About a month ago, I read a post from the fantastic Uni Watch website that discussed high schools’ use of college and NFL logos.

In the post, the writer (Paul Lukas) suggests schools should stop the logo “recycling” (or “poaching”), noting that schools should turn the logo design efforts to students, art teachers, a school’s graphic design program… anything that would help make the school’s logo more unique to the school and less a ripoff of someone else.

The article prompted me to think about Wyoming schools that use NFL or college logos on their helmets — and, surprisingly enough, only a handful of Wyoming schools actually “recycle” their logos from their NFL or collegiate counterparts.

In fact, I could only find one school — Wright — that uses a modified NFL logo as both its main school logo and its helmet decal. Wright uses the Carolina Panthers logo, with the colors shifted from blue to gold.

Four other schools have modified NFL logos as either their logo or helmet decal, but not both.

Gillette and Glenrock both use the Green Bay “G” on their helmets, although both schools use logos that are original and different from the “G” helmet decals the schools use. (See the unique logos for Gillette and Glenrock.)

Midwest (the old Houston Oilers) and Guernsey-Sunrise (the Minnesota Vikings) also use NFL logos, but those logos aren’t on their helmets.

College-level logo “recycling” is actually more common in the Equality State.

Seven schools use college logos for their schools: Pinedale, Shoshoni and Kaycee (all the Wyoming bucking horse), Big Piney (old Wyoming/Oklahoma State “Pistol Pete,” slightly modified), Riverside (UNLV, slightly and crudely modified), Burlington (old Washington logo), and Rock River (Texas, modified with “Longhorns” across the top). Of those schools, four — Pinedale, Shoshoni, Kaycee and Big Piney — use those logos on their helmets, either this year or in the very recent past.

In Wyoming, I think we can make certain exceptions. Pinedale, Shoshoni, Kaycee and Big Piney are probably off the hook; any schools that want to use the UW/state of Wyoming logos should have that flexibility. Can’t blame them. That bucking horse logo is iconic, and protected, while Pistol Pete is not as iconic but has been integrated as a big part of Big Piney’s identity, as this statue in the school lobby attests.

Gillette and Glenrock, too, are off the hook, as long as they start using those unique-to-their-school logos on your helmets rather than repeating an NFL team (and each other).

Midwest, Guernsey and Riverside get passes, as well, with the knowledge that logo recycling hasn’t taken over the sides of their football players’ helmets. Additionally, Burlington is off the hook, as the Huskies use blank white headgear.

And Rock River, which started a junior-varsity six-man program last fall (and whose helmet I’ve never seen), is off the hook for now due to a lack of knowledge. I do hope the Longhorns stray from being a blue version of Texas in their uniforms, though…

That leaves us Wright.

And I think help is on the way.

I wish I could design a logo, but any of you who have ever seen my artistic abilities on display know I’m not the one to actually put ink to paper (or mouse to Adobe Illustrator blank screen). If you want cruddy stick figures, I’m your guy; if you want something that would actually work on the side of a helmet or in the middle of a basketball floor, call someone else.

How about you? Any design suggestions or mock-ups that any of you design-savvy folks want to suggest? Post your ideas below here, or email them to me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com and I’ll post them here.

What would be even better — and this is something suggested by Uni Watch — is that the students or the teachers in the schools themselves work to design a new logo that’s unique. That’s not just a Wright suggestion. That’s a suggestion for every school in the state that’s “recycling” a logo that’s unique to someone else but not to them.

By the way, Wright itself has already thrown down the challenge, albeit unknowingly, with this mural in its gym, done by local artist Doug McCrae, as well as this logo on a sign near the city limits. Could you imagine either one of those modified to fit on a football helmet? Sweeeeeet. And maybe more importantly, original.


7 Thoughts on “Wyoming high schools and logo “recycling”

  1. Patrick, the Lander Tigers use the Bengals logo, but in green and black, and the Star Valley Braves use the Washington Redskins logo. The Green River power wolf is a modified Kansas State logo. Just some thoughts. Have a great holiday and continued success.

  2. Larry Yeradi on December 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm said:

    The Powell Panthers also use a color modified Carolina Panther.

  3. Patrick on December 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm said:

    Hi gents,

    It looks like Lander and Powell don’t use the logos you’ve specified. Lander and Powell did use the logos you mentioned a few years ago, but Powell’s logo has switched to something else and the helmet decal now is a big orange “P.” Lander, IIRC, still does the Bengal helmets in green and black but has a new logo that, near as I can tell, is unique to Lander.

    I didn’t realize Green River’s was modified from KSU’s old logo, but I see it now. Even so, it’s a better, more refined modification than, say, Riverside.

    As for Star Valley, I had completely forgotten about the Redskin helmet decal. I also forgot that Cheyenne Central uses the Redskins logo for their helmet decal, too. That’s a shame, because both schools have original logos they use for everything else BUT the helmet decals.

    One of the things that may keep schools from making their own unique helmet decal is the price. It’s cheaper to buy a couple hundred stock decals every year than it is to buy a couple hundred custom decals. Anyone out there who can speak to that?

    Thanks for the comments, gents! I appreciate the help on this….


  4. Dahl Erickson on December 21, 2012 at 10:50 am said:


    Just a little clarification. Star Valley uses the Redskins helmet logo on their actual helmets, but that is the only place. Even the logo on the center of the field is a piece of art the school has used since 1949 with the dreamcatcher and feathers added. I’ve actually never seen this “Brave head” used anywhere else and the first instance appears to be in the 1949 yearbook which was the year Star Valley changed their name from Cheesemakers to Braves. There isn’t exactly a lot of Indian artwork or clipart out there that isn’t replicated but like I’ve said, I’ve never seen this one anywhere else and I don’t know where it was originally done. I think there has been some talk about incorporating it into the helmet logo but I think they want to use up what they already have as I understand it.

    We have a star logo that used to be on the floor that was replaced with this dreamcatcher logo when they redid the basketball floor about four years ago. The Star logo is still used on a lot of other apparel and letterhead and was designed by a local guy named John Challis.

    The center of the floor at our middle school is original artwork painted by the SVMC art teacher who is also an American Indian. Anyway, not to be Cliff Claven about the whole thing, just stuff that I’ve been involved with here in regards to the school representation.

  5. Dahl Erickson on December 21, 2012 at 10:52 am said:

    Also, when we played Powell this year in football, they had gone away from the Panther logo and had the “P” on their helmet in the style of Permian High.

  6. I also think than anyone who simply uses standard letter that may resemble other schools should be off the hook as well. For example Gillette and Glenrock’s G is also used by Georgia. KW also borrows Southern Cal’s Trojan.

    Cheyenne East and Cheyenne South are the two that have custom logos that are already better than any off the shelf version out there.

  7. I think I like “Cheesemakers” better than “Braves” for Star Valley. At least there is a local connection. I imagine that the Political Correctness crowd would find a way to complain about “Cheesemakers” too.

    Powell’s “P” looks like Purdue.

    Last I saw, Lyman was using the winged helmet that was designed for Princeton and then adopted by Michigan.

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