Change your Logo, Change your Luck?

Sports uniforms and team logos have always been a particularly flashy showcase for design. Good ones (New York Yankees; Oakland Raiders) hardly change at all. And bad ones can take a long time to get it right (anyone remember the yellow and brown San Diego Padres unis of the ’80s that Steve Garvey said made him look like a “giant taco?”)

Sometimes a logo redesign is done out of necessity (we won’t even get into the shorts—SHORTS!— and collared shirts worn by the Chicago White Sox in 1980). Other times it’s to jump start a team to get them out of a pattern of losing (see the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, which worked by the way!) And sometimes it’s because the new logo, no matter how good it is, just isn’t going to fly with the faithful fan base (see the 1996-1997 New York Islanders “fisherman” logo.)

Often an old logo gets a redesign simply because, well, it looks old. Recently a few basketball teams unveiled some cosmetic changes for the upcoming season (old logos on the left).

The Golden State Warriors have mercifully retired  “Thunder”, their silly superhero mascot since 1997. Finally they’ve gotten back to the essence of the Bay Area and incorporated the iconic Bay Bridge logo with the blue and gold color scheme and a typeface that hearkens back to the region’s gold mining days.

The Orlando Magic have evolved out of the ’90s glitz and glitter years and settled on something a bit more subdued but graphically more appealing and effective.

And the Utah Jazz (talk about a design challenge!) have made some tweaks as well. Let’s see how a change to their color palette affects their win/loss record.

Tell us about the team logo/uniform changes that you liked (or loathed).

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8 COMMENTS

  1. The old Warriors jerseys used to just say “The City”, which I agree is strangely vague, but sort of cool I thought. Maybe they were expecting to move but just didn’t know where and needed a generic uniform solution. I like The Golden State Raisins (sounds delicious). If a team was named for how they play that would be particularly apt.

    And, Nydia, I agree. That old Milwaukee Brewers logo was great. Not sure why they got rid of it. The new one is okay but it’s odd to me that of all things a baseball team—even one named The Brewers—could highlight in their logo, they would choose … a wheat stalk.

  2. @Aaron: I’m a Toledo, OH native, and I grew up loving the Toledo Mudhens’ (AAA baseball) team name, logo, and mascot. What a great name for a minor-league baseball team: MUDHENS. Sounds like they’re gonna get in there and PLAY SOME BALL. The Mudhens’ fierce mudhen mascot — Muddy — is a bit of graphically scrappy perfection. I love the ’80s iteration of the character best, but the current version is pretty great too. I love a bird mascot with GRITTED TEETH in its beak.

    I feel no particular love for the Golden State Warriors. I agree that their old logo is real 90s-rific, but I have to say I find it more joyful and boisterous than the new one. The gaudy purple/aqua Thunderbolt golem and the crazy gradient action in that logo are both comforting, somehow. They make me feel like something big and bombastic is going on. Are they “ugly”? I feel like I should say yes, but in context, no — I think they’re nice. I surprise myself by saying this.

    I tend to favor clean and restrained design, but that two-color off-kilter GSW bridge identity does nothing for me. What’s basketbally about it? It might as well be a logo for Golden State Raisins.

    I’ve also always found “Golden State Warriors” unnecessarily confusing, as a team name, geographically speaking. Teams are supposed to represent cities. That’s just how it is! Teams like the Warriors and the New England Patriots would be well-served, I think, to city-ize their names.

  3. Rob, do you live in Utah? All a matter of opinion I guess. Personally, being from California, the Thunder logo always rubbed me wrong and felt dated the moment it was unveiled. I’m a bit of a purist, too, so I like simple and clean logos that will endure the test of time. I thought the zany Orlando Magic type was just a bit frenetic for my taste. Glad we agree on the Jazz logo. Go Kings!

  4. These logo “re-designs” are terrible! These are basketball teams. Where’s the fun in the Golden State logo? What was wrong with the Magic’s logo? And the Jazz well they don;t only get robbed in games they also got robbed of a re-design (all though the color change does make the logo look better).

  5. You’re right! The word Warriors is rotated too far counterclockwise. A quick read with my browser window as a t-square shows the “S” is up too high. I also didn’t realize Copperplate goes back to gold mining days–I thought it just went back to the early days of the Mac. Will have to investigate…

  6. Yeah, the whole thing is slightly off kilter. Which I actually like. The bridge, the type, the inner yellow circle. You live in SF; does this make you a Warrior fan?