football tackle

Distinctive, Fresh, Bold, and Confident…There’s a New Dawg In Town!

GWU Bulldog Full Body

The launch of a new Runnin’ Bulldog logo for Gardner-Webb follows six months of research and interviews with more than 500 Gardner-Webb stakeholders. Working with Varsity Partners in Charlotte, N.C., the University’s revitalized athletic brand is drawn from historical graphics dating back to before the 1960s and updated with a fresh, custom look. The updated brand identity includes a new version of the runnin’ bulldog graphic, as well as the bulldog head, custom type and font treatments, spirit stripe and colors.

These elements will bring a new level of consistency, uniqueness and power to expand the GWU brand nationally.

Runnin' Bulldog Infographic

Bulldog history collageThe Journey

The creative development process, spearheaded by VPCo., began in the fall of 2021 and included a number of presentations, surveys and interviews with coaches, staff, student-athletes, leadership, alumni, trustees and other key stakeholders across The University. At its core, the mission of the rebrand was to create a revitalized Gardner-Webb brand that the past, present and future Gardner-Webb students, faculty and staff can be proud of and fans everywhere recognize and respect.

Though the bulldog has been a part of Gardner-Webb’s history since before the 1960s, our current bulldog was launched in 1987 and updated in 1993 replacing GWC with GWU in coordination with the name change of Gardner-Webb to “University” status.  Although we value and appreciate our identifying marks that have been used in past, it was important to develop a brand that continues to energize and evolve the Runnin’ Bulldogs spirit. After identifying key elements, University traditions and history, VPCo. got to work!

The end result: a refreshed and modernized visual identity that showcases the steadfast determination of Gardner-Webb Athletics. Our current and previous student-athletes continue to defy the odds, embrace the underdog role and consistently pursue greatness. The rebrand aims to keep pushing that momentum with new branding elements that will be reflected in uniforms, facilities, merchandise, and marketing material.

sketches of new bulldog logo

Additional Marks

Territory Mark

GWU Soccer Shield

Soccer Shield

GWU Charge Pattern

Charge Pattern

Episode Description

This episode of the Bulldog Dialogue podcast is 35 years in the making; Gardner-Webb President Dr. William Downs dives in deep to talk about the launch of the rebranded Gardner-Webb athletic logo and what it means for Bulldog Nation. Several guests will offer their insights on the development process, what fans can expect to see in the days, weeks and months ahead, and how students, alumni, and friends can get new gear.

I love the new look! It’s big, it’s authentic, it’s fierce, and it’s got swagger. I can’t wait to see our sports venues transformed, our uniforms enlivened, and our new Dawg recognized everywhere we compete.
— Dr. William Downs, President
I think it [the new logo] matches the vision for updating the campus and progressing towards the future. I look forward to seeing how this starts a chain reaction at GWU and what it looks like to be a Runnin' Bulldog.
— Kylee Garrison, senior student-athlete
This new look will enhance school spirit, and will be an exciting change for our student-athletes, alumni and fans.
— Tim Craft, Head Basketball Coach