Gothamite

How much can you "update" a classic?

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I hope @andrewharrington doesn't mind me breaking this out into a separate topic, but I've been thinking a lot about a question he posed the other day.

 

On 1/3/2018 at 7:05 PM, andrewharrington said:

Here’s a question I’m always interested in:

 

So, when you find that emotional resonance with a uniform, does it only work for you if it’s exactly as it was, or does it still work if small updates are made in the interest of improving it (subjective, I know, but in principle...)?

 

For example, let’s say the Sabres went back to their classic uniform (talking about the white one at the moment), but they used the updated bison from the Winter Classic, switched the hem stripe to match the sleeves and socks, and simplified the pants to a single yellow stripe to match the trim on the shoulder yoke. Modern classic that maintains the spirit of the original, or defaced history?

 

I'm not opposed to changes or updates in general.  Those changes just need to feel like real improvements without losing essential elements of the original.  My favorite baseball club brought back a classic uniform as an alternate.  And again they made some changes, concessions to modernity:

 

krodbrewers.jpg

 

This is an update of the classic 1980s uniform:


4dc92f0aede67.image.jpg

 

Couple concessions to contemporary style, though - belts over elastic waistbands, button-up instead of pullovers, added a mitt logo patch on the sleeve (that "HK" is a memorial patch, the Brewers never had a logo patch in this era).  The update keeps the spirit of the original despite those changes, and I don't know any Brewers fan who is displeased with the effect.

 

Contrast these with something like the Buffalo Sabres, who brought back their classic logo with changes.  This was the original subject of our conversation, how this logo has been treated:

 

buf-oldnew.jpg

 

This one just feels like a failure to me.  It takes the old logo and adds pointless details without correcting any of the problems (such as the detailing on the head).  The recent Winter Classic logo seems to me to be a much better update (extraneous NY aside):

 

Sabres-Winter-Classic-Jersey-Crest.jpg

 

 

This has come up recently as we watch the second incarnation of the North American Soccer League implode.   It has no connection to the original other than the name and an updated logo:

 

6Re9BJT.png

 

This to me is about a perfect update of the original.  Keeps the essential elements (starball, shield shape, basic letterforms), while ditching the unnecessary elements (field background) and adding something new (continental silhouette).  

 

Both leagues have a flagship club called the New York Cosmos.  Again, not the same club, but repurposed intellectual property.  This logo also got an update:

 

DLDqpcg.png

 

Again, I think it's a fantastic update.  Cleans it up a bit, makes it read better at distance or small size, but unmistakably the same.

 

So what do you think?  Are there any updates to your favorite teams that have hit (or missed) the mark?

 

 

 

 

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In the case of the Sabres, I would say the tweaks are a necessity.  The logo has definitely accrued goodwill and emotional resonance but it's extremely doubtful it'd hold up as a new mark for an expansion team today if left untouched.  The WC version is a huge improvement over the frankly dated original but I think they could have improved things further, especially on the sword handles which inexplicably look better on the "lets outline everything in silver" version.

 

Maybe it's just the new materials talking but the Brewers alternate is also a massive improvement over the original.  If anything it goes to show that nothing is truly untouchable.  If you can retain the original feel while adding aesthetic improvements, I say go for it.

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I always felt the Bruins did a fantastic job with updating their logo and making it feel modern while keeping what makes it work.

 

Boston Bruins (1996 - 2007)Boston Bruins (2008 - Pres)

 

Still a spoked B.  Still feels like the Bruins logo.  of course it could be adjusted some more like reducing the weight of the lines around the B but it's still a great update.  And it's one of those things that after the update happens, you realize how bland the one before it was.

 

Same could be said for the Blue Jays who (finanlly) came to their senses and got themselves out of the dark era

 

Toronto Blue Jays (1977 - 1996)Toronto Blue Jays (2012 - Pres)

 

They took what worked and enhanced it.  Still feels the same but it's obviously different and modernized at the same time.

 

But with the Jays there exists the example of tweaking something too much that it loses what worked

Toronto Blue Jays (1997 - 2002)

yes the jay was modernized and maintained the ball, the leaf, and the split font.  But it didn't feel the same.

