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Saturday, September 30, 2023

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Keli Colombini's winning "Battle of the Beaches" logo design for 2016 SDSU Homecoming. Keli Colombini's winning "Battle of the Beaches" logo design for 2016 SDSU Homecoming.

Battle of the Beaches

Keli Colombini's design was selected by a panel of judges from among 35 entries.
By Tobin Vaughn

This year’s official homecoming logo design contest winner possessed a special insight into the event’s “Battle of the Beaches” theme: she had recently traveled from San Diego to Hawaii where she gained some first-hand inspiration.

“It is fresh in my mind,” said Keli Colombini, whose design was selected by a panel of judges from among 35 contest entries. The theme is a reflection of the homecoming football game pitting the Aztecs against the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.

Colombini is the creative manager for Aztec Shops where she has worked for the past five years. As a graphic designer, she works on marketing campaigns for the SDSU Bookstore and helps with other collaborative projects involving Aztec Shops and the university.

A native of South Africa where she got her design degree, Colombini said she enjoys traveling. 

“I feel like I get a lot of inspiration from that and I get my ideas from all over the world,” she said.

A clear winner

For her winning logo, the designer combined red and white waves, palm trees and hibiscus flowers with the central image of a football. It will be printed on a black T-shirt that will be sold through the SDSU Bookstore.

“I just took some of my favorite elements of beach-related things and put them in there,” Colombini said. “For some reason hibiscus and cocktails came to mind and I couldn't use a cocktail in the ‘Battle of the Beaches’ design, so hibiscus it was."

According to Colombini, her winning design took between eight and 10 hours from concept to completion. Selection committee chair and Associated Students Executive Vice President Patty Masengale said the finished product has a real “beach feel” that the judges wanted.

“We narrowed it down to our top three, but when we voted it was clear which was the winner,” Masengale said.

Wearing Colombini for homecoming

As the top finisher in the design contest sponsored by Associated Students, Colombini will receive a complimentary T-shirt featuring her winning design along with two tickets to the Nov. 5 homecoming football game. Colombini said she will be happy to see students and other Aztec football fans wearing shirts bearing her design around campus and at the stadium.

“We often have logo design competitions internally (at Aztec Shops) and it's always exciting for the winner to see their logo on one of our dining locations or whatever, but I have never had my design picked for something as big as a homecoming game,” she said. “I'm really excited about that."

Special homecoming T-shirts featuring Colombini’s design will be available for $12 at and the SDSU Bookstore starting Oct. 17.