This is a pretty passionate subject for me, probably one that I could argue over for the rest of my life so I decided to finally make a series of posts. Lets start with the NHL aka the National Hockey League. Who has the best and worst logo and why is the question, if you want to join the argument, here is a list of logos.
I will be doing the best NHL logos in a different post and we will go through a few other sports as well.
TOP 5 WORST NHL LOGOS
#5 Washington Capitals
Let me point out a few things before I start explaining the problems I have with it. First off, not a boring font, not a great font but hey i’m actually alright with the ITA situation with the stick and connections its making. Now step away from it and stare, what is it? I want to sell merchandise for my hockey team and make something special for the city that will support it. What is this though? a love for a font and i’m adding a hockey stick because hey its hockey?? It honestly looks like a rushed college graphic designers homework assignment that was turned in without a passion or connection with the sport. An agency maybe doesn’t even care for the sport? could that be what happened here? I’m not going to question the 3 stars or the color scheme but seriously if I was from DC i’d just sort of feel bummed out by this.
#4 Winnipeg Jets
I’ll start off with 2 nice things to say, first off nice work on fitting in the Canadian maple leaf and second i’m happier with this than their old logo which isn’t saying something that nice.
Okay now, i’m into an icon that represents an organization but that has to be a pretty low effort in the jet icon world. Also, why so literal with the leaf and the jet? I also have a problem with its something hard to get excited over, as a fan i’m already excited about the team why not add some cherries on the top for the people of Winnipeg? its like a vague statement without any effort for surprise. I mean this city JUST got their hockey team back and they revealed that…the city was in tears announcing they got their team back and a designer turned in a C- / D+ effort, you give a graduate design class this project and 2 to 3 students in each school across the continent would turn in hands down better executions for a team in 2015 that has the word jet in its name.
#3 Columbus Blue Jackets
Ooooooooooh boy, now we get into the portion of the list where the pros column gets a little thin. We have a star with a flag whizzing across the front like a Miss America ID ribbon strap. You want generic? here is something pretty generic. You already made the average sports fan happy by using colors that most people would wear and I guess the patriotic angle works BUT who made this rule on why things need to look 3D and more importantly angled and tilted?? I completely understand its better than their old logo which is a ribbon cutting disaster but if you’re building a city from scratch to fall in love with hockey then this 2nd step forward on the logo front is full of hesitation and conservative ideas, someone with an imagination needs to step in and start working with them, they aren’t a lost cause.
#2 Vancouver Canucks
My beloved Canucks, my first sports team that I completely adored. I never was a fan when this logo came around in the past and in the present because I was pretty much a fan only in the 90s during the Pavel Bure era. Some people might argue with me that I just like a simple logo, this…I don’t know… who let this out in the public? I’m sure more than one person is in the decision making of a logo out in public, I don’t think there was much thinking going on. Again with the fascination with the hockey stick, we understand one is used to play them sport but putting over a hockey rink and saying thats your cities logo…no, no you can’t turn that in. Its almost frightening that adults were in charge and approved this.
#1 Anaheim Ducks
Well well well, look how far you’ve read into this rant, i’m surprised you stuck around.
Look at this logo… maybe blow it up full screen i’ll wait… and gaze at the glory of it and imagine the confused faces across the country when they saw this the first time.
Its a D for Duck THAT. IS. MAYBE? A BACKWARDS DUCK FOOT?? or a chubby boomerang that would never work because of the surface area and die-cuts. Maybe a shield!?..no, no its not, its just a copper D that was abused in illustrator by a Mountain Dew loving bro. I can’t wrap my head around it and I don’t expect anyone else too either especially anyone in California that showed up to the unveiling of this logo. You go from team colors of teal and purple with a duck mask into this batman weapon made of Taco Bell ingredients.
I dare you to watch this all the way through; I still haven’t made it. Is this a joke? If so, who’s in on it? I have to imagine that someone at WSJ, at some point between filming and uploading the video to Youtube, realized this man was completely insane but just decided to roll with it. Either that or Will.i.am has an incredible sense of humor and this is just the first in a series of hilarious lectures where he just fires off random thoughts from the top of his head about various topics ranging from foreign policy to automotive design.
