• Tartan Plaids
  • Ramified Tartan
  • Rams Timeless Tartan
  • Horned Glory

People and Programs

Plaid to be a CSU Ram!

March 2013

Design students at Colorado State are making it easier to spot someone from the Ram clan.

About the Tartan Plaid Project at CSU

17 students majoring in interior design or apparel and merchandising submitted designs to a competition sponsored by the Division of External Relations, the CSU Bookstore and the Department of Design and Merchandising. The 76 designs submitted were then narrowed to three and now the campus community – students, faculty and staff, alumni, donors and friends of the university -- get to choose the winning design.

Voting will be open March 25 through April 7. The final tartan plaid selected will be announced on April 18, I Love CSU Day.

Ramble On video

The Ramble On crew produces 90-second videos covering university events, people and other CSU-related stories that then get posted to CSU’s YouTube channel. "Plaid to be a CSU Ram!" was one of their features in early March.

What is a Tartan Plaid and why one for CSU?

Tartans originated as fabric developed in Scotland and Ireland.  Tartans became a way to recognize fellow members of their local community or clan.  The distinct design, weave and colors were drawn from the local area and colors were natural dyes from the surrounding countryside. 

Colorado State University has partnered with the Department of Design and Merchandising students to develop a unique CSU Tartan that ties the heritage of Colorado A & M and its Aggies with CSU’s history and Rams to add to our legacy of traditions.  The CSU Tartan, using Sage and Pumpkin from A & M and CSU’s Forest Green and Gold,  weaves our past and present into unique apparel and gifts.  The Tartan expands University traditions and builds on the heritage of our former university with CSU.

The CSU Tartan will be copyrighted, registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans, and licensed through CSU’s licensing agent Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC).   Sales of the Tartan products as they are developed will provide scholarships to students in the Department of Design and Merchandising. The CSU Bookstore sponsored the design competition with CSU’s Division of External Relations and the  Department of Design and Merchandising.  The University’s students, alumni, faculty and staff will vote from three finalists in the last stage of competition to select the winning design.

The CSU Tartan Project adds to Colorado State University’s current traditions and offers ways for students, alumni, parents, friends, faculty and staff to celebrate Colorado State University’s unique legacy.  New products will be developed and available through the CSU Bookstore, The CSU Denver Alumni Store, the new CSU Athletics Ticket Office and CSU Sports Store in downtown Fort Collins opening in June 2013 and the CSU Bookstore’s website.  CSU Tartan program products will be available as local and national retailers join the program.

The Designers


Horned Glory

Joel Lobo
Ramified and Horned Glory

A third year apparel and merchandising student, Joel Lobo came to CSU from Albuquerque, N.M., as a zoology major interested in attending veterinary school. He changed majors during his sophomore year.

Inspiration statement: My Tartans represent all the assets that drive us toward success at Colorado State University. The dark green is the base of the design; it represents strength and courage to keep moving forward and pushing through tough times. The light green represents innovation and intellect crossing paths from all directions. The gold represents sunshine and playfulness, teaching us to always make time for ourselves to relax and have fun. The orange bordered by the green represents our rich agricultural history and the strength and endurance that has made us who we are today. All these qualities within the boundaries of sincerity, represented by the white outlines.


Ajay Li
Rams Timeless

Ajay Li is in his second year studying interior design. He transferred to CSU in 2011 from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design where he was studying to be a chef. Li is from Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Inspiration statement: My inspiration came from the sustainability of our school which is reflected through the green stripes. However. I wanted to maintain the traditional elements of CSU by incorporating accents of the Aggie Orange.

Tartan Voting

Voting has closed. The tartan plaid selected will be unveiled on April 18, I Love CSU Day.


Benefits of the Tartan Plaid Project


With the adoption of its unique tartan plaid, Colorado State University will join the ranks of other top-tier universities whose plaids stand for a long history of tradition and heritage our constituents are proud to display.  It will be one more opportunity to showcase the strong CSU brand.

The “Plaid to be a CSU Ram” project will ultimately benefit design and merchandising students in a variety of ways.

It will provide industry product design and business experiences.  In addition, royalties from the sale of tartan products will be returned to the department to enhance students' educational experiences, including scholarships.

Products made from the winning design will carry hang tags indicating that the plaid was designed by a CSU student in the Department of Design and Merchandising.

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