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Team logos that are "forever done"


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I was looking through all the NHL team logos, and it seems several teams are "done" with their branding. What I mean is, they will probably never change their main logo (other than small tweaks) ever again. For other teams, it seems like logo and branding changes are inevitable. Maybe I'll think more in depth about other leagues later, but this is how I personally categorize the NHL teams now:

 

For Sure Forever Done:

Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues.

 

Wouldn't be surprised by a change, but these may yet last for decades:

Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames,  Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, Minnesota Wild, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Seattle Kraken, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Vegas Golden Knights.

 

Change seems like it will come sooner than later:

Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets.

 

Of course, relocation or a change in ownership can vaporize any team's identity fast, but barring those events, I wondered if you all might have similar thoughts.

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I immediately think of all of the college teams, such as Ohio State, Michigan, Georgia, Alabama, UCLA, and such who have had such consistent branding that it seems like blasphemy even thinking about a major overhaul to their branding.

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For other sports, 

NFL

packers

bears

buffalo

giants

cowboys

saints

falcons

bucs

seahawks

9ers

colts

cardinals

chargers

chiefs (depends on if they are forced to change names)

steelers

browns

Raiders

 

mlb

It will be easier to say which ones will change

marlins

 

nba

celtics

lakers

 

Most historical legacy teams that have had the same logo for 40+ years you can assume will never change other than small tweaks to clean up.

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^ I would add the Spurs and Bulls to the NBA, maybe Heat but I'd be more comfortable saying that if they still stayed put for another 5-10 years.

 

I think the fact that MLB has so many clubs who may never change, is a good thing for the brand of the league. I understand a majority of the league has been around for a century and have seen tweaks on numerous occasions, but many of them have been very consistent.

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I wanted to talk about MLB, too. It seems the most "stable" of the big 4, in terms of logos. It's also here that we've seen a lot of "reversion"–where a team returns to a previous logo, as if to say, "we tried other looks, but we keep coming back to this. THIS is our forever identity."

 

Seem forever done:

Orioles - returned to an old (albeit secondary) logo after some ornithologically correct years. I love this bird face.

Red Sox - same idea since 1924. Definitely done

White Sox - changed a LOT in their history, but now have 30 years with the word lockup. Still looks fresh. Done.

Tigers - 118 years with a navy D, with only a brief break. Done.

Royals - have never changed. Got it right the first time.

Angels- 5 overhauls in their existence. The current one is simple and beautiful, but despite seeming eternal, is but 17 years old. Gonna say they found their forever logo.

Yankees - kind of a weird case, right? Their primary logo is the top hat and bat, but their "actual" logo is the interlocked letters, and that won't ever change.

Athletics - English script A seems locked for eternity. Though I am a big fan of the elephant.

Blue Jays -flew very far from home, but have migrated back to that beautiful look that kicked it all off. Done.

Cubs - SO done.

Reds - see Cubs.

Dodgers - see Reds.

Brewers - a return to the "mb glove" seemed as unavoidable as gravity. Will they ever dare leave again?

Mets - got it right the first time.

Giants - Easy? to call, because they've never been graphically ambitious. I still much prefer the vertical arched lettering over the current radial arch lettering, but I think the wordmark/orange/black/baseball is probably it.

Cardinals - 100 years of bird(s) on a bat! Done.

 

Not done:

Guardians - Feels like the main logo should go on the hat, and the actual main logo is on someone's draft table. Something is coming soon.

Astros - Have overhauled 4 times in 60 years. The current, boring roundel won't last long. Orange and navy may be their comfort zone, though.

Twins - Just 2 looks in 60 years, but the current logo is so darn forgettable. I have to imagine the best is yet to come.

Mariners - Have had 4 distinct looks in 45 years. I think this logo changes soon.

Rays - I can't imagine a wordmark with a sparkle is their stopping point.

Rangers - 4 looks in 50 years. The current one is classy but dull. I think they have a return to the state outline or cowboy hat lurking somewhere in the not-too-distant future.

Diamondbacks - Logo has been stable, but the colors were once overhauled to shed their 90s-ness. Unsure...

