Colin Erickson is a graphic designer with a passion for taking projects from pencil on paper to final deliverables. He believes that the vast majority of planet earth has room for improvement, and that the modern era demands modern solutions. Colin is driven to create inclusive, sustainable, and ethical designs which consider the past, thrive in the present, and possess longevity for the future.

Since he transferred to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at the height of a pandemic in 2020, school spirit was something Colin had to discover on his own. Learning about the university brand guidelines in a school internship as well as the absence of a school mascot since the removal of Chief Illiniwek in 2007 incited Colin to better campus culture through the design of new mascots. New mascots will help UIUC’s current fans, students and alumni abandon the Chief and the Native American appropriation it stands for. This new era of mascots will ensure an inclusive and ethical environment on campus for all current and future students.

The Illinois Orange & Blue is a partial rebrand for the University of Illinois, centered around the adoption of two mascots. One mascot is an American bison named “Bana” who hails from Urbana, and the other is a humanoid version of Big Bluestem named “Champ” who hails from Champaign. The name Orange & Blue is a direct reference to the existing school colors, and was chosen for its non-identifying nature in opposition to the Chief. While acknowledging the fact that we are a land grant institution, the emphasis of this project is on the symbiotic relationship which American bison and Big Bluestem have shared in Illinois, much like the symbiotic relationship Urbana and Champaign continue to share. The proposed adoption of “Bana” and “Champ” as the new faces of UIUC sets the path forward while maintaining the integrity of the school’s 150+ year history.