Matadors Primary Logo
Today we’re taking a look at the history of Cal State Northridge Matadors' primary logo. The university has evolved its athletic branding over the years, with several iterations of logos that have come and gone throughout its time as an NCAA Division I institution.
The original Matador logo was first used in 1993 when CSUN joined the Big Sky Conference for football. It featured a bullfighter in traditional matador attire, complete with a cape and sword, facing off against an angry bull on one side while holding up his red cape on the other side to protect himself from any potential attack by it. This design was used until 2003 when it underwent some minor changes such as adding more detail to both figures and changing their colors from black/white to blue/red respectively before eventually being retired altogether in 2007 after 14 years of use.
In 2008, CSUN unveiled a new primary logo featuring two crossed swords placed behind an aggressive-looking "Matador" character wearing traditional garb including a sombrero hat which was all done up in the team's signature blue & red color scheme; this version lasted until 2014 when they decided to go with something simpler yet still representing their mascot identity: just two crossed swords without any additional imagery or text accompanying them (the current iteration).
Although there have been many variations over time, these core elements remain constant: 1) A strong representation of our mascot – whether through direct depiction or abstract symbols like crossed swords 2) Colors – Blue & Red are always present 3) Aggressive attitude - Our symbol should always be portrayed as powerful & intimidating! With each new version released since 1993 we've seen improvements made upon previous designs but also staying true enough so that fans can recognize it immediately even if slight alterations were made year-to-year; this is what makes our visual identity unique amongst other schools across the country!
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2014 - Present
A red, black, grey matador wearing a red and black hat and holding a red with a black trim cape. Initials “CSUN” in black with red trim and wordmark “MATADORS” in black.
Designed by Joe Bosack
2006 - 2013
A black, red, tan and grey matador holding a jagged letter “N” in black with thick white trim and red with black trim formed background.
1999 - 2005
A black, red, tan and grey matador holding his red cape with a wordmark “CAL STATE” in white and “NORTHRIDGE MATADORS” in black on a white background. A jagged letter “N” in black with thick white trim and red with black trim formed background.
1990 - 1999
A black and white matador holding a red cap in front of a black diamond under a wordmark “CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE” in black and “MATADORS” in red with an uneven size of fonts.
1978 - 1990
Silhouette of a matador in red.