Braves - Above my paygrade. But, I'd bet on a significant alteration this decade.

Rockies - Abominable letter lockup is just 5 years old. Feels 100. Change has to come, and will probably involve mountains again. Please retain the purple.

Marlins - Have already had 3 looks in 30 years. I sometimes feel like they are close to finding their bedrock, then I see the city uniform and fall in love with something new.

Phillies - One might have thought the 70s/80s P was their forever, but they've since riffed on their 50s/60s cap logo, and have been there for 30 years. Can't predict, but their million looks pre-war are probably out of the running.

Pirates - Well, it's a letter. They tried 5 different pirate faces over 8 different decades, then gave up. I have to imagine we will see a new Pirate (or ship) eventually.

Padres - An ocean of changes in 53 years. I can't imagine the current letter lockup (suitable for a hat) is where they will settle.

Nationals - the swoopy W is now 11 years old, and is a callback to a much older logo. But I don't think they are finished, because it's not really their own. 

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On 3/17/2022 at 1:44 PM, sitboaf said:

I was looking through all the NHL team logos, and it seems several teams are "done" with their branding. What I mean is, they will probably never change their main logo (other than small tweaks) ever again. For other teams, it seems like logo and branding changes are inevitable. Maybe I'll think more in depth about other leagues later, but this is how I personally categorize the NHL teams now:

 

For Sure Forever Done:

Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues.

 

Wouldn't be surprised by a change, but these may yet last for decades:

Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames,  Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, Minnesota Wild, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Seattle Kraken, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Vegas Golden Knights.

I think these three are for sure never changing again, barring a color change. 
 

And if the Leafs are on the maybe change list so should the B’s. They’ve had some updates fairly recently in their history as well. 

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On 3/22/2022 at 1:07 AM, chcarlson23 said:

I think these three are for sure never changing again, barring a color change. 
 

And if the Leafs are on the maybe change list so should the B’s. They’ve had some updates fairly recently in their history as well. 

You may well be right about the Pens, Islanders and Devils.

I've felt the Devils logo has been outdated for about 20 years now, but they show no signs of alteration, so...

The Pens reverted to the cartoony bird from Robo Penguin in 99, but a lot of people still love that 90s look, so that's why I feel unsure.

Islanders have flirted with change, but never really commit to it. I wonder how soon they will try again.

 

I mentioned the Leafs because they have had a realistic looking leaf logo for half their existence, and a simplified, geometric leaf for the other half. I much prefer their current logo, and I hope they keep this design for a long time, but there's 5 decades of something else clogging up their history.

 

The Bruins have had their spoked B for 73 years, and their color scheme for 88 years. All the changes recently have been to third and specialty jerseys, and I don't see the team adopting any of their ugly bear designs as a main look.

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9 hours ago, sitboaf said:

You may well be right about the Pens, Islanders and Devils.

I've felt the Devils logo has been outdated for about 20 years now, but they show no signs of alteration, so...

The Pens reverted to the cartoony bird from Robo Penguin in 99, but a lot of people still love that 90s look, so that's why I feel unsure.

Islanders have flirted with change, but never really commit to it. I wonder how soon they will try again.

 

I mentioned the Leafs because they have had a realistic looking leaf logo for half their existence, and a simplified, geometric leaf for the other half. I much prefer their current logo, and I hope they keep this design for a long time, but there's 5 decades of something else clogging up their history.

 

The Bruins have had their spoked B for 73 years, and their color scheme for 88 years. All the changes recently have been to third and specialty jerseys, and I don't see the team adopting any of their ugly bear designs as a main look.

