have been able to tie into the storied past of the University as well as the strength of the present. This is another positive step in the continuing development of our sports programs as well as the University. “

The new logo is the product of A to Z Communications, a marketing, advertising and design firm located on Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh.

“With their expertise in marketing and brand strategy, as well as their familiarity with Pittsburgh and our campus, A to Z Communications delivered a logo that uniquely represents Point Park athletics. It gives us a strong brand identity that we hope will give us stronger recognition among fans, parents, alumni, prospective student-athletes and others,” said Point Park Director of Athletic Communications Kevin Taylor.

The new logo will be used immediately as Point Park sports teams begin competition this weekend. The new brand identity will be used on uniforms, gear, promotional materials and athletic communications.

As part of Point Park’s Spirit Week Oct. 3-9, the logo will be celebrated publically for the first time. Various activities are will be planned to get fans, students, faculty, staff and alumni excited about the new athletic logo at the week-long celebration. The week concludes with Point Park’s Back to the ‘Burgh Alumni Weekend, which includes the Pioneer Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony Oct. 9.

The Point Park Pioneers logo prominently displays the school name as well as the nickname for the sports teams – Pioneers. A central figure is the Bison, which has long been a mascot for the school. The Bison was first used as a school mascot in the 1967-68 school year, the first year of intercollegiate competition versus four-year institutions.

Also prominently displayed is the Downtown Pittsburgh environment of which Point Park is a part. In the back left are iconic pieces of the Pittsburgh skyline, and in the back right are two central pieces to the Point Park campus – Lawrence Hall and Academic Hall. Included is the pedestrian bridge above Wood Street that connects the two Point Park buildings.

The shape at the bottom of the logo is representative of the bastions of Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt, which were once located in the area now known as Point State Park. Point Park University derives its name from Point State Park, which is located at the meeting place of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. Point State Park is just a few blocks from the University’s campus.


The Bison became a mascot for the school in 1967 when the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity teamed with the Varsity Club to acquire a live bison. The bison was named Black Diamond II in reference to the Black Diamond bison on the reverse side of the U.S. nickel at the time. It was kept at South Park and was a featured attraction at parades on the Boulevard of the Allies as well as at sporting events.

Black Diamond II was widely popular at Point Park and was a source of pride for the entire school. Although Black Diamond II eventually passed away, the Bison image remained a symbol of school spirit with the introduction of a Bison mascot costume.

The Bison mascot remains a fixture at the school at present day. The Point Park cheerleading squad was re-introduced in 2009, and the Bison is used by the team to promote school spirit. The Bison also makes public appearances, like the ones he made during Point Park’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in the fall of 2010.


“Point Park University athletics required a sports identity that represents and is unique to the University and supports the institution’s 11 NAIA sports teams, called the Pioneers. The A to Z Communications brand design team learned that that the bison had been adopted in earlier years by Point Park faculty and students, but had never been formally established as a brand identity. In the years Fort Pitt was built on what is now Point State Park, Pennsylvania enjoyed the distinction of being the scene of the most easterly of the American bison’s triangular range. Because the bison is a keystone species that stands its ground and favors charging, A to Z felt its symbolism was reflective of the Pioneers’ stamina and grit.

“The green and gold colors incorporated in the identity mark are taken from the University’s existing sports color palette and offer an instantaneous method for conveying meaning: Green conjures imagery of life and energy, while the gold is used to draw attention and express high spirits.

“A to Z created the typography expressly for the word “Pioneers” to reinforce the illustrative style used on the bison. The logo depicts the Pittsburgh skyline to the left and Point Park’s Lawrence and Academic halls to the right with the Wood Street pedestrian bridge in between. At the base of the illustration is a point symbolizing the bastions of Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne, fortifications that proclaim strength and defense. The motion delineated in the bison bursting through the skyline emotes a feeling of power, vitality and advancement and consummates a singular icon that builds upon Point Park University’s reputation as a burgeoning urban institution.”


For camera ready, high-resolution artwork of the new Point Park Pioneers logo, email Kevin Taylor at ktaylor@pointpark.edu