Bozeman High School hawk logo

Bozeman High School Principal Dan Mills unveiled the new logo during a school board meeting March 8.

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An updated Bozeman High School hawk head logo was unveiled Monday, a new design to replace the existing one after an Ohio university said it infringed on its trademark.

Miami University of Ohio contacted the high school in March 2020, telling Bozeman High it was using its logo and would need to begin the process of replacing it. Bozeman High Principal Dan Mills presented the newly designed logo to the school during Monday’s school board meeting.

Mills said the process to replace the design stalled last year due to impacts related to COVID-19 pandemic until Miami University reached out to the school in fall 2020 again. The university agreed to give the school three years to replace its current hawk’s head logo.

“We wanted to keep some kind of a semblance (to the current one),” Mills said of the new design.

The old logo had thinner more angular lines — the new hawk’s head has bold, thick lines, a shorter beak and a larger eye glaring out at the viewer. The attitude remains the same though.

He said he asked the design agency to keep it “clean, crisp and aggressive.” After being presented with three options, the high school leadership said only one stood out as a viable option, a logo Mills describes as having a “less than sunny disposition.”

Mills met with the Bozeman High coaches and athletic personnel on March 2 and with the student council on March 8 to get feedback on the design. He said both groups approved, with some of the seniors asking when they could buy merchandise with the new logo on it.

As part of the design process, which cost around $4,500, the district is working to trademark the new logo.

The current logo was chosen in the 1990s after a previous one was abandoned due to a separate copyright infringement complaint from the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.

The trustees also expressed support for the updated version of the hawk’s head. Trustee Greg Neil said he had initially been upset when the university first complained to the district but said he now saw it as an opportunity to rebrand alongside the high school’s renovations.

“Those two things lined up as best they could really,” he said. “… I think it’s a great change.”

The new logo design also coincides with the school’s plan to redo the floor of its gym. Mills said he was presenting the logo to the board, so the process of redoing the floor could begin.

Mills said he anticipated the process of phasing out the old logo with the new one would be gradual, as uniforms, shirts and other things are replaced over time.

“It will take a couple years of phasing it out but they were very flexible with the timing on it,” he said.

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Liz Weber can be reached at lweber@dailychronicle.com or 582-2633.

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