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Posted on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 1:39 p.m.

Ypsilanti Community Schools finalizes new mascot, district logo

By Danielle Arndt

It's official: the Ypsilanti Grizzlies are born.

Ypsi-Grizzlies copy.jpg

Official Grizzlies logo.

The Ypsilanti Community Schools has revealed its district and mascot logos that will be used to represent the consolidated Ypsilanti and Willow Run school system, which launches July 1.

The images were finalized at Monday's unified Board of Education meeting and were formally unveiled in a press release issued after the meeting adjourned.

The district logo already has been appearing frequently on community-wide communications, web and social media sites, T-shirts, uniforms and banners. This logo was designed to embody the heritage of both communities and reflect a bold and confident future, district officials said.

Ypsi-new-logo copy.jpg

Official YCS district logo.

The logo encompasses a large prominent 'Y', reminiscent of the current Ypsilanti Public Schools logo, as well as the wings of the current Willow Run Community Schools Flyers logo. The wings are a nod to the B-24 bomber airplanes manufactured in the community during World War II.

The mascot, the Ypsi Grizzlies, was crafted as a strong, fierce figure — communicating a force to be reckoned with, district officials said in the news release. Students in the Willow Run and Ypsilanti school districts were given the final vote in the selection of the district's mascot.

Gail Nicklowitz of GN Communications designed the YCS district logo and Gerry Barnett of Lynn Graphics customized the Grizzly image.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 4:03 a.m.

I am almost certain that when the students CHOSE this mascot they were not thinking about what is native in Michigan, because let's face it, it does not really matter. No one bashes Huron High School for being the 'river rats', let the kids make something that was pretty much forced upon them theirs. THEY chose this, THEY want this, and THEY are going to be attending this new school district. All of these negative comments are just opinions from alumnae that are angry about the merger.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 3:53 p.m.

The kids did a good job here and the Logo Design is great!


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 4:22 a.m.

I didn't realize grizzly bears could fly. I also didn't know grizzly bears had any significance to the Ypsi area. A I have never seen a grizzly bear in Ypsi


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 4:16 a.m.

That is in my opinion and also the opinion of many others I have spoken to the worst possible choice of a logo and mascot ever! What the heck significance to the surrounding community does a grizzly have? Also please show me the B-24 wings that are supposedly incorporated into the design of the logo. Who ever designed this horrible logo did a child like job. Why not go with something more appropriate and significant like Brave flyers? A logo bearing the resemblance of a B-24 with a pilot in the cockpit would be so much better than this total abortion (excuse the choice of words) however it's hard to think of another more fitting way to describe it Another great choice would be something like Liberators with a Greek warrior like Demetrius Ypsilanti for whom the area was named. My goodness people what were you thinking? Or were you thinking?


Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 4:05 a.m.

It was actually the students. You're not going to school there, your opinion really doesn't matter.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:49 p.m.

The Grizzlies may indicate fierceness BUT they as a bear, they are not native to Michigan. Made more sense for UM to have chosen the Wolverines a totally native breed of animal. I think more of the Southwest for this type of bear, for Ypsi it seems like overkill.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

The Tigers may have been named so because of their early wearing of orange and black stripped socks per Wikipedia.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 2:39 a.m.

The "Grizzlies" logo looks like a bear that's trying to wipe its nose after sneezing the words "Ypsi Grizzlies".


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

The YCS logo looks great. The bear logo isn't bad - not a big fan of the tilty swirl text, but the bear part works for me.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 9:22 p.m.

What an insult to all bears. Are there no feelings left for how this will affect them psycologically? I can see bears having to attend therapy sessions to overcome the stigma associated with have a school identify with them as their mascot. The shame of it all.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

Go Hurons!


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

I was hoping the Heron would be the mascot.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

Have they said were the high school will be?

Danielle Arndt

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 3:28 a.m.

yesisaidit, the high school will be at the current Ypsilanti High School. Here's a link to a previous story explaining the secondary building use:


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

so they will be at ypsi high?

Basic Bob

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

corner of packard and hewitt.

tom swift jr.

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 8:23 p.m.

I did not know that the wings on a B-24 had feathers.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

I guess it is to represent something lost. Fly like an eagle or a turkey. Which ever. Maybe some hidden message?


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

Oh thats it me and all the other " Country Bears" are deeply offended that the image of the grizzly is so violent and mean looking..... Are we "grizzlies" swiping at a Huron that is trying to put an arrow in us? Ridiculous thats the point. hehe

Forest City

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

I think it will look good on a football helmet.

Forest City

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 7:12 p.m.

Kudos for not stealing the logo from a college or pro team.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

Other than Oakland U, of course.

Rob Pollard

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:56 p.m.

I give the YCS logo an A -- it's not busy, easy to read, uses the colors well, and the wings are a nice touch. Very good job. I give the Bear logo a C or D. I like the Ypsi and Grizzlies part OK, but the bear looks like somebody stepped on his right paw, and he's yelling in pain. Plus, brown, gold and black aren't a great color combo.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

I was kind of thinking along those lines. Averaging an A and C makes a B overall.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

I like the YCS logo more than the grizzlies logo, it's just a little generic for my taste. Love the flyers wings on the Y.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

Agreed. Love the Y.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

There are no grizzly bears in Michigan.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

There are no golden bears either and that is Slausons logo.

Gretchen Ridenour

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 3:07 p.m.

But I haven't seen any lions ot tigers roaming around in Detroit either!

Kyle Austin

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 10:48 p.m.

I think I remember a story a little while back about there being no more known wolverines in the state


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.

Fred Zollner (the founder of the Ft. Wayne Pistons) owned a piston factory, and named his team after that.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 9:51 p.m.

They were the Fort Wayne Pistons before moving to Detroit.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

For the record Elaine, "Red wings" I believe refers to the flames that come out of an open v8 engine on a muscle car. Pistons is also a car reference. Make sense for Detroit teams

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

So what! There are no lions, tigers, Spartans or their descendants, pistons don't walk around, red wings are probably birds. I think there are river rats and a couple of wolverines, but reality isn't what this is about.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:56 p.m.

There are several Grizzlies that can be seen at 10 Mile and Woodward.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

I'm talking about the animal


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:36 p.m.

There's no wolverines ( for the most part ) in Michigan either


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:26 p.m.

Curious why those who voted "C, D, or E"- was it because of the design, or because you wanted a different mascot to start with, or because you're still annoyed with the consolidation? Just asking. I think the logo is pretty good, as a non- Ypsi parent.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

Thanks dotdash.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

I voted a C. I think either one is fine, but the Grizzlies and the official logo are so different as to be truly weird together. It's as if they were each developed by different committees who didn't talk to one another. Different type faces, different feeling -- the color is about the only thing that unites them. The grizzly logo says danger, spirit, movement, energy. The wings logo says tradition, stability, calm. Marketing 101: unified presentation of the brand. Or maybe the brand was never defined clearly?


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:19 p.m.

Looks pretty snazzy to me


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:19 p.m.

Glad they let the kids decide and it sounds like they did a good job.

Usual Suspect

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

OK, that looks decent. I'm pleasantly surprised.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

jns131 I don't know about you, but if I see a grizzly bear looking like that I would definitely be concerned for my life. :-)


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

I like the Y logo but that bear looks like he is in pain.