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NHL 2018-19

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2 hours ago, WSU151 said:

 

There is an intersection of what designers want to do and what fans like and for some reason designers think it's best to completely avoid it.

 

 

thats not entirely accurate; but there is some truth there and is an interesting topic to be explored. for the sake of the argument, lets say there is a large gap between "what designers want to do" and "what fans like". should design be lowered to expectations, rather than an audience raised to appreciate ideas and concepts wrapped in beautiful, well crafted style? what are the greater impacts of that? i think if graphic design (logos) fails to be visual communication of messages, then it becomes a collection of lifeless, meaningless drawings. a commodity of kitsch that is all look and no brains.

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5 minutes ago, BrandMooreArt said:

 

thats not entirely accurate; but there is some truth there and is an interesting topic to be explored. for the sake of the argument, lets say there is a large gap between "what designers want to do" and "what fans like". should design be lowered to expectations, rather than an audience raised to appreciate ideas and concepts wrapped in beautiful, well crafted style? what are the greater impacts of that? i think if graphic design (logos) fails to be visual communication of messages, then it becomes a collection of lifeless, meaningless drawings. a commodity of kitsch that is all look and no brains.

 

Agreed...and designers obviously should have artistic license, as they know more about the minutiae of good design, and should avoid low-hanging fruit.

 

From average fan's point of view, it just seems like many times (not all the time, of course) there's the notion that "a great design that we love is right here, just do it again!" is met with final products that leave people saying "wtf why?" (Browns, Sabres, Lightning come to my mind, lol).

 

It's kind of a weird intersection (or perhaps spectrum) to really articulate.

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12 minutes ago, seasaltvanilla said:

It'd be much less cliche if San Jose used the Statue of Liberty logo instead of that awful shark logo. Like, we get it, you're called the sharks, show some creativity.

But then what would the New York Statue of Liberties use for their logo?

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28 minutes ago, seasaltvanilla said:

It'd be much less cliche if San Jose used the Statue of Liberty logo instead of that awful shark logo. Like, we get it, you're called the sharks, show some creativity.

The team in question is called the “New York Rangers,” not the “New York Statues of Liberty.”

 

There’s nothing inherent about the “Rangers” name that dictates they must use the statue as part of their identity. 

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2 hours ago, WSU151 said:

 

Agreed...and designers obviously should have artistic license, as they know more about the minutiae of good design, and should avoid low-hanging fruit.

 

From average fan's point of view, it just seems like many times (not all the time, of course) there's the notion that "a great design that we love is right here, just do it again!" is met with final products that leave people saying "wtf why?" (Browns, Sabres, Lightning come to my mind, lol).

 

It's kind of a weird intersection (or perhaps spectrum) to really articulate.

 

also agree on that. those are good examples of a beloved logo/uniform being replaced by somethingn that can never compare to the emotional equity built into that which came before it. it just takes time to build it. and this might be a different branch of the conversation because those descisions are often made by owners, especially new ones who want to put their own timestamp on the team, rather than designers/agencies trying to do their best to bridge the gaps in time. the Marlins are going through it now. they’re trying to do the same idea in a different style...why not just go back to the original then? or, try a new idea completley? sometimes, a setup for failure is handed to them and no one wins in the end

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2 hours ago, BrandMooreArt said:

 

thats not entirely accurate; but there is some truth there and is an interesting topic to be explored. for the sake of the argument, lets say there is a large gap between "what designers want to do" and "what fans like". should design be lowered to expectations, rather than an audience raised to appreciate ideas and concepts wrapped in beautiful, well crafted style? what are the greater impacts of that? i think if graphic design (logos) fails to be visual communication of messages, then it becomes a collection of lifeless, meaningless drawings. a commodity of kitsch that is all look and no brains.

 

2 hours ago, WSU151 said:

 

Agreed...and designers obviously should have artistic license, as they know more about the minutiae of good design, and should avoid low-hanging fruit.

 

From average fan's point of view, it just seems like many times (not all the time, of course) there's the notion that "a great design that we love is right here, just do it again!" is met with final products that leave people saying "wtf why?" (Browns, Sabres, Lightning come to my mind, lol).

 

It's kind of a weird intersection (or perhaps spectrum) to really articulate.

 

 

Very well said on both points. 

