King’s Blue Devil gets a face
Dante’s Inferno embedded within FYP student’s design
It's not a Blue Devil superhero leaping out of a DC comic. Instead it's a bone-chilling Blue Devil villain emerging from the 9th circle of Hell and out of the imagination of Foundation Year Program student Linea Volkering.
Her logo was unveiled today as the new face for the University of King's College athletics program.
After King's League of Athletes promoted a contest challenging artists to design the face for the King's Blue Devils, Volkering says her entry was spontaneous, a random decision one night.
"It's nice to have an image to associate with," she says.
She's been teaching herself graphic art since a yearbook course in high school. It has since developed into a hobby. Her logo is a graphic design, there are no crayons here.
League of Athletes President Ken Wallingford says Volkering's entry was sharp, almost scary looking too. It emitted intensity. It wasn't something playful.
The League of Athletes is now in its first year of existence. The student committee received a dozen contest entries.
Why there hadn't been a logo before?
"I don't think anybody ever thought about it," says Wallingford. "We never had a face."
He acknowledges athletes usually just referred to "King's," not the "Blue Devils." Wallingford plays on the Blue Devils' soccer team and his fellow League of Athletes member Kate Parkinson plays rugby. They're hoping it will act as a motivation for their teams.
Logo shared with Duke
When Trinity College (later Duke University in Durham North Carolina) adopted the Blue Devils logo in 1921 the nomination seemed sacrilegious for a Methodist school to adopt. But after a couple of other student newspapers jumped on board in the fall of 1922 they coined Duke's team as the ''Blue Devils.''
In Volkering's logo, the King's blue devil has ice chipping off the top of his head and bears an icicle beard. The devil that is trapped in ice in Dante's Inferno aims right at religion.
But Duke University archives writes their school was hesitant to choose the Blue Devils. They wanted to move away from religious debate: ''Questioners are universally surprised to discover its origin is more military and patriotic,'' it states.
During the First World War, the Chasseurs Alpins, nicknamed "les Diables Bleus,'' were renowned French soldiers. They first gained attention when their Alpine ability broke a stalemate in the trenches of the French Alps.
Duke's archives wrote about their recognition: ''their distinctive blue uniform with flowing cape and jaunty beret captured public imagination.''
American composer Irving Berlin wrote about the soldiers: "Strong and active, most attractive . . . those Devils, the Blue Devils of France."
Linea Volkering rescued the devil from its icy isolated trap. He will now appear ''strong and active, most attractive'' every time he's seen on a King's shirt, a bag, or even one day a jersey.
Kings' School Athletics Spirit
Ken Wallingford had never been to a basketball game prior to this year. Kate Parkinson says she's been going to more games lately too.
"We're showing we're not such an 'artsy' school anymore," she says.
They want to be taken more seriously.
"It's not like a group of kids flailing their arms around," Parkinson comments.
Athletic director Neil Hooper believes a menacing caricature will bring fans trickling in.
"We're hoping it becomes a part of building our overall school spirit and identification with the mascot created by the students...Hopefully it comes into the love of the Blue Devils and the teams."
Reinforcing the Blue Devils' name could prove to be benefit for King's. Duke has won 12 NCAA championships since the birth of their mascot.
They also have the smallest undergraduate enrolment of any top 35-ranked school. The rankings come from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics' Learfield Sports Directors' Cup. The Cup ranks schools' success in collegiate athletics.
Changing jerseys will require time, but Wallingford says, "Nothing really changes in terms of jersey logos because of copyright."
Tear that black sheet way
Today, the women's basketball team had a 4 p.m. start. After the women's game, fans were delighted to the first public glimpse of the Blue Devil logo. The St. Thomas Tommies men's team are in town tonight.