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The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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A Fierce New Falcon Takes Flight: La Salle’s Iconic Emblem Gets a Modern Makeover

Jasmine McIntosh
The new logo was made to look more fierce and represent a more modern image.

La Salle’s current mascot, Francis the Falcon, has been a part of the athletic community, school spirit, and overall representation of the school for many years. Although the mascot was met with cheers from the student body each time he made an appearance at an athletic event, assembly, or performance, the decision to give him an update was made collectively by the community.

During the Homecoming Assembly on Oct. 5, the new Falcon logo was revealed to the community. Francis, the mascot, brought an egg that represented the new era of La Salle’s updated logo. Stickers were passed out, a flag was unveiled, and T-shirts were thrown into the student sections by the cheer team. 

The decision to update the logo was made by many people in La Salle’s community. The process was initiated by Athletic Director Mr. Chris George, following a request by student athletes for a more “fierce” logo. 

In late April of 2023, the redesign process began. Ms. Sarah Liebler, the Communications Project Manager, along with a team of other staff and faculty members, began reaching out to graphic designers to jumpstart the process of rebranding the school mascot. 

Multiple students from the Leadership course were asked to participate in a conversation that began the community discussion about the creation of a new logo. The feedback from students was considered and communicated to the graphic designer. The opinions from staff, coaches, and student athletes were all considered as well, Mr. George said.

“Our goal was to get as much student input and student voice,” Ms. Liebler said. “We really want students to connect with it and have it be a rallying point for school pride and community.”

The overall intention with redesigning the logo was to bring it up to date, match the level of other school’s mascots that are in La Salle’s conference, add more personality to it, and to make it appear more fierce. In addition to adding more detail and personality, the Falcon logo, which was previously just the head of a falcon, was expanded in two distinct images: one version depicts the entire body of the falcon and the other is only the falcon’s head.

Ms. Liebler noticed that a few other high schools in La Salle’s conference have recently updated their logos to be less “two dimensional,” she said. She thought that it would be in La Salle’s best interest to follow their progress.

The graphic designer who created the new logo is Anton Kimball. His wife previously worked as an admissions director for La Salle and his children attended the school as well. In addition, he designed Francis the Falcon, the most recent logo. The decision to bring him back for this project was made due to his familiarity, and the community’s love for the most recent logo, Ms. Liebler said.

Ms. Liebler considered what the students and staff had shared with her about their desires for the new logo and presented the variety of opinions to Kimball. He created 12 sketches of possible designs, beginning the process of drafting the logo by considering the feedback given by the community.

“He actually went to the zoo and studied the falcons at the Oregon Zoo to try to figure out what features to focus on,” Ms. Liebler said. 

Ms. Liebler recounts there being a total of three to four designing rounds. Although it was a lengthy process, she said, it was purposefully so. According to Ms. Liebler, this created a very intentionally designed logo, catered to the needs of the community.  

The 12 initial designs were merged together, morphed into different styles, and narrowed down carefully throughout the process. Ms. Liebler said that each step along the way only progressed with the help and input from members of the community. 

During numerous design rounds, Kimball offered his advice to staff who were involved in this process. 

His suggestions were usually followed, Ms. Liebler said, as his expertise is very well recognized. Kimball’s design company, Brand Rapid Design, has worked with large corporations and businesses including Adidas, American Red Cross, NASCAR, Costco, Nordstrom, Target, Sony, Nintendo, Nabisco, and WebMD. 

After a lengthy process of finalizing the new design, Ms. Liebler is proud of the final logo. 

She enjoys that the logo has more personality and is now more similar to a cartoon, which gives it life, she said. “I really like it. I love the colors and I like that it has more personality,” Ms. Liebler said. “I love the full Falcon with the wings, I think that will give us… especially from an athletic standpoint, a lot of other options of how to get our logo, our brand, out there.”

Mr. George thinks that this new logo will serve as an opportunity to unite the community.

 “It definitely is well done and the more that we utilize it consistently, and have all of us stay within the same design framework with what we’re doing, then that’s going to bring us together,” Mr. George said.

Ms. Liebler also recognizes that it will require a transition period for the community to become accustomed to the change. The more people see it, she thinks, the more it will register with the community as being a representation of La Salle. 

Ms. Liebler said that folks who worked in the La Salle Center throughout the summer have had a multitude of opportunities to see the logo. This, she believes, helps people to feel a sense of familiarity with it and eventually begin to love it. “I think it’s really grown on them,” she said. “I’m hoping that happens with the students.”

A new Falcon mascot costume is expected to arrive in December and accompanying the announcement of the new costume, an opportunity for naming the new mascot will also be announced.  

Although the new logo has been released, printed onto T-shirts and stickers, and will be even more incorporated into La Salle’s community very soon, Ms. Liebler says that the logo being released is only the first phase of this process. The next steps to be taken will be creating new La Salle spirit wear, new uniforms for sports teams, new mascots around the school, and pushing the mascot out further to the La Salle community. She hopes that the community will grow to love the new Falcon and appreciate the legacy that Francis left behind. 

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