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Cleveland Indians become the Cleveland Guardians


Bill0813

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18 minutes ago, -Akronite- said:

A  "few" as in two, one of which appears to be satire if you look at that writer's other work which is clearly right-wing & anti-"woke."

 

https://spectatorworld.com/author/stephen-l-miller/

 

I will say that while I don't think the statue artist's previous work means the Guardians symbols should be abandoned, it's an interesting discussion. The intent of the artistic piece your identity is based around arguably matters. What if they didn't do their research and found out the guy was a Nazi who wanted to sculpt perfect Aryans? Of course, people love defending even overtly racist statues in this country, so it probably wouldn't matter.

 

Yeah, Miller is a professional troll.  And obviously not serious here.

 

As for the other, meh.  I'm not one of those who think the artist is inseparable from the artwork, at least once you get beyond the point where the artist is drawing royalties.  No matter what a rando letter-to-the-editor writer thinks.

 

5 minutes ago, IceCap said:

If he were a Nazi that would be one thing...but he's not as far as I can tell so 🤷‍♂️

 

Agreed.  And fortunately, that seems to be the general response as well.   

 

There will always be trolls and cranks, sadly.  But we don't have to take them seriously, much less pretend they represent a greater movement.

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3 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

I think you and I are arguing the same point here, because there is no substantive, meaningful, or serious objection to the colors.  

 

I think this rebrand was a smashing success (even though I'm indifferent to the name and outright hate most of the logos) because it eliminated the racist elements and finally respected the wishes of Native Americans after more than a half-century of ignoring them or worse.  

Agreed. I didn't mean to seem like I was picking on you, but I found your response to admiral a good jumping off point to mention that some people really will never be satisfied, and that based on a few bad-faith actors I could see someone trying to make a mountain out of a molehill with the colours. 

 

Beyond that, it's generally me just arguing in favour of the colours staying because 1) they look nice and 2) I think with a rebrand with as much passion behind it as this the familiar can be a good ally in easing people into the new identity. 

 

I think we as a community are really into the aesthetics to the point that when any rebrand is announced our imaginations run wild. And in this case the nickname itself was changing. So a lot of us saw it as a blank slate. The resulting identity seems underwhelming in that regard, but that's because the team likely had different priorities than a community of design obsessed nerds 😛

 

 

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I wouldn’t have minded a bluish purple with red. Granted, Art Deco and dark bluish purple don’t really mix. Maroon and orange would’ve been nice, but would reflect Cleveland’s first team falling behind its NFL and NBA clubs in local relevance. Dark green and sand is too close to the A’s for my liking, while brown and red just seems dingy and makes the Padres less unique in MLB.

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Now that I finally have the chance to put my thoughts down:

 

I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that they didn’t go with Spiders. I didn’t realize the similar ending of “-ians” between the old name and the new name until it was mentioned here, so I guess that makes sense in making the transition more subtle and seamless.

 

As for the logos themselves, they’re about as nice as I could have expected. Like @QCS, I can’y really bring myself to hate the G-wing logo as much as others seem to, it’s kind of just “there,” I guess. The rest of the logo set definitely gets better from there though, and the custom number font is also my favorite part. The more teams that have custom number fonts that look good, the better, in my mind.

 

Although I would have been fine with a color scheme change, I’m not surprised nor upset that they kept navy and red. It makes sense and helps it to feel like their is still a thread of continuity for the franchise, which seemed to be one of the primary goals.

 

Even though it seems like these new logos will just transfer over onto the current uniforms, I really hope they try something a little different. If not, they will be susceptible to the same criticisms they have now that their uniforms are just too boring. Now that the logos are out, I’d like to see what Nike is able to do with the uniforms to pair them with.

 

On 7/24/2021 at 1:28 PM, SFGiants58 said:

CLE-Guardians-Fixed-C.png

This is great. For this version, I would maybe make the right-side serifs on the “C” perfectly vertical, like they are on the left. I’m not sure if I like the warp on the “C” yet or not, but this definitely looks great regardless.

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15 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:

I wouldn’t have minded a bluish purple with red. Granted, Art Deco and dark bluish purple don’t really mix. Maroon and orange would’ve been nice, but would reflect Cleveland’s first team falling behind its NFL and NBA clubs in local relevance. Dark green and sand is too close to the A’s for my liking, while brown and red just seems dingy and makes the Padres less unique in MLB.

