Guest Column - February 2010
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Design Corner

Your Visual Voice

By Mark Schmitz

A Recruiting Case Study

The University of Wisconsin Athletic Department understands the concept of a singular Badger Experience. Over the past five years we have worked to visually integrate all of their facilities. From football to basketball, rowing to golf, there is a very real sense of a comprehensive cultural brand. A singular Badger Experience. This is critical for recruiting the very best student athletes from around the world.

Most universities have a distinct separation between athletics and academics. We purposefully integrated the two because the Badger Experience goes well beyond the hockey arena. Since the late 19th century, The Wisconsin Idea proves that education should influence and improve people's lives well beyond the classroom. The tennis player is part of a greater good. The institution seeks to better the world and everyone in it. That principal is what separates the UW from its competitors. It attracts student athletes who understand there is more than athletic success to the world.

In this age of vacant social networking, the handheld media circus has its grip on us. Remember the only way you can differentiate yourself is by creating a space that is truthful to the human spirit. Give us a reason to connect and we will come back again and again.


Mark Schmitz is the president and creative director of ZEBRADOG, a passionately unique environmental brand design firm located in Madison, Wis. For more information, visit