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West Virginia University has KU alumnus to thank for iconic logo


Perhaps you're not sure what to make of West Virginia University, a newly added athletic conference-mate of KU's this school year, and you're searching for some sort of connection you can use to make a sign, a chant or something when the school's basketball team visits Allen Fieldhouse in March.

Well, here's a slogan idea for you: "KU: the birthplace of West Virginia's logo."

What am I talking about? Well, it turns out that West Virginia's "Flying WV" logo, which for some reason has been sported by a lot of celebrities in recent years, was designed about 30 years ago by a Kansas City-based portrait artist who graduated from KU.

The artist's name is John Martin, and he's also painted a mural of KU sports greats at the Booth Family Hall of Athletics on the KU campus, the inductee portraits at the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame and scores of other sports-related works.

The West Virginia University Alumni Magazine produced a lengthy story and a snazzy video, both heavily featuring Martin, about the logo's history. Martin says he was inspired by West Virginia's mountainous terrain.

The logo has been a hit for the university, the story says, contributing to the sale of a lot of licensed products. And all Martin charged for his services back in 1980 was $200.


riverdrifter 5 years, 3 months ago

I used to sit with John and his wife at Chiefs games years ago. Nice people. John also did the murals for the former NCAA headquarters in Shawnee Mission.

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