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Cleveland Indians become the Cleveland Guardians


Bill0813

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9 minutes ago, IceCap said:

The push to remove names that were insulting to Native communities resulted in three major North American teams having to rebrand. Edmonton football, Washington football, and Cleveland baseball. 

 

Edmonton became the Elks about a year after they dropped their old name. 

 

Cleveland announced their new name as the Guardians about a year after announcing they would move on from their old name. 

 

So why's it taking two years for the Washington Football Team to settle on a new identity? 

I think that's on the owner, who want to keep as much of the old identity for as long as he can, to the detriment of the organization. But seeing how poorly run that team's been, it's not a surprise to see them dragging their feet into the 21st century. 

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31 minutes ago, ScubaSteve said:

No, I'm not. But from a purely outside perspective, the Cleveland Indians brand was tied for the stupidest name in all of professional American sports. It was racist, embarrassing, and based on a complete misappropriation and misunderstanding of the original inhabitants of this land.

So no, I can't speak from a fan's perspective, but I think the goal should be to completely disassociate from anything resembling what they once were.

 

Nobody is going to argue with you about the name being inappropriate, but that doesn't mean you throw the baby out with the bathwater.

 

These situations are all about compromise. Whether it's the Elk, WFT, or the numerous NCAA teams that have changed names, almost all of them have kept their colour schemes intact, and there's nothing wrong with that if it's something the fans have an attachment to.

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1 hour ago, SFGiants58 said:

Especially only a season after you traded your franchise’s biggest star since Grady Sizemore or even Albert Belle? Bad optics.

 

 

Other than CC Sabathia, Kenny Lofton, Omar Vizquel, Corey Kluber, Jim Thome, Cliff Lee, Michael Brantley, Jose Ramirez, Shane Bieber, Trevor Bauer, and the countless other great players who played in Cleveland. The Indians were arguably the most consistently good team over the last 25 years. Implying that Grady Sizemore is the only good player other than Lindor since ‘96 is ridiculous.

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3 minutes ago, CLEstones said:

I've noticed locals are so tied to the "history OH THE HISTORY" of the team.

So by your own admission locals want to maintain as much as the visible history as possible with the rebrand. It seems like your position- they they go with green and move on from red, white, and blue- is a minority opinion. 

 

And that's fine. Nothing wrong with that. It's just that given the passions around this rebrand and why they had to do it maintaining as much of a connection to the old identity as possible is smart from a branding perspective. People want the team to still be familiar despite the change. So it's smart to give it to them. 

 

The Edmonton Elks are still green and gold and the Washington Soccer Workforce will still be burgundy and gold when they finally settle on a rebrand. All for the same reasons. 

 

And there's no reason they shouldn't. The colours were never the problem with these old identities. 

 

-PS re: the "Forest City" thing...the city I went to uni in, London, Ontario, is also nicknamed the Forest City. It hardly seems like a uniquely Cleveland thing.

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I think my first preference was Spiders for the history, but I’m really liking Guardians after seeing the video. It helped me see how Cleveland-centric the choice was. 
 

As far as the logos/word marks go, I like the “Guardians” script a lot and like the winged-G baseball (it does have a retro look to it, like something designed in 50’s that got cleaned up), but I’m iffy on the “CLEVELAND” word mark. It seems a bit too crammed together and really could’ve used some kerning. I almost would’ve rather had a “Cleveland” script that matched the “Guardians” one. That all said, they’re not fatal flaws that ruin the identity by any means. I think overall it’s a pretty good identity that does a good job of moving forward, honoring the city, and maintaining the parts of the team’s history worth keeping around.

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4 minutes ago, spartacat_12 said:

 

Nobody is going to argue with you about the name being inappropriate, but that doesn't mean you throw the baby out with the bathwater.

 

These situations are all about compromise. Whether it's the Elk, WFT, or the numerous NCAA teams that have changed names, almost all of them have kept their colour schemes intact, and there's nothing wrong with that if it's something the fans have an attachment to.

 

I totally agree with that in most cases. Just my personal opinion, if there was one brand to make a clean break it was this one. But again, that's just me as an outsider so I can't speak for what the fans want

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5 minutes ago, lgbaseball8 said:

Other than CC Sabathia, Kenny Lofton, Omar Vizquel, Corey Kluber, Jim Thome, Cliff Lee, Michael Brantley, Jose Ramirez, Shane Bieber, Trevor Bauer, and the countless other great players who played in Cleveland. The Indians were arguably the most consistently good team over the last 25 years. Implying that Grady Sizemore is the only good player other than Lindor since ‘96 is ridiculous.

