Columbia Lions is a sports department owned by Columbia University. It includes about thirty women’s and men’s teams. They all play in the NCAA at Division I level and are members of the Ivy League. Only footballers compete in FCS. The name Lions and the lion mascot is a tribute to the royal past of the university. After all, it was created based on King’s College by the special order of the British monarch George II in 1754.
Meaning and History
A lion is depicted on all Columbia Lions emblems. But artists experimented with styles, so the animal everywhere looks different. For example, the brand name 1936-1956 looks like a caricature: a formidable predator with a helmet on his head runs on its hind legs, holding a soccer ball. Version 1957-1970 close to heraldic style. It contains a traditional emblem that embodies generosity, wisdom, and strength.
In the years 1971-1996, the logo used was a monochrome silhouette encircled by a translucent blue outline. Then the designers abandoned minimalism and presented a new option – with a lot of details. They highlighted the crouching lion, surrounded it with a tail ring, and in the background, they depicted a distant city.
1936 – 1956
1957 – 1970
1971 – 1996
1997 – 2004
2006 – present
In 2005, the Columbia Lions logo was simplified: there was only an animal showing fangs and claws. But this version did not exist for long – a year later, another redesign took place. Artists preserved the head of a lion along with a lush mane and a predatory grin. A convex inscription “Columbia” was added on top, supplementing the letters with rectangular serifs.