My opinion is that no team that's red, white, and blue in MLB should change. 

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1 hour ago, GFB said:

Look, none of us know what questions, information and data that they are basing these decisions off of.  But I think it's safe to assume that the Venn Diagram of fans who didn't want a change to the name/logo and the fans who wanted to keep red/blue is a perfect circle.  

 

I also think that if you were to do a Venn diagram of fans who understood & accepted that the name/logo were problematic, and the fans who wanted to keep the colour scheme it wouldn't be far off of a perfect circle.

 

Most of the people advocating for a colour change on these boards are mainly saying it because they want to see something original, not because they're concerned about some negative connotation being tied to the current colours. 

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4 hours ago, McCall said:

 Literally, their entire identity now is purely CLEVELAND. They can't change the history, nor should they. Who did Larry Doby play for? Cleveland. Whether an old nickname or the future one. What colors did he wear? They literally just Clevejacked their own identity.

 

I thought it was funny when they did the video where Tom Hanks said "the most important part of the name has always been Cleveland." Well, that's news to them, considering they spent decades not wearing their city name on their jerseys, its initial on their hats, or any sort of local iconography anywhere. Whatever your feelings are on how this went down, it is nice that they finally found a local angle to take.

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Re: old merchandise (because there is too many to quote).

 

I think they should do something like the Elks are doing.

 

There's 35,000 people (give or take) with a new Elks t-shirt to replace an old Eskimos one. The Elks had come out saying that they sold three home games worth of dollars in merchandise over the first week following the unveiling so getting new merch into circulation hasn't appeared to be an issue for them, but a free t-shirt is a free t-shirt. 

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8 hours ago, Gothamite said:


honest question: did the fans say that?

 

Did the team do any kind of actual research or focus groups (not web surveys or Twitter polls) to determine what the fans wanted to retain from the old identity?


I was wondering the same thing. In this case I wish they had developed visual identities for both Spiders and Guardians and then let the fans vote publicly. Maybe they did in a private focus group. Usually I’m against fan votes like that because it’s more work for the designers, but in this case, knowing that a segment of fans would be unsatisfied either way, the club could’ve at least said they just went with the popular vote. I feel the name Cleveland Spiders rolls off the tongue easier than Cleveland Guardians and the “-dians” ending doesn’t tie the team’s history together well enough to be the determining factor, if that’s what they intended. That being said, the name Guardians is abstract enough that it fits in with a league containing other ambiguous names like Mets, Reds, Phillies, etc…

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I think it's good to remember that this is effectively a starting point not an end point.

 

This might not be the Guardians word mark in the next 20 years. The script or color scheme could definitely change as the new name becomes just another part of team history.

 

To use the Marquette analogy, just look at how the identity went from fairly conventional navy and gold styles to incorporating horizontal stripes with powder blue, to really unique sublimated designs, to the latest jagged script. 

 

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You can call Marquette uniform history since changing to the Golden Eagles a lot of names but boring isn't one of them. So who knows what the future is going to bring for the Guardians. I think they're off to a good start and we'll see where they go next.

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1 hour ago, jaha32 said:

In this case I wish they had developed visual identities for both Spiders and Guardians and then let the fans vote publicly.

There have been rumblings that Spiders was a no-go due to legal issues re: the University of Richmond Spiders.

 

I would have preferred Spiders too, but Guardians could just have been easier to trademark.

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2 hours ago, Carolingian Steamroller said:

I think it's good to remember that this is effectively a starting point not an end point.

 

This might not be the Guardians word mark in the next 20 years. The script or color scheme could definitely change as the new name becomes just another part of team history.

 

To use the Marquette analogy, just look at how the identity went from fairly conventional navy and gold styles to incorporating horizontal stripes with powder blue, to really unique sublimated designs, to the latest jagged script. 

 

EgCOrVRXoAAY7mu.jpg

109906618.jpeg

DSC04041.jpg

2f144e2a-3e5c-409e-a83f-c228c36ec8ae-021

You can call Marquette uniform history since changing to the Golden Eagles a lot of names but boring isn't one of them. So who knows what the future is going to bring for the Guardians. I think they're off to a good start and we'll see where they go next.

 

In MU's case, eventually someone remembered all the crazy unique designs they had when their basketball program came of age and incorporated them with modern sensibilities.

 

Cleveland has 100+ years to draw from. No reason they can't do the same.