 

I think one of the biggest challenges with doing design work for pro sports (especially for existing teams) is that every aspect of the brand can acquire an immense amount of equity, to the point that even subtle changes can be greeted with hostility. Ideally a great design manages to breath new life into a brand while remaining true to the team's history, but it's an incredibly fine line to walk, especially when you factor in the collective sense of ownership that comes with generations of fans. 

 

What I find deeply disappointing is when organizations "regress" back to old designs without making an effort to address some of the fundamental issues with the original design. The Buffalo Sabres are the organization that immediately comes to mind. There's no arguing that the Buffaslug was a disaster and the "goat head" logo it replaced was not without it's issues, but to simply add a grey outline to the original sword and buffalo logo simply exacerbates the issues with the original logo. 

 

The point being, that like all good design, it ultimately comes down to balance. Preserving the equity in the brand while simultaneously allowing it to grow and evolve with the changing world around it.  

 

Edit: Oh...and not making the same mistakes over and over again out of some misplaced sense of tradition. 

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8 minutes ago, Thaumatrope said:

What I find deeply disappointing is when organizations "regress" back to old designs without making an effort to address some of the fundamental issues with the original design. The Buffalo Sabres are the organization that immediately comes to mind. There's no arguing that the Buffaslug was a disaster and the "goat head" logo it replaced was not without it's issues, but to simply add a grey outline to the original sword and buffalo logo simply exacerbates the issues with the original logo. 

They actually fixed a lot of the flaws with the original logo for their last outdoor game alternate. I’m unsure if they have plans to use that as a new primary mark, but it would be a marked improvement for sure. 

 

9 minutes ago, Thaumatrope said:

Edit: Oh...and not making the same mistakes over and over again out of some misplaced sense of tradition. 

My problem with this is that a disregard for that sense of tradition is how you get the Buffaslug. 

 

The Maple Leafs managed it well, I think. They returned to an older identity, but they touched the old leaf up nicely. 

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34 minutes ago, Thaumatrope said:

I think one of the biggest challenges with doing design work for pro sports (especially for existing teams) is that every aspect of the brand can acquire an immense amount of equity, to the point that even subtle changes can be greeted with hostility.

 

absolutely. and that makes it really hard to argue against something that has so much emotional value. even a simple interlocking NY can have a ton of meaning poured into it to the point where it becomes untouchable, regardless of flaws or any lack of concept within it. and thats what im trying to get at you know? like, do we appreciate logos and graphic design for what they represent? for things that have been attached to them that are completely out of a designers control? or is (or should) that top level be reserved for things like "someone was able to illustrate an entire wilderness landscape into the shape of a bear's head and it all makes visual sense"?

 

i dont know if you can always find a balance there. i guess its just a case to case thing, but not every great logo finds emotional success. some great ones go away as the team dies or moves. (Whalers)

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I appreciate the craftsmanship of the new old leaf but I really dislike most of the redesign: the single hem stripe when it's been two stripes for as long as I can remember and continues to be so on the sleeves, two stripes on the socks instead of the old-timey sock striping, the just-different-enough block letters and numbers when a normal block set would have sufficed. And I'm still a believer in a simpler crest for them.

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Just now, BrandMooreArt said:

 

absolutely. and that makes it really hard to argue against something that has so much emotional value. even a simple interlocking NY can have a ton of meaning poured into it to the point where it becomes untouchable, regardless of flaws or any lack of concept within it. and thats what im trying to get at you know? like, do we appreciate logos and graphic design for what they represent? for things that have been attached to them that are completely out of a designers control? or is (or should) that top level be reserved for things like "someone was able to illustrate an entire wilderness landscape into the shape of a bear's head and it all makes visual sense"?

 

i dont know if you can always find a balance there. i guess its just a case to case thing, but not every great logo finds emotional success. some great ones go away as the team dies or moves. (Whalers)

 

Great points. 

 

Having spent much of my life in New England I have seen the quasi-religious fervor that some brands can become invested with. At the same time we're not dealing with religions or nations, but privately owned corporate entities that can be bought, sold, moved, or folded. What's more, these entities participate in an incredibly volatile and unpredictable industry in which an organization's success or failure can come down to the bounce of a ball.


To what degree does a team's performance and history outweigh the quality of a design? The Hartford Whalers are a great example. By just about any metric the team itself was a failure, but the design continues to persist. One could argue that the logo was their single greatest accomplishment as an organization. Meanwhile you have their successor organization winning a Stanley Cup and choosing to wear the Whalers old uniforms. Sports branding is a strange creature indeed.

