Brand Consultant & Illustrator

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Branding, Identity, Graphic Design and Illustration stories and information by Joe Barsin, Brand Consultant, JEB Design, Inc.

USNA Class Crest Illustration Update

In 2012, JEB Design illustrated, in vector, the USNA Class of 1986's Crest. Scroll down for details. Recently, a 1986 graduate asked us for the vector artwork so he could commission this beautiful wooden plaque. It was created by Jeff May of US Tactical, Inc. If interested in having a plaque of your own made then contact Jeff's email or call 703-217-8781.


New USNA 1986 Class Crest - full color; © USNA Class of 1986

CAPT W. Scott Gureck, USN (Ret.), President of the Naval Academy Class of 1986, commissioned Joe Barsin to re-illustrate the official 1986 class crest since for over 25 years, the original art never matched the design that ultimately wound up on the class ring – which is primary purpose of the class crest.

“It’s unclear why the art we’ve been using all of these years differs in so many ways from our actual class rings, but at the end of the day, the crest on our rings is the official Class of 1986 crest,” Gureck said.

Shown below is a picture of the crest as it appears on the class rings, as it appears on the matching lapel pin, the original line art, and the updated line art as illustrated by Barsin.

New Crest in 2 color; © USNA Class of 1986“My guidance to Joe was to be as true to what appears on the ring as possible. Our crest is what’s on the ring, and the goal was to create matching, high-quality line art, not to create a new crest.  Accuracy and fidelity to the original, with one small exception, was paramount.”

On both the original art and on the actual rings, the handles of the U.S. Navy sword and the U.S. Marine Corps Marmeluke are reversed.  Gureck asked Barsin to fix the error since he ultimately wanted a vector file that could be easily reproduced at any size and on any medium.  Joe provided full color, two color and black & white files for all possible reproduction needs. 

L to R: Class ring, Class lapel pin, Original crest & New crest; All Rights Reserved. © USNA Class of 1986

“The error on the rings is an interesting piece of trivia and mostly inside information known by classmates.  But to reproduce the art in its new glory on posters, banners and other items we might use at future reunions, it only made sense not to continue to reproduce the error.  Instead, it can remain a bit of class trivia, and can serve as something fun to test children, grandchildren and friends by asking ‘what’s different between the art and the actual ring?’”

Tony Thamasangvarn, Signcraft Annapolis Signcraft Annapolis has taken Barsin’s art and has created the clay relief you see here. Below is a photo of the final bronze relief that will be on display at the USNA.

"It is not every day I see one of my illustrations in relief," said Barsin. "Owner John Prehn and his artist Tony Thamasangvarn did an excellent job of translating the crest into three dimensions. Very exciting!"

Joe Barsin is proud that he could play a small part in the rich history of the U.S. Naval Academy, and especially, for the great Class of 1986.

To learn more about Joe Barsin's illustration work related to the USNA and Annapolis please follow this link.

To see more graphic design work for USNI then follow this link.

Bronze relief of the new USNA Class of 1986 Crest