University of San Francisco Dons | Skillshare Projects

James Stapleton

Sports Entusiast



University of San Francisco Dons

 University of San Francisco Dons Logo

The Dons

The University of San Francisco (USF) is a Jesuit Catholic university located in San Francisco, CA. Founded in 1855, USF was established as the first university in San Francisco and is the second oldest institution for higher learning in California.  USF athletics is best known for its basketball program which have won three national titles: the 1949 NIT under Pete Newell, and the 1955 and 1956 NCAA championships. The latter two were under Phil Woolpert, and led by player and National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell.

USF's nickname in sports are the "Dons". A Don is a Spanish nobleman or conquistador. The main colors for the Dons are Green and Gold. Previously, they were nicknamed the "Grey Fog".  Through out their 150 plus years of existince, there have been various uniforms and logos associated with their sports teams. However, in 2012, the Dons introced a new brand with a modernization of logos and uniforms. This introduction was coupled with a new contract with Nike.


This team has multiple directions and places to look for inspiration. For this project and unifrom set, I am going to focus on four main themes: Championships, Campus, City Landmarks & Tradition.

  • Championships - Out of all NCAA D-1 schools, there are only eight schools that can claim more men's basketball championships then the Dons. USF prominently displays these championship trophies in the lobby of their home court - War Memorial Gymnasium. In the next five years, the Dons will celebrate the 60th anniversaries of the '55 and '56 championships. 2014 will mark the 65th anniversary of the '49 NIT Championship.

  • Campus - There are two prominent buildings on campus that leave a lasting impression to any visitor at USF. St. Ignatious Church is the cornerstone of campus. It has two towers which are visiable from most of the city. The second building is Lone Mountain Campus, a converted college for women built a top a cemetary. There is a 116 step staircase to reach the front of Lone Mountain.

  • City Landmarks - University of San Francisco is located in the heart of San Francisco, and only a block away from Golden Gate Park. In the past, The athletic department has incorporated bridges, cable cars and other city landmarks into their uniform design.

  • Tradition - I have always been facinted with the past. I enjoy throwback games, stirrups on baseball players, stripes on jerseys and things of that nature. Therefore in my unifrom set I will have a blast from the past - a tip of the cap to the history of the USF Dons. I will try to incorporate past logos and revamp them or polish them to fit the new modern USF look.

Design & Iteration

Home Jersey Set

Away Jersey Set

Alternate / Throwback Set

Front of the jerseys: The main text on the home and away uniform set is based off the new modern logo and similar to the current Dons jersey. The reason "San Francisco" is used instead of "USF" is to reduce confusion with University of Southern Florida (USF).  I removed the American flag and NCAA patch to reduce clutter and give the team a cleaner look on the court. This gives an appropriate spot to place anniversary patches, memorial logos, etc. [However, after further research, the NCAA patch is required and will be added for my final design.] The obligatory Conference mark (West Coast Conference) and designer logo (Nike) included.

Side of the jerseys: The piping on the side of the jersey is a tip of the cap to the 1955 and 1956 teams. Those teams won back to back NCAA championships. The piping not only is similar to the jerseys in that era and consist of three colored stripes, but also reflect the three total national championships owned by the Dons.

Back of the jerseys: The technological story behind these jerseys lie on the back. Each Dri-fit, sweat wicking, laser cut materialed jersey features a sublimated graphic of USF's new crest logo. This logo is illustrated with a slightly darker shade. This design gives both a functional and astetic aspect. 

Shorts: This is the part of the jersey that reaches out into the city rather then the accomplishments on the court. In order to stay consistent with the modern look, the bridge logo from an alternate logo is placed on the left pant leg. The striping from the jersey stays consistent through the shorts.
Difference between the home and away jersey: Other then the color of course, the three stars on the home jersey near the neckline represent the three national championships. I believe that this will stay only on the home jersey. 
Other details: I used a grey outline for the jersey to represent the constant fog in San Francisco. The school was even nicknamed the "Grey Fog" before they were called the Dons.


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