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2 minutes ago, Thaumatrope said:

One could argue that the logo was their single greatest accomplishment as an organization.

 

I'd argue it was inspiring the creation of ESPN.

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51 minutes ago, BrandMooreArt said:

 

absolutely. and that makes it really hard to argue against something that has so much emotional value. even a simple interlocking NY can have a ton of meaning poured into it to the point where it becomes untouchable, regardless of flaws or any lack of concept within it. and thats what im trying to get at you know? like, do we appreciate logos and graphic design for what they represent? for things that have been attached to them that are completely out of a designers control? or is (or should) that top level be reserved for things like "someone was able to illustrate an entire wilderness landscape into the shape of a bear's head and it all makes visual sense"?

 

i dont know if you can always find a balance there. i guess its just a case to case thing, but not every great logo finds emotional success. some great ones go away as the team dies or moves. (Whalers)

 

This is a good summary. Sometimes, maybe even often, the simple or cliché designs work really well because they’re easy for people to latch onto (though I’d say that, in general, simple logos are often [sometimes unfairly] ridiculed in this day and age for being lazy, generic, underdone, or some combination thereof). Add in some team success, some time, and some good brand stewardship, and it’s a solid foundation on which to build. A lack of those things, on the other hand, can scuttle even the best design work.

 

And I think you’re right that each situation is unique. Case in point, a lot of people chide third jerseys for going off-brand (judging by recent dialogue around NHL/NBA examples), but then you have something like Lady Liberty, which is very off-brand for the Rangers, yet is extremely popular. I mean, it went so far as to include an ultra-aggressive alternate version of the primary logo. That’s probably a better design decision than shoehorning a classic logo onto a uniform that’s completely departed from the classic brand, but that was the 1990s. Nowadays, the collective brand knowledge in the front office levels would never entertain a second version of a team’s primary logo. It’s a shame from a creative standpoint because it stifles potential, and I think it often diminishes the cohesion of elements on a third uniform when the primary logo is thrown in for no reason other than to “brand” the product, but I also understand that this is what most people know about branding at this stage. Sports teams are just not quite ready to be on the forefront of the evolution and change in branding principles like some businesses are, and that’s okay. There’s still good work yet to be done.

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1 hour ago, Ice_Cap said:

They actually fixed a lot of the flaws with the original logo for their last outdoor game alternate. I’m unsure if they have plans to use that as a new primary mark, but it would be a marked improvement for sure. 

 

The Winter Classic was an improvement only because they did away with the grey outline and went all the way back to the original logo. There's still a great deal about the original that would benefit from some refinement. While not perfect, the crossed sabres logo from 2000 - 2006 was a great start towards a more contemporary version of the buffalo and cross sabres logo...it's a real shame that it was cast aside in the transition to the buffaslug.

 

1 hour ago, Ice_Cap said:

The Maple Leafs managed it well, I think. They returned to an older identity, but they touched the old leaf up nicely. 

 

While I agree that the current Maple Leafs logo was as well executed as one could hope for, I don't think it was the right move for the organization or the brand as a whole. Obviously this is just the opinion of one person (who is not a Leafs fan), but I find text in logos to be a huge crutch that has become largely superfluous as sports brands exist on an increasingly international stage. I have similar feelings about the New York Rangers, and it was something that really frustrated me about the roundel fad at the turn of the decade. If you have to literally spell everything out in your logo, perhaps that's a sign that it's not communicating as effectively as it could. 

 

Ultimately the Maple Leafs have decided to double down on that aspect of their identity, and if that's something that they want to make a key part of their identity, so be it. That being said, the blue maple leaf is a powerful icon all on its own. Why not embrace Toronto's identity as a global city by making the Maple Leafs a global brand, something that transcends language and borders?

 

Edited by Thaumatrope
typing too fast...edited for clarity.

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1 minute ago, Thaumatrope said:

 

The Winter Classic was an improvement only because they did away with the grey outline and went all the way back to the original logo. There's still a great deal about the original that would benefit from some refinement. While not perfect, the crossed sabres logo from 2000 - 2006 was a great start towards a more contemporary version of the buffalo and cross sabres logo...it's a real shame that it was cast aside in the transition to the buffaslug.