 

Although MU whiffed on the chance to go back to Hilltoppers or Golden Avalanche and really stick it to the "B-B-But TRADITION!" crowd. Cleveland could have done the same, but at least Guardians is unlike anything we've seen in major pro sports before (sorry, XFL fans).

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9 hours ago, Carolingian Steamroller said:

I think it's good to remember that this is effectively a starting point not an end point.

 

This might not be the Guardians word mark in the next 20 years. The script or color scheme could definitely change as the new name becomes just another part of team history.

 

That's my thought as well.  There's likely a reason that there's so many similarities to their current Indians look (basically just different fonts and a modified script) but once people adjust to the name, it's not unreasonable to expect them to explore more of the possibilities of their new brand.

 

Personally I would probably have done the opposite - ripped off the band-aid and gone a little more different right away - but I don't have any marketing / branding degrees, didn't do any market research (unless reading posts here counts as 'market research'), and don't have any emotional attachment to the now-former brand, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

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10 hours ago, jaha32 said:


I was wondering the same thing. In this case I wish they had developed visual identities for both Spiders and Guardians and then let the fans vote publicly. Maybe they did in a private focus group. Usually I’m against fan votes like that because it’s more work for the designers, but in this case, knowing that a segment of fans would be unsatisfied either way, the club could’ve at least said they just went with the popular vote. I feel the name Cleveland Spiders rolls off the tongue easier than Cleveland Guardians and the “-dians” ending doesn’t tie the team’s history together well enough to be the determining factor, if that’s what they intended. That being said, the name Guardians is abstract enough that it fits in with a league containing other ambiguous names like Mets, Reds, Phillies, etc…

 

I'd think the last thing you'd want to do in a circumstance like this is to show your audience an alternative. You want your audience to adjust to the new brand, not pine for option B. They can't do that if they don't seen option B in the first place. 

 

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16 hours ago, spartacat_12 said:

 

I also think that if you were to do a Venn diagram of fans who understood & accepted that the name/logo were problematic, and the fans who wanted to keep the colour scheme it wouldn't be far off of a perfect circle.

 

Most of the people advocating for a colour change on these boards are mainly saying it because they want to see something original, not because they're concerned about some negative connotation being tied to the current colours. 

Perhaps! No one really knows what data they received or how the questions were phrased or how the answers were weighted... we're in the dark. 

 

I do want to quickly touch on the "the colors aren't problematic" issue, which is true to a degree. In a vacuum, blue and red are relatively neutral (I'll gloss over predisposition to certain colors based on societal and cultural influence -- red/blue in America stir different emotions than red/blue in Russia or red/blue in China), just like any other color scheme.

 

But when you're talking about an identity, those aspects of a brand aren't self-contained: they bleed over into one another.  The colors make you think of the logo which makes you think of a certain player which takes you back to a specific point in time. If I say "teal Pistons," your mind instantly tracks to the horsepower logo, Grant Hill, 90s NBA, other crazy looks from the same point in time, etc.  If I say "volt," you think of Nike, Oregon Ducks, early 2010s, LaMichael James, Mariota, uniformz, etc... There's a level of connection to these things that goes beyond the vacuum.

 

Speaking for myself only, I think the Guardians carrying over the red/blue is fine. I think creating a clearer mental break from the past would have better served the true purpose of the rebrand, but clearly the organization was clearly trying to keep the waves the transition created as small as possible.  And perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but when your entire goal is to change as little as possible, that creates an appearance of resistance to the change and just wanting the whole thing to go away, which may be unfair but feels real.  (FWIW, from the outside looking in, I do think that WFT is going about their rebranding in a better way with the hard stop of the name and logo, vs Cleveland who tried to slowly phase-out and phase-in an updated identity, which is a statement I couldn't have imagined making 18 months ago.)

 

Where I will disagree with the majority is that the red and blue colors are untouchable for Cleveland's baseball team. This isn't a "bored designer" take, as I don't think Washington should move away from the burgundy and gold or that teams should mess with tradition for no reason at all. Rather, in this specific case,  I don't think the colors should be untouchable.

  • There's little connection to the city with those colors, outside of the Ohio/Cleveland flag.  
  • Multiple other MLB clubs share those colors and with more success (Red Sox, Braves, Angels, Nationals, Twins, etc.)
  • The old brand was insensitive and actively hurt the brand's value. 

