From the Locker Room
THE STORY BEHIND THE 2018 WOMEN’S FINAL FOUR LOGO
Your favorite NCAA Women’s Final Four memory.
Was it a play? The roar of the crowd as your team won? Seeing the arena for the first time? The joy of being with family and friends?
The Women’s Final Four means something different to everyone. And yet, the Women’s Final Four logo must capture all these memories for anyone who attends, from student-athletes to fans.
Each year, the NCAA starts from scratch to develop a unique Women’s Final Four logo. No matter what, each city, each year is a new experience. Even if the Women’s Final Four has been to the city previously, the logo must distinctly represent the host city like never before and unquestionably elicit the memories made at that particular championship. Each championship deserves to be represented uniquely – just as each memory made at a Women’s Final Four is unique in its own right.
So, for Columbus 2018, where did the we start? Right in the heart of Columbus, of course.
Part 1: Discover Columbus
We asked: What makes Columbus so special? When someone visits there, what do they tell their family and friends about when they return home? What are locals proud of?
We also ask one of our creative agency partners and the lead at designing each year’s championship logo, Joe Bosack and Co., to look visually at the city of Columbus. What is the architecture like there? What colors you see? What patterns pop up around the city? If people draw the city from memory, what do they draw?
This is the fun part. Seriously fun. We get to hear and see the voice of Columbus. Learn what makes Columbus so special – special enough to be an inspiration for what the entire championship should look like.
For 2018 in Columbus, the one thing we heard over and over again – is that Columbus is about community and how the arches in the bridges across their streets bring unity to the community and “US”.
So, we want people to bring their big basketball dreams here. The dreams that start at the beginning of the season, but end in Columbus. The ones that will end with confetti falling on a trophy with cheers from a crowd at the time of women’s basketball and basketball brings US together – the Women’s Final Four.
Part 2: Making the Logo
- With that inspiration, we took to designing the logo. To start, we know that there are a few elements that must be in every logo that make it “official” for NCAA Championships:
- • Women’s Final Four
- • NCAA
- • Columbus
- • 2018
- The rest of the logo is dependent solely on the Columbus inspiration.
Over the course of two months, we saw a variety of logo concepts based on some key Columbus icons, including the bridges that span across their rivers that connect the city, the arches over the streets of Short North and discovering they are a city of artistes, academics and commerce. Of all the logo ideas though, most impressive and evocative logo developed was based on the arches and bridges that connect city.
With the logo now finalized, the next step comes creating the graphics package or “look” – i.e. what design will be behind the logo when the NCAA makes signage, marketing materials, websites and anything else that represents the 2018 Women’s Final Four in Columbus.
Part 3: Designing the Look
This year’s look came from how Columbus use of unity and incorporating the word “US” as a city reference. As the look was developed by Joe Bosack & Co., Columbus became the 15th largest city in the U.S. with a population of over 850,000. “CBUS” as it is referred to by the locals, has a diverse economy based on education, government, insurance, banking, fashion, defense, aviation, food, logistics, steel, energy, medical research, health care, hospitality, retail, and technology.
The objectives of the design are to communicate that Columbus is the destination for celebration of basketball played at the highest level and a weekend full of great events. Joe Bosack & Co., wanted to also celebrate the diversity of the host city people coming together as one basketball community and connect the Women’s Final Four look with the overall host city’s inclusive “ColumbUS” theme.
Within the framework of the NCAA championship logos, visual identifiers that are evocative of Columbus are designed into the look of the event. For example, the Short North district in Columbus is known for the arches that span across its streets, an ideal icon for the unifying power of the game of basketball.
All the NCAA design partners, from signage to in-venue to digital take the logo and look to create their parts and pieces that make the Women’s Final Four championship complete. For them, the logo and look serve as a way to make the Women’s Final Four come alive at the hotels, fan events, in marketing pieces, on tickets, within the arena and for any other touchpoints.
Do you see Columbus?
Once the NCAA National Champion is crowned and people return home from Columbus, we hope wherever and whenever the 2018 Women’s Final Four logo and look is seen, that Columbus comes to mind in the years that follow. You might see it on a t-shirt, that jacket you couldn’t live without, a basketball or even in your own selfies. You’ll remember the competition in Columbus. The sights in Columbus. The friends and family at the games.
Be a part of the action at this year’s NCAA Women’s Final Four in Columbus. It’s an experience you’ll never forget! For more information about the city of Columbus please click here.