Who thought it would be a good idea to interview Will.i.am about logo design in the first place? What was that whole thing about India? So many questions…
To make it easier on you I’ve distilled the wisdom of this video down to some key concepts you need to be familiar with when developing a logo: “The New World”, “What India is going to do to the world”, “English, but with a different alphabet”, “Problems”, “Don’t use the word brand”, “New types of fonts”.
I love talking to you guys about sports logos and jerseys, so lets get to it on these Dallas ones for 2014. Let’s start with the state shaped logo- not bad, it’s about as literal as you can get, right? They went the minimal route; the shading is a bit over overkill along with the outlining and italic D. The circle one is junk, it looks like it was following some sort of 3 color rule in the center and the designer gave up.
Now to the main logo, the D over the star… cooooome oooonn mannnnnnn. First off, let’s get some ideas going about why they even kept the Stars’ name when they moved from Minnesota to Dallas? I’m guessing a sheriff badge sort of thing right? Well, now it’s just losing soo much character, at least go with that literal over shaded state shaped logo. Also, the outline of the bottom left hand corner of the D and the whole bottom of the D looks screwy because of the use of italic. The black outline has all sorts of jacked up crap going on. This is a multi-million dollar professional team that just approved a hack job, who approved this? Could you imagine pitching an italic star to the Dallas Cowboys fans? Cows would be let loose into the streets.
Look… for the people that think I just want retro back, that’s not the case. I’ve seen beautiful and horrid line work from the 50s to the 80s, I’ve seen over worked and garbage through the 90s to now. I don’t even like the North Stars logo that much when you compare it to others during that time (i.e. Calgary, Hartford, Edmonton, etc. all gorgeous), but I do appreciate the creative effort. I understand the need of a redesign when your old logo is just the word and a star, but the reason it was maybe bothering the higher ups was because it probably wasn’t selling and because it was too plain for fans. This new logo is one whole level worse than a Heineken bottle cap and also with less colors.
Going to end this on a positive note, if I had to wear the green jersey with a different logo on it, I’d proudly do it- it’s laid out nicely and riffing off classic jersey layouts that work with some nice class worked into it.
If you know me personally i’m a huge sports fans, i’ve always wanted to bring design and music fans together with sports fans anyway I can. If I had a dream job it would be hopping around in-between all the major sports teams and redesigning uniforms and logos. Nike did a great job here BUT… there’s a problem, a HUGE problem in my opinion, this doesn’t seem like what a passionate design would design, i’m in love with the fabrics, Nike always nails that department out of the park. The issue is that everything is completely evolving from the early 1990’s expansion boom, that gooey round 3D look or the Sin City “we’re the bad guys” thing. Both of these new logos suffer from that influence and thats the big bummer and the color scheme the designers have to work with. Also, i’m not going to lets simple designs get away with it either, look at the Minnesota Wild logo, you would think ISO50 might like it but no way, look at those trees, what a horrible effort.
To end on a positive note, I love what Nike did for the Oregon Ducks. I hope some of you comment in the comment section because i’d love to have a conversation about all of this.
The Thank You bag is never really looked by anyone that doesn’t do design, it usually just gets thrown away but for me there has always been this appreciate for it. Like most things that are simple and that get tied into DDR/Cold War design, I somehow kind of enjoy the layouts of these.
Lake logos have a tendency to be, well, fairly ugly. This project was created to rethink what they could be.
One Minnesota Lake. One Logo. Every day.
Should only take a little over 27 years to hit ‘em all. Stay tuned and enjoy!
– Nicole Meyer
Who wants to get something similar going for California State Parks, which continue to be in danger of being affected by massive budget costs, some might even be closing soon? Just throwing it out there…
Matt Lehman is really good at logos, and illustrations. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a fun and well executed branding portfolio. There are some straight up classics in there, and that Warner Nashville one, wow. I’d love to see this guy get more into poster work, but simplified. I feel like some of his illustrations tend to get a little busy while minimalism seems to be his strong suit. The two included above are good examples of a nice balance of clean lines and texture.