layered digital stickers of truman the tiger with a birthday hat on

Updated Truman the Tiger graphics unveiled

Our favorite mascot gets a new look just in time for his 35th birthday.

Sept. 13, 2021
Contact: Deidra Ashley,

Truman the Tiger has been a staple on the Mizzou campus since his first football game appearance on Sept. 13, 1986. While his day-to-day look has evolved, the Truman mark used on print materials and merchandise has largely remained untouched since the ’80s. In celebration of his 35th birthday, the University of Missouri marketing and licensing teams took the opportunity to update Truman’s look.

“Truman is a Mizzou icon and we wanted to make sure his new design reflects the mascot Tigers know and love,” said RJ Platto, lead graphic designer. “To make that happen, we had to think about all the little details — from the placement of his stripes, to where his pupils are and even the size of his feet.”

side-by-side of old truman vs. new truman design

Platto said the team kicked off the project in May and went through numerous design reviews to ensure every pixel is perfect and can be used in a variety of mediums.

“The licensing and marketing teams worked closely to make sure the designs can be used for all purposes,” said Sonja Derboven, director of licensing and brand management at Mizzou. “The downloadable design RJ created is best for print and online use. Our brand manager Jessi Church worked with our licensees to help translate the designs, so they are easy to use when creating merchandise."

The new Truman mark is now available online for print and digital use. Individuals can also work with licensed vendors to create apparel, merchandise and other promotional items featuring it. Fans can check out new apparel and merchandise options at The Mizzou Store.

“In marketing, you’re used to seeing your designs out in public,” Platto said. “But when I think about this project, there’s a good chance this Truman is still going to be in use in 30 years when I retire … I love working in a job where I get to make an impact, and I know this Truman design will be enjoyed by people for years to come.”

Derboven said the team is working on additional Truman designs that incorporate outfits, props and poses. Users can submit ideas online.

Available downloads
  • graphic of truman the tiger swinging his tail

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