Our Perspective on the Hog’s Color Change

In February, U of A’s senior associate athletic director, Mike Waddell announced on twitter that the school would soon have a new Razorback Red. Obviously, this has a lot of fans in an uproar.

So to clarify the reasoning, and to determine whether the change makes since, WhyteSpyder has brought in Caroline Chandler, WhyteSpyder’s Art Director, as our authority on the matter.

Chandler’s experience comes from her history at Olivet International, where she managed the artwork of over 90 NCAA teams from 2010 to 2012. Olivet made coolers, koozies, bottles, and duffels while she was there. The U of A is also Chandler’s Alma Matter.

Currently, the U of A style guide states that, “The official colors of the University of Arkansas are cardinal and white. Because of the requirements for printing and the need to be as specific as possible when matching colors, the Pantone® Matching System (PMS) number for cardinal red is 200.” However, the color will supposedly switch to PMS 202, which is described as a garnet.

The U of A currently shares Pantone 200 with New Mexico, Ohio State, Utah, Wisconsin and Arizona. Alabama, Stanford, MIT, USC (Southern California), Indiana, Oklahoma and Washington State use 201, and 202 is used by Iowa State, Florida State, Southern Carolina and Minnesota.

To give you a visualization, Razorback Red will go…

The reasoning? To become more consistent.

From Chandler’s perspective, the reasoning behind changing the color doesn’t make sense.

“We’re still 1 away from AL and OK,” Chandler said. “But it makes more sense to stick with tradition and enforce more uniform licensing policies. There are lots of schools that make licensors send a product for review to confirm that it’s meeting the color requirements. Even if we change the pantone, consistency will still be an issue.”

To explain this logic further, the U of A is changing its color in the hopes of keeping all the future U of A licensees from using a variety of shades. However, if the U of A doesn’t require licensees to go through the process of getting a product approved, then changing the color won’t help.

“This overall process is the same,” she said, “but in addition to a mockup, some schools (Florida State, Texas, and Virginia Tech specifically) require product samples as well. So, after your visual/on screen mockup has been approved, you have to have a sample sent to the school licensing authority and they approve the items.”

From a design perspective, the new color choice is also a negative. “I feel like 201 and 202 are more similar looking, 200 really pops against the rest,” she said. “I like its brightness.”

Whether or not this change occurs and/or brings the consistency the U of A desires is still in question, but no matter the pigment, U of A fans will still cheer on the Razorbacks.