SFA's popular old logo just took a few minutes of thought, did' - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

SFA's popular old logo just took a few minutes of thought, didn't cost a penny

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Gregg Fort (Source; KTRE Staff) Gregg Fort (Source; KTRE Staff)
Old SFA logo on a football helmet (Source: KTRE Staff) Old SFA logo on a football helmet (Source: KTRE Staff)
Old SFA logo (Source: KTRE Staff) Old SFA logo (Source: KTRE Staff)
New SFA logo (Source: KTRE Staff) New SFA logo (Source: KTRE Staff)

East Texas News thought it would be interesting to find the story and person behind the logo so many people like, so we tracked down the creator Thursday.

The new logo that got axed, with its simplistic lettering, took months to create and thousands of dollars as part of a $1.2 million marketing plan.

The old logo most everyone likes, with its stacked lettering, took a few minutes of thought and didn't cost a penny.

The man behind the popular brand is Gregg Fort, a former SFA athletic administrator. He's now a vice president at New York's Hilbert College. He vividly recalls an afternoon in 1992 at the SFA field house when he caught former football coach John Pearce drawing on the board.

"Everything John had was like a state of Texas, and there were crossed axes or state of Texas and a lumberjack head or whatever," Fort said.

Fort had already introduced to the football program SFA block lettering similar to what his former employer, Mississippi State was using. He told the coach, "I have an idea."

"I took the state of Texas, and I laid the block SFA on top of it, and came back down and said,  ‘Coach what do you think?'" Fort said.

Robert Hill, the current athletic director, threw in a suggestion too.

"Robert said, ‘Why don't you put the star where Nacogdoches is on the logo?'" Hill said. "‘Oh," I said, ‘Great idea, I sure can.'"

The coach wanted a decal for football helmets. Within minutes, he got the look he was after.

It didn't take long before the university adopted the brand for its spirit logo. Aside from a few tweaks and surviving one marketing study, now two, it's been Lumberjack-strong for 22 years.

"I'm happy it's part of the history of Stephen F. Austin, and people look favorably on it," Fort said.

More than 7,000 people have signed a petition in opposition of the new logo. Alumni were encouraged to mail their "Sawdust" magazines sporting the new logo back to SFA Regents.

The outcry worked. Lumberjacks spoke and someone listened.

The launch of SFA's marketing campaign on Monday, March 31, will continue as scheduled. However, the logo SFA has been using since 2004 will be featured on the ads.

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