Local artists cheer — and boo — UNLV’s redesigned Rebels mascot

Updated July 2, 2017 - 3:41 pm

There’s been plenty of rebellious reaction since UNLV introduced its new-look Rebels logo on Wednesday.

But not everyone thinks the stylized team symbol is a loser.

True, many local artists contacted by the Review-Journal — in an utterly unscientific survey — shared the general disdain for the redesign.

But a few responded positively to the replacement for the Hey Reb! mountain man logo, which was retired after an 11-year run.

The new logo incorporates such familiar local features as the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign’s outline and twinkling star, along with a sleeker, streamlined image of UNLV’s cowboy-hatted, mustachioed resident Rebel.

To local artist Gig Depio, the new logo has “definitely got some artistic (although cryptic) quality to it,” he says. “As an artist, I like visually challenging art that doesn’t give itself away so easily.”

Another fan is Michele C. Quinn of MCQ Fine Art Advisory, who co-curated the recent “Tilting the Basin” exhibit showcasing Nevada artists at Reno’s Nevada Museum of Art and downtown Las Vegas pop-up gallery.

“It’s clean and modern,” Quinn says of the new logo. “I think it brings a fresh look to UNLV. It was time for an updated look.”

It may have been time for an updated look, but not this one, several other artists contend.

“It might as well be UNLV with a Superman logo,” comments Ruzo Logic, whose District Artz nonprofit organizes mural and Guerrilla Kages painting sessions around town.

Another artist (who asked not to be identified because “I know other artists work with everything they’ve got — sometimes it works, sometimes not”) maintains that “the logo just doesn’t work. The minute you have to explain how clever your logo is, it’s not a good sign.”

Artist Sush Machida admits, “I just don’t get the logo. Is it a Rebel guy in a cowboy hat? Is it a star in his eye? I just can’t tell what it is. I liked the old one — it was classic and lovable. This one, not.”

Other criticisms range from the “cliche” of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign outline to the difficulty of recognizing different shapes featured in the new design.

“Even after I learned what they were intended to be,” one artist notes, “I still couldn’t visually understand the bandanna and the mustache-to-mountains shapes.”

For artist Alexander P. Huerta, the logo’s biggest problem is that “it’s dull,” he says. “It has no Las Vegas pizzazz.” In addition, “it has too much of a manufactured look.”

Although Depio likes the logo, “the question still remains, does it do its job as a logo?” and “will the majority of the community culturally identify with this symbol?”

Only time will tell, but to artist and cultural blogger Ed Fuentes — a former graphic designer for whom logo design was “my favorite thing to do” — the heated reaction means “the logo works, because everybody’s rebelling against it.”

But seriously, folks, “there are only so many things you can do” with any logo, Fuentes adds, because “mascots tend to be repetitive.”

As he explains, “a good logo is like a good headline,” connecting “your right brain and your left brain.” But, “as a marketing tool … you can’t stray too far.”

At first glance, according to artist (and College of Southern Nevada instructor) Wayne Littlejohn, “the image is somewhat abstract and a bit confusing.” Then again, “even the Golden Knights logo took a little warming up to,” he says of Las Vegas’ new hockey team, adding “I have a (Golden Knights) hat now.”

“Some of the best images take time to reveal their merits,” Littlejohn comments.

Besides, “it’s a sports logo,” Fuentes reasons. “It doesn’t have to be a tattoo.”

Contact Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @CarolSCling on Twitter.