 

Ah, my error. I was thinking in the post-2001 fall from grace. Sizemore, Lee, and Sabathia (who is a Yankee in the public’s perception, IIRC) are the biggest three I know, with Bieber and Kluber being well-regarded too (I’m excluding Bauer because reasons).

 

But still, Sizemore and Lindor were the faces of the club. 

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1 hour ago, Titanium Eagle said:

Don't hate the name after I took the 14 seconds to Google the local context...but THAT is all they came up with for something as visually interesting as these?!

 

spacer.png

 

I agree that these could've been used more in the identity.

 

1 hour ago, tigerslionspistonshabs said:

I'm not a huge fan of the name, but I guess it was right up there out of the choices. 

 

I like the C. It kind of gives off a shield vibe.

 

Word marks are cool. Enough of a difference while still paying homage to the original identity. 

 

But WHAT THE HECK is that flying ball logo supposed to be? It looks like a beer league logo honestly.

 

Also, isn't it kind of weird changing names in the middle of the season? Does this take effect immediately? 

 

Yeah, I don't like the  G flying logo.

 

53 minutes ago, OnWis97 said:

I can't believe how much more quickly this all happened in comparison to the Football Team.

 

All things considered, I think it's OK. There was literally nothing they could do that wasn't going to be jarring to most fans. When I think about my teams, a name change would be jarring to me (even if it was the Wild).  No matter how good the name and identity, calling the Twins anything else would take some serious getting used to. Therefore, I think it makes sense that:

  • The colors and general identity are reminiscent of the current team. That continuity is important.
  • Guardians has a similar cadence to the old name.

As for Spiders, I know a lot of us, myself included, would have liked it. But the general fan base? I legitimately don't know. Remember, at any given time, 80% of the fans there probably haven't heard of Len Barker and half probably haven't heard of Bob Feller (this is not a shot at Clevelanders but an observation about the the lack of attachment to history for the casual fan everywhere). They likely don't know the Spiders (on the other hand, they don't know the Spiders were historically bad). My two cents:

  • Name: OK. Like I said, the cadence works (and someone point out the "ians"). Someone else pointed out that it's a bit "too local" but hey, it gives the rest of us a chance to learn something about Cleveland.
  • Colors: They had no choice, in my opinion. It's not their problem that so many teams have similar colors. They needed to keep the continuity. And it looks fine. Don't worry about it; I'm sure they'll be wearing a "city" jersey 50 times a year (maybe inspired by the Cuyahoga River fire).
  • Wordmarks: OK. I actually think they should have gone for more continuity with a smoother wordmark, particularly the "Guardians" one. But it makes the "Cleveland" mark less boring, I suppose.
  • Cap: Nice.  While I'm sometimes a fan of seeing no white, the "C" hat has been begging for white from day 1. The contrast on their hats messed with my eyes.
  • "G" Logo: The only truly awful part of this. Edit: I just realized that the 3D aspect of the logo implies that on the other side, there's a backwards-facing G. It's worse than I initially thought.

Overall, I give them a B+ and I'm more grateful that they sidestepped potential "expansionesque" landmines than I am disappointed about any missed opportunities.

 

I agree with this mostly.

 

 

---

 

 

I liked the idea of Spiders, but understand why they went this way - and also they could always do Spiders as their city connect or something.

 

I don't hate them but also don't love them.  The winged G thing is the worst part of it.  Even though they're not similar, it reminds me of a 90s gatorade logo for some reason.

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5 minutes ago, CLEstones said:

 

 

RE: Indians.

 

That seems like trying to put a positive spin a turd sandwich.  I grew up an Indians fan.  Never missed an Opening Day until 2020.  I have 0 ties to R/W/B.  It's just another team with the same colors.

 

I've noticed locals are so tied to the "history OH THE HISTORY" of the team.  We have 2 World Series, definitely something to be proud of.  We have Bob Feller and Larry Doby... remarkable men in their own rights, and both something to truly be proud.  Other than that, we have a highly over-romanticized era in the late 90s, that resulted in just as many 1st Round Knockouts as it did Pennants, and 0 Titles... capped off by Thome leaving us in his prime - by the way, tear down his freaking statue ASAP.