 

 

While I agree that the current Maple Leafs logo was as well executed as one could hope for, I don't think it was the right move for the organization or the brand as a whole. Obviously this is just the opinion of one person (who is not a Leafs fan), but I find text in logos to be a huge crutch that has become largely superfluous as sports brands exist on an increasingly international stage. I have similar feelings about the New York Rangers, and it was something that really frustrated me about the roundel fad at the turn of the decade. If you have to literally spell everything out in your logo, perhaps that's a sign that it's not communicating as effectively as it could. 

 

Ultimately the Maple Leafs have decided to double down on that aspect of their identity, and if that's something that they want to make a key part of their identity, so be it. The blue maple leaf is a powerful icon all on its own. Why not embrace Toronto's identity as a global city by making the Maple Leafs a global icon, something that transcends language and borders?

 

 

That wasn’t back to the original Sabres’ logo. It was a new, tighter rendering intended to capture the spirit of the original rather than recreate the errors that were only present due to executional limitations of the era.

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5 hours ago, Thaumatrope said:

The Winter Classic was an improvement only because they did away with the grey outline and went all the way back to the original logo. There's still a great deal about the original that would benefit from some refinement. While not perfect, the crossed sabres logo from 2000 - 2006 was a great start towards a more contemporary version of the buffalo and cross sabres logo...it's a real shame that it was cast aside in the transition to the buffaslug.

Andrew already corrected you on the last outdoor Sabres logo. It fixed the problems of the original. Here’s the article that goes over the changes...

 

http://news.sportslogos.net/2017/11/22/buffalo-sabres-unveil-2018-winter-classic-uniform/

 

Anyway that crossed sabre mark? Ek. It’s got all the hallmarks of bad late 90s/early 2000s design. Exaggerated proportions, too much shading, to many key lines. 

You say teams ought not to go backwards, but isn’t advocating for a logo last used twelve years ago going backwards? 

 

5 hours ago, Thaumatrope said:

Obviously this is just the opinion of one person (who is not a Leafs fan)

Well what makes your opinion as a designer with no ties to the team greater than that of the fans who care about that tradition? 

 

5 hours ago, Thaumatrope said:

Ultimately the Maple Leafs have decided to double down on that aspect of their identity, and if that's something that they want to make a key part of their identity, so be it. 

Probably because they know their fanbase and know how much their traditions mean to that fanbase. 

And given the franchise value and the money they rake in? Well I don’t think text on a logo is holding them back. 

 

5 hours ago, Thaumatrope said:

That being said, the blue maple leaf is a powerful icon all on its own. Why not embrace Toronto's identity as a global city by making the Maple Leafs a global brand, something that transcends language and borders?

So it’s clear you’re not a Leafs fan nor are you someone from Toronto. The idea that Toronto is this “global city” is an idea you have if you’re not from the area. Allow me to clear up some stuff.

 

Toronto is a great multicultural melting pot, yes. Multicultural does not mean multilingual, however. The vast majority of Toronto’s population either speaks English as their first language or are fluent or near fluent in it. 

 

Toronto used to be a very WASPy place until relatively recently, and that old identity remains very strong in many parts of the city. That’s important because a good part of the Leafs' history is defined by being the “English” team in contrast with the “French” team in Montreal. 

 

The Maple Leafs transcend this relatively new “global city” stuff. 

They’re one of the NHL’s original teams (pre-“Original” Six), a civic institution. They’re not a global brand with synergy across borders or any of that stuff. They’re the hockey team from Toronto. That’s more or less all they need to be because of how insanely popular the sport is in southern Ontario. 

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I think the Lightning jersey would be a lot better if the gradient was more pronounced and also was on the waist. 

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I'm surprised we never got the Sabres' latest Winter Classic stuff on the mothership. I really loved the varsity-serif names on those, it's a change I wish the Sabres had made to their originals along with losing white outlines on the road.

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During the intermission of the Ducks game, Guy Hebert and the other guy (don't know his name) both called out the Ducks for referring to the Mighty Ducks colours as "plum and teal" instead of "eggplant and jade" for the Jersey Tribute nights.

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2 hours ago, monkeypower said:

During the intermission of the Ducks game, Guy Hebert and the other guy (don't know his name) both called out the Ducks for referring to the Mighty Ducks colours as "plum and teal" instead of "eggplant and jade" for the Jersey Tribute nights.

 

 

Also when they say "Plum and Teal Striped," this is the jersey they're talking about, and "Plum and Teal Striped" is not what I'd call it:

 

NikeAway9799.0.jpg

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