Portland State Vikings Identity Design

Project Brief

Shortly after completing the University of Oregon rebrand, Rick Bakas enrolled in night classes at PSU to further his education about art history, and to become a better designer during the day at NIKE.

PSU’s assistant athletic director was introduced to Bakas through his professor in the art department. The two discussed team rebranding and the forthcoming new Oregon Ducks identity. PSU’s athletic department was considering a rebrand and hired Bakas to develop the new identity.


The Solution

Leading up to the project, PSU was looking for a modern interpretation of a unique Viking but had not yet found what they were looking for. During the discovery phase, we focused on the legend of Thor and his mighty hammer.

Unlike the Thor depicted in the Marvel universe, the older legends suggest Thor would scrape his hammer across the sky causing lightning to trail behind it.

Through multiple rounds of exploration, the concepts of Thor’s helmet merged with the idea of lightning shooting off the back of a hammer.