Gothamite

SFGate article on 49ers' "One Day logo"

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There's a great article on the 49ers' short-lived rebranding in 1991:

 

When the 49ers changed their logo, and fans revolted

 

oursf0218_49ers_helmets.jpg

 

This reversal could never happen today, but lucky for the San Francisco fans they were able to dump it almost immediately. 

 

The new 49ers helmet logo was the third order of business at the press conference on Feb. 13, 1991, and the details didn’t appear until the ninth paragraph of San Francisco Chronicle writer Ira Miller’s next-day story.

 

But it would become a generational blunder, and arguably the biggest logo-related disaster in Bay Area sports history. After front page stories mocked the new design, and fans revolted, team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. took just six days to reverse his decision and keep the old logo – the same one that remains in 2016.

 

Well, almost.  They made some minor tweaks a couple years later, and that's the one (with a tweak to the old colors) that they still wear today.  

 

1968 - 1995

 

999.gif

 

1996 - 2008

 

1000.png

 

2009 - today

 

9455_san_francisco_49ers-primary-2009.gi

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If only Clippers fans (all two of them) could've done this after the pool-noodle logo was unveiled...

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1 hour ago, ChicagoOakland said:

If only Clippers fans (all two of them) could've done this after the pool-noodle logo was unveiled...

Maybe they did, and nobody noticed.

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But that's the difference between 1991 and today.  Today, the 49ers would have merchandise for sale at the unveiling event, and would be stuck with the new logo for a couple years at least.  

 

The merchandising culture has had a tremendous effect on sports, and not for the better. 

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Personally, I think that the red face mask should've stayed (which was really only the best thing that came out of that one-day logo). That classic gray one looks out of place.

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On 2/21/2016 at 6:52 AM, Gothamite said:

But that's the difference between 1991 and today.  Today, the 49ers would have merchandise for sale at the unveiling event, and would be stuck with the new logo for a couple years at least.  

 

The merchandising culture has had a tremendous effect on sports, and not for the better. 

I am not certain of exactly what was an was not official but the poorly-received Iowa logo update of about 15 years ago resulted in some merchandise that was briefly sold but I think the poor reception kept it off of athletic gear.

 

In other words they kinda pulled back from this despite the merchandising.  Not saying that could happen with an NFL team, though.  

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These days?  They couldn't.

 

Merchandising was a major impact stream in 1991, but it yet wasn't shaping design decisions, much less driving them, much less being the major factor behind them. 

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You also didn't have the volume of merchandising. You also had local print shops doing work. Not everything from China, Thailand, India, etc. Now, it's a big production with getting things right for video games, advertisers and television broadcasts, testing things on television (day/night), etc.

 

And that was before NFL Properties basically controlled everything each of the teams did as an extension of the league, rather than a local decision that the league simply accepted.

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If this happened today things would be much different. The 49ers introduce the new logo, people hate it and make their opinions heard on social media rather than calls and letters. But now the league invests way more time and money into new looks than it used to. Like Gothamite said merchandise would be rolling out far sooner and it'd be much harder to pull back. They'd have truckloads of new logo gear in stores that hour.

 

It could be a Buffaslug situation where the team owns up to the mistake almost right away, but there's no way the 49ers don't wear that logo on the field for the minimum amount of time they're now required.  

 

Or there's also the possibility they tell the fans to kick rocks. I believe a Buccaneers executive told a Browns executive to expect a social media backlash regarding the new uniforms and just to ignore them. 

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I think I'm the only person around who actually kinda likes that logo. It NEVER should've been an option to replace the iconic SF oval, but it would've been just fine as an alt used in the right application. 

 

Honestly, that logo would've looked just fine on the sleeves of the black trimmed Steve Young burgundy era uniforms. Instead they just doubled down on the SF oval (and they put it on the pants, too!) and the whole thing just looked redundant and cluttered. 

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That’s a good point. It’s not that bad of a logo, but to jump in with both feet and say “here’s our new primary logo. We’re eliminating the old one that has 4 recent Super Bowls attached to it and replacing it with this thing” is crazy. I think it shows that branding used to be much less of a science and the sports world was a lot more “all or nothing”. At the time very few teams had alternate logos and almost none had logos that were only used on apparel. The concept of an alternate uniform or a “one-off” hadn’t even been invented yet (at least not for football).  So standard operating procedure at the time was if the Niners or any other team wanted a new logo it had to fully replace the current primary.

 

Today they’d drop the logo on shirts, snapback hats, souvenir footballs etc etc as a feeler test and if it really took off then they’d might think about using it on the helmet, and even then only after massive rounds of focus grouping.

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It's not that bad of a logo... for a UHF channel 49 in 1982. 

 

For a sports team? Horrible. I'm not sure what they were going for with those shadows. I'm not sure they knew what they were going for either!

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1 hour ago, BringBackTheVet said:

It's not that bad of a logo... for a UHF channel 49 in 1982. 

 

For a sports team? Horrible. I'm not sure what they were going for with those shadows. I'm not sure they knew what they were going for either!

It was the cool thing to do in the 90's drop shadows every where... That is why the numbers had it when they added black to the uni a few years later...

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40 minutes ago, hugevolsfan said:

It was the cool thing to do in the 90's drop shadows every where... That is why the numbers had it when they added black to the uni a few years later...

 

Shadows on numbers are actually more of a 40s/50s look.  I think the extra outlines around the numbers would be more of a 90s thing.

 

The thing is, that logo doesn't even use drop shadows!  There's upshadows, left shadows, and just randomly filled-in spaces.  It looks like there's some 1980s video effect going on and someone hit pause right in the middle of it.

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57 minutes ago, hugevolsfan said:

It was the cool thing to do in the 90's drop shadows every where... That is why the numbers had it when they added black to the uni a few years later...

 

The dropshadowed numbers on the 90s set was (presumably) intended to mimic the 1994 throwback . . . 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ5imMim4Uf8kX2PGTPc9y

 

. . . which was a throwback to this . . . 

 

il_fullxfull.372501151_c1zh.jpg

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The proposed 49ers Logo was superior to the SF in an oval they still use. There, I said it.

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18 minutes ago, Pabig said:

The proposed 49ers Logo was superior to the SF in an oval they still use. There, I said it.

 

There's always one. 

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1 hour ago, leopard88 said:

 

 

 

il_fullxfull.372501151_c1zh.jpg

A chrome helmet, and a facemask... the 49ers are trendsetters. :D

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