Shady Side Academy ushered in a new era of school spirit today with the launch of its new Bulldogs logos and branding.
The new Shady Side Bulldog was "unleashed" in a virtual event that was live streamed to the entire PK-12 school community at noon on Friday, May 28. The event featured a high-energy reveal video (below), the SSA cheerleaders, and remarks from SSA President Bart Griffith '93 and Athletic Director Gene Deal. After the event, T-shirts featuring the new logo were given to all students, faculty and staff.
The new SSA Bulldogs athletics and spirit branding package includes 15 primary, secondary and tertiary marks, plus sport-specific marks, a custom font, and adjusted shades of the school's trademark blue and gold colors.. The brand was designed by Rickabaugh Graphics, a nationally renowned firm based in Ohio that has created award-winning brands for professional teams, colleges, K-12 schools and sports organizations nationwide.
"Shady Side Academy's new Bulldog brand exemplifies the historic values of our community: determination, pride, strength, excellence, intelligence and respect," said President Bart Griffith '93. "At the same time, it is entirely of the moment: accessible, engaging and with a modern aesthetic appropriate for a school seeking to lead in a changing world. This bold and unique branding will serve our community well for generations to come."
"What a great day for Shady Side Academy," said Athletic Director Gene Deal. "We finally have great-looking logos and branding that match the high quality of all of our athletic programs. I can't wait to see our students, parents, alumni and fans wearing the SSA bulldog with pride at games, on campus and in the community."
The brand development process began in January 2021, shortly after SSA announced the Bulldogs as its new mascot in late December. Rickabaugh Graphics was chosen through a competitive RFP process, and a branding committee of administrators, coaches, faculty, alumni, parents and trustees was formed to lead the effort. The four-month process included a community branding survey, an array of different design concepts, and focus group testing with students, alumni, parents, faculty, coaches, administrators and trustees.
"Our goal was to create a strong Bulldog brand that was unique to Shady Side, and we wanted to do it right – with an expert design partner and the input and feedback of our community along the way," said Director of Communications Jen Roupe, who chaired the branding committee. "Rickabaugh Graphics is simply the best at what they do, and we could not be more thrilled with the result. We believe the new SSA Bulldog branding will generate pride and enthusiasm among SSA community members of all ages."
"Rickabaugh Graphics is extremely honored to have been part of creating the new Bulldog image for Shady Side Academy," said owner Eric Rickabaugh, "SSA has a strong commitment to excellence, and it was important that the new athletic brand match that same level of high achievement. The redesign process was a careful and conscientious undertaking led by the SSA administration, and the school's commitment to including the entire SSA community in the process is to be commended. Without question, the input of SSA stakeholders helped tremendously in the shaping of the new look. We believe the new logos capture the pride, energy and innovation that will continue to move Shady Side Academy into a very bright future."
The primary mark features the face of a strong, determined bulldog wearing an "S" dog tag inside a shield, which symbolizes strength. Above the shield is the primary wordmark, with the words 'Shady Side" in a custom font and "Bulldogs" in a gold banner with a keystone-like shape, in a nod to Pennsylvania. Other marks include a Bulldogs wordmark, the bulldog head alone, "SSA" and "S" monograms alone or inside the shield, and a full-body bulldog. Tertiary marks such as a paw print, dog bone and keystone can be used as accents on uniforms and merchandise. The school's official blue was darkened from PMS 541 to PMS 282, a deep navy blue, and the gold was lightened from PMS 124 to PMS 1235, the same gold used by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins and Panthers.
A limited inventory of exclusive Shady Side Bulldog T-shirts and hats go on sale in the SSA Spirit Store at https://store.shadysideacademy.org at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 28. A larger inventory of Bulldog merchandise is expected to be available in the store by fall.
Future phases of the Bulldog brand rollout include playing surface graphics, uniforms, a kid-friendly youthmark, a mascot costume and a name-the-mascot contest.
View the full brand family of SSA Bulldogs spirit/athletic marks below.