Well the Devils logo is an all time classic similar to the Habs logo. It’s not gonna change…

 

And I guess I was saying that in the changes the Leafs have made are along the same lines that the Bruins have made too. It might be a B on a spoked wheel, but it’s had font changes and stroke changes. Which isn’t as significant as the change from the Ballard Leaf to the current one, but for most people that wasn’t even something they noticed. It’s still just a blue leaf that says Toronto Maple Leafs on it

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12 hours ago, chcarlson23 said:

Well the Devils logo is an all time classic similar to the Habs logo. It’s not gonna change…

 

And I guess I was saying that in the changes the Leafs have made are along the same lines that the Bruins have made too. It might be a B on a spoked wheel, but it’s had font changes and stroke changes. Which isn’t as significant as the change from the Ballard Leaf to the current one, but for most people that wasn’t even something they noticed. It’s still just a blue leaf that says Toronto Maple Leafs on it

I appreciate your feedback. I think the New Jersey logo is very 1982, which is fine for 1982, but... Agree to disagree on its timelessness, I guess.

But, it's a moot point, I suppose. We see very little creativity from the club when they have the opportunity to exercise it. NJ  could very well last forever.

 

And you are correct that there have been slight alterations to the Bruins logo, but those do not rise to the level of a "logo change", IMO,  as they are small tweaks.  The original point of my post was that the spoked B or the Blackhawks head have been more-or-less the same logo, and not changes like the Sabres have undergone, for instance. I've always viewed the Ballard Leaf as a  significant change, but you're right— it was  an update and not an overhaul.

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On 3/21/2022 at 2:13 PM, sitboaf said:

I wanted to talk about MLB, too. It seems the most "stable" of the big 4, in terms of logos. It's also here that we've seen a lot of "reversion"–where a team returns to a previous logo, as if to say, "we tried other looks, but we keep coming back to this. THIS is our forever identity."

 

Seem forever done:

Orioles - returned to an old (albeit secondary) logo after some ornithologically correct years. I love this bird face.

White Sox - changed a LOT in their history, but now have 30 years with the word lockup. Still looks fresh. Done.

Angels- 5 overhauls in their existence. The current one is simple and beautiful, but despite seeming eternal, is but 17 years old. Gonna say they found their forever logo.

Blue Jays -flew very far from home, but have migrated back to that beautiful look that kicked it all off. Done.

 

Not done:

Mariners - Have had 4 distinct looks in 45 years. I think this logo changes soon.

Braves - Above my paygrade. But, I'd bet on a significant alteration this decade.

Rockies - Abominable letter lockup is just 5 years old. Feels 100. Change has to come, and will probably involve mountains again. Please retain the purple.

Pirates - Well, it's a letter. They tried 5 different pirate faces over 8 different decades, then gave up. I have to imagine we will see a new Pirate (or ship) eventually.

Padres - An ocean of changes in 53 years. I can't imagine the current letter lockup (suitable for a hat) is where they will settle.

I agree with most of yours but...

...The Oriles and Brewers went back to silly (not necessarily bad, but cartoony) logos that are products of their time. I don't know for sure that they won't change but I think it's possible. The Blue jays have missed layups before...I really, really hope you are right about them. But the one I am most primed to disagree with you on from the "done" list is the Angles, depending on your definition of "change." I tend to agree that a halo-A will be used for good but I think the red-heavy balance and the grey/silver halo are polarizing. I'd predict a gold halo in the future and a huge change to the color balance (I guess the latter is more of a uniform issue...so if the gold halo possibility would mean "not done" then I'd disagree with you)...possibly a change to the shape of the "A" (back to the basics of the 1980s) . I left the White Sox (I agree with you) up there because I'm old enough to remember the beach blanket and even back then, I recognized them as a team that changes a lot. When they changed to the current look, I assumed it was chasing a trend and they'd be back to something blue/red soon. I was wrong and now it looks like they're not messing with it ever. Remarkable.

 

For your "not done" list, I feel like the Mariners may have kinda "White Soxed" their way into the current look.  Atlanta, I think will keep the look, but likely will ditch the tomahawk. I don't see the Pirates messing with the basics of their colors and the "P" on the cap...though the primary logo could definitely change.

 

I agree on the Padres. They'll be running from brown not long after the newness wears off.

The Rockies is an interesting case. Their general look is mediocre but has never change. Primary logo? Whatever, but I don't know if I see them changing the key pieces (colors and cap logo) of their identity.
 

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45 minutes ago, OnWis97 said:

I agree with most of yours but...