With all those factors considered, I think that's enough to move the needle to seriously consider a new color scheme, despite the 120 years of tradition.

 

Also, a color change didn't have to be dramatic either like a move to green and gold. It could have been slight darkening of the red to a wine color like the Cavs use.  It could have been lightening the blue and bringing it closer to alignment with the Cleveland flag. It could have been raising up an existing neutral color like white/grey to secondary status and using red as an accent color. Any of those things would have helped mentally divorce the Guardians name from the old era, which is the biggest shortcoming of the new brand (IMO of course)

 

 

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4 hours ago, GFB said:

Where I will disagree with the majority is that the red and blue colors are untouchable for Cleveland's baseball team.


They're not "untouchable". The ownership and management of Cleveland's Major League Baseball franchise could have changed the team's colors if they so desired. They simply opted not to do so.

 

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Rather, in this specific case,  I don't think the colors should be untouchable.

  • There's little connection to the city with those colors, outside of the Ohio/Cleveland flag.  

 
Little connection except for the fact that the color Blue has been part and parcel of the brand identity of professional baseball in Cleveland for the entirety of the 121-season existence of the city's American League franchise, with Red accompanying Blue in 91 of those 121 seasons, including the last 89 years straight. Ask someone from Cleveland what the colors Red, White, and Blue signify to them and I'd wager that the vast majority would respond with "The United States of America, Cleveland Indians Guardians baseball, and the Ohio state flag." The vast majority... likely, in that order.
 

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  • Multiple other MLB clubs share those colors and with more success (Red Sox, Braves, Angels, Nationals, Twins, etc.)


Look, I understand that Cleveland's MLB team hasn't won a World Series since 1948. I know that since last achieving the feat, the franchise has advanced to the World Series on four occasions, only to lose each time... twice in seven games. I get that the ball club and its fanbase have know heartache.

All of that said, a single team gets to win the World Series each year. Every other MLB franchise is going to fail to win the World Series  each year. If winning the World Series is the only way in which a team and its fans are going to measure said franchise's success, there are going to be an abundance of disappointed MLB fans in the world.

The notion that Cleveland's MLB team is some completely hapless, moribund franchise is nonsense. Just six MLB franchises - the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals, Red Sox, and Cubs - boast a higher all-time regular season winning percentage than the club that represents Cleveland. Just 10 MLB teams - the Yankees, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Red Sox, Braves, Athletics, Cubs, Tigers, and Astros - have played in more post-season games than Cleveland's club. Hell, in the last 25 seasons alone, Cleveland's MLB team has made the playoffs ten times, won nine divisional titles in the process, advanced to the American League Championship Series on four occasions, won the ALCS twice, and made two trips to the World Series. Yes, the City of Cleveland's World Series-winning drought continues, but there are at least 15 MLB teams that would like to have played in as many World Series as Cleveland's MLB club has managed to contest and 10 that would give their eye-teeth to have tasted World Series victory twice.
 

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  • The old brand was insensitive and actively hurt the brand's value. 


However, the insensitive aspects of the old brand that actively hurt its value were a divisive team name and a logo that was a racist caricature. Said elements of the team's brand identity were eliminated. The team's traditional colors were retained because they weren't responsible for actively hurting the brand's value. 

 

Quote

Also, a color change didn't have to be dramatic either like a move to green and gold. It could have been slight darkening of the red to a wine color like the Cavs use.  It could have been lightening the blue and bringing it closer to alignment with the Cleveland flag. It could have been raising up an existing neutral color like white/grey to secondary status and using red as an accent color. 

 
A tweaking of the color scheme could have worked.

I'd thought about something along the lines of Steel Blue and Red as primary colors, with White and Navy Blue as accent colors.
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In addition to the main palette, a variety of earth tones could be used to render depictions of the Guardians of Traffic within certain logos. 
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Finally, I've thought that the Cleveland Guardians might be well-served by adopting a retro look paying homage to the era that birthed the  Art Deco statues that provide the inspiration for their new name. If that were the case, might a cream home uniform be an option for them?      
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17 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

In any event, it will be interesting to see exactly what the Cleveland Guardians look like when they take the field next year.

According to the mothership, the exact same uniform setup they have now, just with Guardians branding (white home, red home alt, grey road, navy road alt, all with the G-wing baseball logo on the sleeve, with a red billed navy hat at home and all navy hat on the road)

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