Entertainment Videos
Andrew Carmean will be the only local participant in upcoming demolition derby
Andrew Carmean, a demolition driver, will be the only local participant in upcoming derby at the Plaza Hotel. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masso Osteria first anniversary in Las Vegas
Scott Conant was in town Tuesday to host a one-year anniversary party for his Red Rock Resort restaurant Masso Osteria.
Baked Alaska a specialty at Favorite Bistro in Las Vegas
Award-winning pastry chef Claude Escamilla makes Baked Alaska with strawberry sorbet and vanilla gelato and flames it at Favorite Bistro at The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Chili cooks face fierce and friendly competition at Nevada cook-off
Forty chili cooks competed in the Nevada State Chili Cookoff in Pahrump on Sunday, March 17, 2019, with the winners advancing to the World Championship Chili Cook-off in Des Moines, Iowa. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Arcade ‘speakeasy’ leads to secret door and Banksy art in Las Vegas
Arcade ‘speakeasy’ leads to secret door, Banksy art in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hazel in Las Vegas serves modern takes on traditional cocktails
Hazel serves modern takes on traditional cocktails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas celebrates St. Patrick's Day
Tonight the city lit the Welcome sign green, McMullan's Irish Pub and the Guinness store also prepare for this weekend's St. Patrick's Day festivities. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Reuben sandwich at Served in Henderson, near Las Vegas
Matthew Meyer, chef/owner of Served, makes a Reuben sandwich with house-brined corned beef, house-made sauerkraut and gooey melted cheese at his restaurant in Henderson, outside Las Vegas. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas day club season returns with big-name DJs
Rick Ross, March 23, at Daylight Beach Club at Mandalay Bay The Chainsmokers, March 30, at Encore Beach Club Marshmello, April 6, Kaos Dayclub at the Palms Chuckie, May 11, Marquee Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Calvin Harris, May 11, Wet Republic at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Pizza expert Chris Bianco makes meatballs in Las Vegas
Chris Bianco, who was the keynote speaker at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, demonstrates meatball making for expo attendees. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas pulmonologist talks about new movie dealing with cystic fibrosis
Dr. Craig Nakamura, Director of Cystic Fibrosis Center of Southern Nevada, talks about the upcoming romantic drama “Five Feet Apart” where both of the lead characters suffer from cystic fibrosis. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
World Pizza Champion crowned in Las Vegas
At the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, Italian pizzaiolo Federico De Silvestri took the top prize and more than $12,000. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Italian wins Pizza Maker of the Year at Pizza Expo
Federico De Silvestri of Verona, Italy, wins the finals in the non-traditional pizza category during the International Pizza Challenge at the International Pizza Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center Thursday, March 7, 2019. De Silvestri went on to beat winners from each of the four other categories — traditional, pan, pizza Napoletana and Roman — to win Pizza Maker of the Year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Good Pie Coming To Arts District
Local pizzaiolo Vincent Rotolo says Good Pie is coming to the Arts District. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Local comedian says "It's ok to laugh, ...the comedy club is dark."
K-Von, a half-Persian comedian, talks about his style of comedy which keeps audiences entertained.
Pizza Dough Throwing Competition
Contestants participate in the World Pizza Games at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, Wednesday night. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
World Pizza Games showcased in Las Vegas
The World Pizza Games, part of the International Pizza Expo, drew competitors from all over the world to Las Vegas to compete in events such as dough stretching and box folding. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Pizza competitors dazzle at international expo
The International Pizza Expo at Las Vegas Convention Center included the first rounds of the World Pizza Games. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas showcases products and trends
At the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, vegan and gluten-free menu choices and compostable packaging were highlighted, as well as Detroit-style and Roman-style pizza. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Chef Dan Krohmer talks about a new restaurant
Chef Dan Krohmer talks about the construction of his new restaurant at Fremont Street’s Fergusons Downtown complex in downtown Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Neon Museum lights up the Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign
The Neon Museum in Las Vegas flipped the switch on its latest acquisition Monday night, the Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
A Taste of Eataly Las Vegas
Executive Chef Nicole Brisson gives a tour around Eataly Las Vegas, located in the Park MGM. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Order a pretty purple cocktail at North Italia in Las Vegas
Order a pretty purple cocktail at North Italia in Las Vegas (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Towering triple decker sandwich at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas
Jonah Resnick, executive chef of Sadelle’s, the newest restaurant at Bellagio in Las Vegas, serves a daunting concoction of roast beef layered with house-made cole slaw, turkey and more cole slaw, on rye bread. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Paris Las Vegas Debuts New Eiffel Tower Light Show
The Paris in Las Vegas unveiled its latest Eiffel Tower light show, Wednesday evening. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video: Las Vegas Omelet House Marks 40th anniversary
Omelet House at Charleston Boulevard and Rancho Drive in Las Vegas, which opened in 1979, is a locals’ favorite, known for fluffy six-egg omelets. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Golden Knights' Ryan Reaves readying new beer
Ryan Reaves, a forward with the Golden Knights, has plans for a second beer, a lager, through his 7Five Brewing Co. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Bellagio Adds Lady Gaga To The Fountain Playlist
Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” has been added to the rotation of classic tunes played for the dancing waters at Lake Bellagio. The song debuted at 6 p.m. Monday. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Comedian uses laughter to bring understanding about AIDS
Comedian Brandon Cox Sanford talks about how he uses his comedy sketches to bring light to his AIDS diagnosis. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
20th anniversary of the House of Blues in Las Vegas
Sasha Rincon-Camacho, regional marketing director, talks about the 20th anniversary of the House of Blues in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing