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Student’s art project aims to rebrand the Bethel Athletic Department

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Senior Matt Kauzlarich has created new logos for the Bethel Pilots (photo by Josh Winningham)

The work of one student in this year’s senior art exhibit may very well leave a lasting mark on Bethel College long after he graduates. Senior Matt Kauzlarich designed a new logo for the Pilots and essentially rebranded Bethel’s athletic department for his senior project.

Kauzlarich said his goal was to rebrand the Pilots. He aimed to integrate traditional elements of Bethel athletics while developing a fresh look for the sports program.

“As a Bethel College athlete and with my graphic design past,” said Kauzlarich, “I was unhappy with Bethel’s logo design.” Kauzlarich said his reasons for developing a new Pilot logo also included a desire to have a logo design case study he could send to other colleges and universities.

Salty the Squirrel is a new mascot proposed by Matt Kauzlarich (photo by Josh Winningham)

Kauzlarich’s new Pilot designs incorporate an actual pilot character wielding Bethel’s iconic helm. For the women’s sports teams, he constructed a lady pilot, with flowing locks, who is also pictured with the helm. He also included a Pilot mascot affectionately dubbed “Salty the Squirrel.”

Kauzlarich pursued graphic design as one of his favorite pastimes for a number of years before coming to Bethel as a freshman in the spring of 2007.  His extensive design portfolio includes work for Nike, Hungry Howies, and Henry Ford Hospital. In addition, Kauzlarich has designed logos for two soccer clubs located near his hometown in Almont, Michigan. Kauzlarich is no stranger when it comes to creating sports logos.

''In the spring of 2009, I was approached by the ownership of the Quad City Mallards of the International Hockey League,” said Kauzlarich. “I was asked to fully rebrand the club from colors to logos to uniform.” Tbe Quad City Mallards presently utilize the logos Kauzlarich designed.

Thiago Pinto, men’s soccer coach, said Kauzlarich’s work was very well received among those in the athletic department. Currently, Kauzlarich is talking with other athletic department heads about the possibility of his work being implemented as the new logo for the Bethel Pilots.

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