With a new year comes a new bobcat. On Saturday, January 26, the new Bates College mascot was formally introduced at halftime of the Bates-Tufts men’s basketball game. The new bobcat is a fresh take on the college’s former seventeen-year-old logo– it is both differentiable from the original mascot while simultaneously retaining much of the original’s character.

The quest for a new bobcat commenced after the Bates College’s athletic marketing committee suggested the college consider adopting a new logo. The committee is comprised of four Bates students and four college alumni. The committee selected Skye Design Studios (SDS), a New York brand identity and design firm, to develop the new bobcat. Skye Design Studios is the brainchild of Maine native Skye Dillon.

Dillon took his job to design the new Bates College logo seriously. Dillon sought to invent a bobcat truly representative of the current Bates College community. For that purpose, Dillon visited campus in October. While at Bates, he attended multiple athletic contests, met with the college’s athletics marketing committee, and leafed through archival photos for inspiration. Probably the most effective method, was his decision to gather thoughts about the logo from Bates students, faculty and staff.

The result of Dillon’s search is a bobcat depicted in the “distinguished” design style. Another noticeable feature of the new bobcat is that the logo solely consists of the bobcat’s head. Yet despite its differences, the new bobcat in many ways resembles the old college logo.

bates-bobcat-primary3“I think it looks different enough so that it’s impressive and new and 2013ish. But it does a nice job of sticking to the old look enough so it’s not a drastic revolution,” said Lydia O’Brien ’15.

Whether you love it or hate it, the new logo will soon adorn campus. However, it will be most visible in the college’s athletics department – it will appear on the new athletics website as well as on students’ athletic jerseys as soon as spring 2013. The new bobcat is the valiant new face of Bates College’s 31 varsity athletic teams.

The question is: How will the Bates College community respond to its new mascot? The majority of Batesies seem to embrace the new college logo. Feelings of surprise and doubt soon giveaway to bobcat pride.

“Although I didn’t feel that it was absolutely necessary to change the logo in the first place, I must admit that it is growing on me. It’s simple, clean and manages to really capture the true essence of a Bobcat,” said Elena Jay ’15.

The new bobcat seems to be a fitting manifestation of the Bates College spirit. It both manages to respect the college’s tradition while also accounting for change reflective of a malleable college community.