Last spring, ACDS went through a marketing and re-branding effort that made some changes to the external look of the school. A new logo, sign, refreshed letterhead, and even new school uniforms made their debut which has given the school a fresh look.
As this process was underway, it became clear to me that there was a very important part of the school’s image that needed to be addressed – the Bobcat! A school’s mascot is a major part of its identity. Think of your college or high school – when you think of the image that resonates most with you and excites your school spirit, it is probably the image of your beloved mascot.
Through the years at ACDS, the only graphic representation of our Bobcat that has been consistently used is a paw. Now, I happen to like our paw, but it is not very distinctive (see Clemson Tigers), and it doesn’t really conjure a sense of toughness or fortitude (see fluffy kitten pawing at a ball of yarn). We needed another image that had some teeth (and fur) behind it.
So like any industrious millennial I took to the internet to find a solution to our problem. What I found was a website that was the home of sketch artists who would create custom logos at a reasonable price. Brilliant. I contacted the artists that work at this magical place to commission a rendering of our Bobcat which would become our definitive mascot image for years to come.
Having put a lot of pressure on myself to get this right, I took great care in describing exactly what I wanted the Bobcat to look like. I used words like “strong”, “friendly but not too friendly”, “good with kids”, and “listens to hard rock but appreciates jazz.” The artist was no doubt inspired and confused, so what followed was a month-long collaboration and a few different attempts that eventually brought us to our winner.
1st Attempt – The chauffeur Bobcat that looks more like a lion and has been taking human growth hormone…
2nd Attempt – The Superhero Bobcat that is amused by something he just heard…
3rd Attempt – On the right track – but still spends a little too much time in the gym…
4th and Final Attempt – The ACDS Bobcat, in living color!
I was incredibly excited and also a little nervous to unveil our new Bobcat to our students, as the new mascot is truly for them. When school started and the kids saw him for the first time, I was relieved to see that he was received well. We then had a school-wide contest to name him, and that resulted in him being crowned “Russell Alexander Bobcat” at the end of September.
Look for Russell to make appearances on spirit wear, at athletic contests, and popping up countless other places at school. Russell’s presence will state proudly, to any friend or rival, that when you are here at ACDS, you have entered the Home of the Bobcats.