New-look Blaze Ready for Debut

Jul 30, 2020

The visual representation of Cal U's mascot gets an update after feedback from students.


With a wider smile, lively eyes, a different hairstyle and taller physique, Blaze is ready for his debut. 

The refreshed visual representation of Cal U’s mascot will soon be noticeable in a variety of places on and off campus: student recruitment publications, T-shirts, fliers, stickers and other promotional items. 

To update Blaze — who is based on the costumed Blaze mascot, which will not change —Cal U sought feedback from various student groups. 

“We did two Zoom focus groups and a few smaller virtual meetings with students who are active on campus,” said Keli Henderson, marketing director at Cal U. “We asked student leaders, athletes, those who work in Admissions, and those who have experience as the person inside the Blaze mascot costume for their opinions.” 

Cal U’s Creative Services team took it from there. 

“Based on student feedback, we were able to adjust his body structure to make him appear taller,” said artist-illustrator Philip Haragos. “His hair was scaled back to provide less of a ‘shaggy’ look, and other minor adjustments added to the overall outcome.” 

A student majority gave a thumbs-up to adding ears to the figure. Whether Blaze should hold a hammer also was considered. 

“This is the next step in the process that resulted in a new visual identity for both the University and its athletic programs,” Henderson said. 

An updated Blaze mascot is one more visual tool the University will use to build brand awareness. 

In 2019, new logos for Vulcans Athletics and the University were revealed. Brand identity specialists at Carnegie Dartlet worked with the Cal U community to determine the University’s true “personality,” and Cal U’s Creative Services team built on that research and held in-person polling to refresh the University symbols.

“Consistency across the board helps us to be recognized as a unified University,” Henderson said. “Our research shows that awareness of Cal U has increased, and this is because we are creating a more concise message. 

“We know that consistency creates and identity, which allows our communications to work better together. This is important as prospective students are making their college decisions.”