 

The Rams could almost be used as an example as well with their Charging Ram logo

Los Angeles Rams (1946 - 1950)Los Angeles Rams (2017 - Pres)

While I personally love the 40s feel of the one on the left, the updated STL logo is an improvement as it removes unnecessary details and gives it a modern edginess that designers think people want.  But is this too much of a change? Kinda. It's still a ram's head down and ready to butt horns. The 40s logo has that classy old-tymey feel to it, while the STL one definitely looks modern.  So it's almost an example of both.  Where it retains the feel but also departs drastically from what made the logo work

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42 minutes ago, oldschoolvikings said:

How about if it's so subtle only a small handful of uni-nerds even noticed?

 

norseman-article-comp.jpg

 

That one kind of puzzles me.  On the whole, I think they did a great job.  And as you note, it's so subtle that nobody noticed.  But the shading on the tip of the horns really hurts it, I think,  Made sense when the whole thing had more shading, but now would look so much better if they allowed the white to come to a sharp point.

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The BM or MB however you call it hat logo on the Brewers pinstripe throwback uniform has to go.The only saving grace for that jersey is the new one now is button down vs the pullover of the 1980's.If anything should of been placed on the side of that uniform it should of been the logo of the state of Wisconsin which was on the team's previous jackets and jerseys I believe from the Brewers logo of 1970-1975.MLB teams seem to overthink modifying throwback uniforms as the Brewers have so grandly done in not knowing where to go regarding a permanent logo going forward.

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I think it's possible to update a classic look while still maintaining its spirit. Probably a minority opinion, but I thought the 49ers late-90s update (post white pants) did a good job capturing the look and feel of the franchise while trying something fresh:

 

football0007a.jpg

 

0ap2000000130818_gallery_600.jpg

 

The Eagles' update was not as good primarily because the green is just too murky--I'm fine with darkening it, but Philly went too far--but in the end, Philly's modernization ended up leaving a more lasting mark. I suppose if the Niners had won a Super Bowl in the updated look, they might not have changed so quick.

 

0ap2000000154060_gallery_600.jpg

 

donovanmcnabb3.jpeg.jpg

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53 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

That one kind of puzzles me.  On the whole, I think they did a great job.  And as you note, it's so subtle that nobody noticed.  But the shading on the tip of the horns really hurts it, I think,  Made sense when the whole thing had more shading, but now would look so much better if they allowed the white to come to a sharp point.

 

Yeah, if you concentrate on just that, it does seem a little out of character to the rest of the update. However, I don't think they could've gotten away with leaving it just white all the way to the point.  If you think about the horn tips as creating a harmony with the mustache tip (OK, that HAS to be the first time in history the sentence was ever written or spoke) treating them both so differently would create a weird dissonance IMO. I would've cleaned up the lines of the shading at the tip of the horn more (or at least differently) but I don't think I would've gone with removing the interior black completely.

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It's just odd that they went to the trouble of adding details to the helmet worn, and giving it some sense of connection with the logo horn, but they left those tiny details in the logo horn.  

 

300px-Minnesota_Vikings_logo.svg.png 3h3txqip3324d6gtwpk2.gif

 

And I don't see much synchronicity with the mustache tips.  The mustache has uniformly thick lines, much thicker than the shading on the horn.

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58 minutes ago, Mingjai said:

I think it's possible to update a classic look while still maintaining its spirit. Probably a minority opinion, but I thought the 49ers late-90s update (post white pants) did a good job capturing the look and feel of the franchise while trying something fresh:

 

football0007a.jpg

 

0ap2000000130818_gallery_600.jpg

 

Count me as part of the minority.  I loved the 49ers update.

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The 49ers uniforms from 1996 were the best version of that update. It was a direct response to the 1994 season's throwbacks and could've worked more than the two seasons it existed and maybe they could've had two sets of pants. By the way, the 1996 number font was much better, you can see it in the picture below along with some players wearing another number font.