...The Oriles and Brewers went back to silly (not necessarily bad, but cartoony) logos that are products of their time. I don't know for sure that they won't change but I think it's possible. The Blue jays have missed layups before...I really, really hope you are right about them. But the one I am most primed to disagree with you on from the "done" list is the Angles, depending on your definition of "change." I tend to agree that a halo-A will be used for good but I think the red-heavy balance and the grey/silver halo are polarizing. I'd predict a gold halo in the future and a huge change to the color balance (I guess the latter is more of a uniform issue...so if the gold halo possibility would mean "not done" then I'd disagree with you)...possibly a change to the shape of the "A" (back to the basics of the 1980s) . I left the White Sox (I agree with you) up there because I'm old enough to remember the beach blanket and even back then, I recognized them as a team that changes a lot. When they changed to the current look, I assumed it was chasing a trend and they'd be back to something blue/red soon. I was wrong and now it looks like they're not messing with it ever. Remarkable.

 

For your "not done" list, I feel like the Mariners may have kinda "White Soxed" their way into the current look.  Atlanta, I think will keep the look, but likely will ditch the tomahawk. I don't see the Pirates messing with the basics of their colors and the "P" on the cap...though the primary logo could definitely change.

 

I agree on the Padres. They'll be running from brown not long after the newness wears off.

The Rockies is an interesting case. Their general look is mediocre but has never change. Primary logo? Whatever, but I don't know if I see them changing the key pieces (colors and cap logo) of their identity.
 

I agree with all this. 

The Angels have followed the natural course of most logos (sports or otherwise) in our lifetimes–they boil things down to the core of what resonates. In other words, most logos get simpler over time as less and less information is needed to trigger peoples' brand awareness. Even at their inception, and thru the "state outline" period, we can see now, with retrospect, that the "A with halo" is their core identity. But you make a great point about the Angels' colors not being their "forever colors" currently. But I think colors aside, they are at a stopping point.

 

Your cap thought is a good one. The Pirates, Padres, and Rockies may very well go the way of the Yankees, retaining their cap lettering as a secondary logo (a "forever cap"?) while having a different main logo. All but the Yankees seem destined to change the main logo, but I can see the caps remaining constant. 

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3 hours ago, Cosmic said:

Blackhawks kinda need to be in their own category, if you catch my drift.

Yep. Beyond my pay grade. 

My larger point is that the current logo has undergone many tweaks since 1935, but no overhauls. Today's Hawks logo would be instantly recognizable by a time-traveling hockey fan from the 1940s.

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1 hour ago, OnWis97 said:

They'll be running from brown not long after the newness wears off.

Spoken like someone who's never talked to a Padres fan before. You don't understand how popular the brown and gold is.

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On 3/24/2022 at 11:45 AM, Kevin W. said:

Spoken like someone who's never talked to a Padres fan before. You don't understand how popular the brown and gold is.

I hope you're right. I've been hoping for brown since about one second after I found out they were changing to blue and orange. (I wanted/want brown/orange but I lose).

 

Given the team's resistance and what is, I suspect, not a particularly popular color for neutral-fan purchase, even with fan love, I would still not be surprised if the brown doesn't make it for the long haul. I could see team success/failure playing into it.

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On 3/18/2022 at 12:24 PM, dont care said:

 

NFL

packers

bears

buffalo

giants

cowboys

saints

falcons

bucs

seahawks

9ers

colts

cardinals

chargers

chiefs (depends on if they are forced to change names)

steelers

browns

Raiders

 

 

Seems strange to me that you'd put the Falcons' 2000's angry bird logo on the list before the Vikings' 60 year old Norseman head.

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I don't think the Dodgers are as done as people are implying.  Everything got some tweaks in 2012 and I could potentially see them standardizing the fonts down the road.

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42 minutes ago, oldschoolvikings said:

 

Seems strange to me that you'd put the Falcons' 2000's angry bird logo on the list before the Vikings' 60 year old Norseman head.

Forgot about the Vikings, and based on OP’s requirement I don’t see falcons doing more than updating the falcon “F” to a less angular version of it. 

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