Emily Smith

The Band of the Fighting Irish


The Band of the Fighting Irish is the marching band of the University of Notre Dame. The band has over 400 members and dates back to 1845, making the oldest college band in the United States.

Tradition & Previous Designs

Every year, the Band of the Fighting Irish works hard to uphold the tradition of the university & the band itself.

The band has apparel created for its members, including t-shirts for individual sections and full band merchandise.

The Trumpets, Drum Majors, Faltos (also known as Mellophones,) Saxophones, & the Band Vice President reached out looking to have apparel designed that best reflects the personalties of the band, the sections, & the members.


Create designs that capture the identity for the long lasting tradition of the Band of the Fighting Irish.

The Spirit Wear

These items were not just created for one section, but for all 400+ members of the band and for their friends & family.

2020 Band Logo
The band shamrock is showcased on the uniform’s sleeve and it is a modern day symbol of the band.

Logo Iterations

The re-design of the shamrock is Celtic inspired, driving from the Irish heritage of the university.

175th Anniversary
2020 celebrates the 175th anniversary of the band. This is huge accomplishment and the designs tie in the tradition the band has held for those 175 years.



COVID-19 Inspiration
This tank top design was created to help promote the mask mandate and university pandemic protocol.

The Irish Guard
One of the oldest traditions the band has is the Irish Guard. This design showcases the guard doing their famous Clog Dance.

The Shakos
The Band of the Fighting Irish is the oldest band in the nation. One thing the band have always had were band hats. In order to show the age & history of the band, illustrations of the hats, also known as shakos, were created. The designs were referenced from archived photographs, dating as early as 1880. Concept only—Never went to production




The trumpets in many ways are the voice of the band and have their own traditions as a section.

Their game day tradition is called “Trumpets under the Dome.” This is a symbol for the section and is why it is represented in the design.



Core Band

This was the ask from the Drum Majors. Core Band consists of the upperclassmen who show leadership and set the example for incoming members. It is predominantly seen worn at the first event of the year, Band Camp.

Like the spirit wear, the design for core band needed to represent leadership & the lasting tradition.

Design Iterations



Additional Designs

Although a more goofy idea, it still represents the sections personality. The ask was to mimic the Disney Pixar’s Toy Story, playing off of the Woody quote, “There’s a snake in my boot.”



The Faltos’ idea was regarding a sofa that represented a hangout spot for the section. Even though newer members wouldn’t understand in the beginning, they would learn to know the “Falto Couch.”




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