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'Ignite Your Inner Light': A new visual identity for EC athletics

September 03, 2019

Earlham College is celebrating the start of the 2019-20 intercollegiate athletics season with a new look and call to action.

The new visual identity is inspired by the idea of inner light, the spiritual force that Quakers believe resides in every person. It emerged from a highly-consultative process by which the Department of Athletics partnered with others on campus and the design firm Section 127, of Indianapolis. The resulting package includes a new version of the block EC, a main logo, custom numerals, and sport-specific identity marks for each team. 

The new main logo, which resembles a starburst, is meant to represent the 'inner light,' and it is meant as a more inclusive representation than pictorial representations of Quakers. The traditional block EC and the costumed “Big Earl” mascot will make occasional appearances on campus as part of the legacy of Earlham athletics, but going forward, the new visual identity will be used for official purposes like uniforms, print publications and in digital media.

“We recognize that not every casual observer will immediately recognize the full meaning of the logo, and that’s okay,” says Jonathan Graham, associate vice president for marketing and communications. “We believe that the inner light is vital to every success we have in and out of competition, and we are thrilled to have a new visual identity that highlights this theme.”

As Earlham’s fall sports teams begin their 2019 seasons, the school is celebrating with two campus wide events on Tuesday, September 3. From 4-5 p.m., students, faculty and staff are invited to gather in front of Earlham Hall (in an area better known on campus as The Heart) to learn about the visual identity, wish student-athletes and coaches good luck on their seasons, participate in fun outdoor activities, and even pick up free t-shirts bearing the new logo. The campus community and local sports fans are invited to cheer-on the Quakers volleyball team as they take on Capital University in their home opener at 7 p.m. in the Druley Performance Gymnasium.

“At Earlham, intercollegiate athletics are a huge part of the student experience. More than a third of our students participate in one of our 19 teams, and they do a great job of representing the College in and out of competition,” says Kline. “All of us in athletics are excited that this new logo has a sense of motion and athleticism, and we think it shows a deeper connection to our Quaker foundation than anything we have had in the past. We are very happy to have this new logo set to represent the energy and spirit that our student-athletes bring to the sports they love. We think this inner light logo can provide a sense of pride and unity to the entire Earlham community.”

— EC —

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. We rank 7th nationally by Princeton Review for Best Classroom Experience and 22nd by U.S. News and World Report for commitment to undergraduate teaching.

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and


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