 

The Indians aren't really a historic franchise.  Sure they've been around forever.  But it's not like the Yankees or the Red Sox or the Dodgers, or the Cubs.  I dont understand the mental gymnastics of like "oh were changing the name, the logos, the wordmarks... but changing the colors WHERE DOES IT END!?!?"  Like if you're going to do it, do it.  I hate when people play both side of the fence.  At least put your boys on the table and take what comes with it.

 

The Indians had such a bland identity as it was.  Now it's less bland and more 1990's clip art or Single A baseball team on Sponge Bob Square Pants night.

 

 

I see your point, there's definitely an abundance of R/W/B in MLB, and I guess this could have been an opportunity for an R/W/B team to change colors.   But team history (or lack thereof) aside, I've never really looked at the Indians and thought they needed to shake up their look too much.  They've always struck me as a beautiful and classic-looking team.  We've seen many instances in pro sports where a team tried to totally shake their look up and it ended up being a disaster.  So I'm just glad that by keeping their colors, next year they won't look like a completely different franchise. 

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39 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

Major league movie Logos

An updated Wild Thing logo? 

Had this same thought. Seems too ridiculous to be actually part of the design process, but that’s the only way I’ve been able  justify the wonkiness of the flying G logo. 

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22 minutes ago, IceCap said:

I still maintain the name "Indians" exists in enough of a grey zone that had they dropped Wahoo in, say, the early 90s and never looked back the name would broadly be accepted. Maybe a few rumblings here and there but the major point of contention would have gone for close to thirty years by the time the racial divisions of society became apparent in 2020. By hanging onto Wahoo as defiantly and as long as they did they soured the rest of the brand, meaning "Indians" had to go. 

I kind of agree with this. My gut reaction was "I'd take this a step further and say they could actually have gotten away with keeping the name anyway, with Wahoo gone." And I think they could have but they'd have been forced to maintain this boring identity. Their continued push to keep Wahoo would have made it a PR nightmare to use any native imagery; even a couple of feathers on the "C" as so many people here had drawn in concepts. So their choices were to do what they did or to keep the name but have nothing more than very benign logos like the letter "C," outlines of Ohio, or nikefied "the Land" wordmarks.

 

Regarding the history...yeah, when you look at the "original 16" (if you will), they're closer to the Sens/Twins than the Yankees. Nevertheless, baseball is a sport rooted in, and dependent on, history. An original AL team should not try to be a 21st century expansion team. 

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So, my take aways that no one asked for...

 

The name average. At least you still have "-dians" at the end of the name but nothing special. 

 

I like the the block "C" but the wordmarks are poor. I get what they were trying to do but it didn't work, IMO. As for the G-wing atrocity, that thing was outdated 20 years ago.

 

As much as I get tired of the rampant red, white, and blue in baseball, I agree that they should keep it. As someone else had mentioned, the Elks are still green and gold. All colleges that dropped their native American imagery and name but kept their color schemes. The Washington D.C. Athletic Club de Foot of Inter Landover is keeping the burgundy and gold.

 

Overall, I'd say the rebrand is above average. 

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27 minutes ago, lgbaseball8 said:

Other than CC Sabathia, Kenny Lofton, Omar Vizquel, Corey Kluber, Jim Thome, Cliff Lee, Michael Brantley, Jose Ramirez, Shane Bieber, Trevor Bauer, and the countless other great players who played in Cleveland. The Indians were arguably the most consistently good team over the last 25 years. Implying that Grady Sizemore is the only good player other than Lindor since ‘96 is ridiculous.

 

Agree with your sentiment entirely here. To play Devil's Advocate, you listed arguably better players but most of them lack the star-power of Lindor. On that list I'd only put CC and Thome above Francisco in national name recognition.

 

1 minute ago, _DietDrPepper_ said:

This feels very transitional? Similar to the Football Team identity. Wouldn’t shock me if they did a bigger rebrand in 5-ish years. I like it though.

 

Doubt they change the name again, but I've seen rumblings that they may tweak what we've seen before they hit the field and I wouldn't be surprised if they made logo changes in the near future.

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Lol, this is pathetically bad. The name is painfully generic (even with the “Traffic guards” thing or whatever, which is still SO lame), the wordmarks all suck and actually just remind me of a ripoff of the Brewers new look, the logos are AA level baseball amateurish, and they even kept the overused R/W/N color scheme 🤦🏼‍♂️They basically got every part of this wrong IMO. 

 

Oh well, it doesn’t really matter. Cleveland has forever been an absolutely forgettable baseball franchise with a dumb name and boring colors. All they’re doing by changing to Guardians and picking this branding package is continuing that trend. 

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