 

roy-barker-dana-stubblefield-and-chris-d

 

Here's a closer look at the number font:

 

61393_01_lg.jpg

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7 hours ago, Mingjai said:

I think it's possible to update a classic look while still maintaining its spirit. Probably a minority opinion, but I thought the 49ers late-90s update (post white pants) did a good job capturing the look and feel of the franchise while trying something fresh:

 

football0007a.jpg

 

Probably my favorite NFL uniform of all time. They really were perfect with this; it's probably the best possible reimagining of any classic uniform.

 

9 hours ago, Pharos04 said:

I always felt the Bruins did a fantastic job with updating their logo and making it feel modern while keeping what makes it work.

 

Boston Bruins (1996 - 2007)Boston Bruins (2008 - Pres)

 

Still a spoked B.  Still feels like the Bruins logo.  of course it could be adjusted some more like reducing the weight of the lines around the B but it's still a great update.  And it's one of those things that after the update happens, you realize how bland the one before it was.

 

 

 

I feel like the updated B creates the same problems as the updated Sabres logo: too many extra lines that don't provide much of a benefit. People have generally preferred the update, but I think it looks bad.

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In 1973, the Yankees updated a classic when they added white outlines to the lettering and arm bands to their road jerseys.  I always thought it was unnecessary and it's a shame that it has persisted for 45 years.

 

I can live with the white outlines around the lettering, but the arm bands are out-of-place in the absence of any other striping anywhere on the uniform.  Sleeve stripes were tolerable in the pullover era, when there were stripes around the neck, around the waistband, and sometimes down the leg.  But they have no business on that Yankees jersey.

 

Image result for yankees 2009Image result for yankees 2012

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18 hours ago, Pharos04 said:

I always felt the Bruins did a fantastic job with updating their logo and making it feel modern while keeping what makes it work.

 

Boston Bruins (1996 - 2007)Boston Bruins (2008 - Pres)

 

9 hours ago, DG_Now said:

I feel like the updated B creates the same problems as the updated Sabres logo: too many extra lines that don't provide much of a benefit. People have generally preferred the update, but I think it looks bad.

 

I think the previous Bruins logo had the same problems of the current Sabres logo.  The lines surrounding the spokes and the B are too thin and get lost when the logo is shrunken down.  The update on the other hand has given them one of the leagues best logos and this is coming from someone who hates the team with a passion.

 

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19 hours ago, Ark said:

The Phillies did it perfectly 

 

1978-Steve-Carlton-079092247.jpg

 

Z3fz9Qh.jpg

 

 

The Flyers did as well

 

1978b045a1418a45e79ecfaad9708cc6_crop_ex

 

e836b736a637b3f01093e3795e1c34cb--eric-l

 

 

Look at the unis the flyers wear today, almost exactly like the old ones

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12 hours ago, DG_Now said:
21 hours ago, Pharos04 said:

I always felt the Bruins did a fantastic job with updating their logo and making it feel modern while keeping what makes it work.

 

Boston Bruins (1996 - 2007)Boston Bruins (2008 - Pres)

 

Still a spoked B.  Still feels like the Bruins logo.  of course it could be adjusted some more like reducing the weight of the lines around the B but it's still a great update.  And it's one of those things that after the update happens, you realize how bland the one before it was.

 

I feel like the updated B creates the same problems as the updated Sabres logo: too many extra lines that don't provide much of a benefit. People have generally preferred the update, but I think it looks bad.

 

I agree with you.  All those extra lines just muddy the design.

 

At smaller size, the spokes of the old tend to disappear.  Which I'm okay with, since the "B" still stands out clearly.  The new one becomes a bit of a blob.

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8 minutes ago, CitizenTino said:

My only thought on updating a classic: If you go as far as the Browns did, you went too far. (The lesson, as always: Never go full Browns.)

 

I think the 90s 49ers serve as a kind of outer boundary. Go further, and there be dragons. They worked a lot of extra on there and managed to have it still stay on the side of ok-to-good.

 

The hard one for me is where the Falcons fall. Was it too much? 

 

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